`

Sports grant keeps South Shields coach on the ball

Alex Fontaine, back row centre,  with children from Jarrow Cross School, teacher Colleen Watson, and Rob Grainey, head of commercial services at South Tyneside College.
Alex Fontaine, back row centre, with children from Jarrow Cross School, teacher Colleen Watson, and Rob Grainey, head of commercial services at South Tyneside College.

A student who specialises in promoting football among women has been given a fresh sporting chance to progress her career.

South Tyneside College learner Alex Fontaine, 18, has won a second year of funding from a national FA-backed programme to get more girls playing soccer.

She is one of only four Women and Girls Football Apprentices in the country to gain the £7,000 support two years running.

The scheme gives financial backing to colleges to take on an apprentice, with someone different enrolled each year but college bosses were so impressed by Alex’s talent and commitment that they applied for her to continue her training at a higher level.

Alex, from Biddick Hall, South Shields, said: “It’s great for me personally to have gained another year of support, but good also for the people and places where I have made positive relationships.

“I love sport but especially football, and so it’s really enjoyable to promote it to girls who may never have considered playing or lacked the confidence to do so.”

Alex’s successes include the development of PE lessons at Jarrow Cross Primary School.

Headteacher Susan McBeth said: “Alex has been inspirational in her support for our pupils and to their enjoyment of playing football.

“As a school, we are very keen to support physical activities for our pupils’ better health and wellbeing, and Alex is playing an important role in that.

“Her success in gaining funding to continue her work for a second year is very much deserved.”

More information on sports opportunities at South Tyneside College is available by visiting www.stc.ac.uk or calling 019 427 3500.