International Women's Day

If you persevere you can do so much good - Beth Archer


If you persevere you can do so much good - Beth Archer

To mark International Women's Day, London FA is celebrating the fantastic contribution our female workforce is making to football in the Capital. Read our Q&A sessions with a small sample of our fabulous females holding a variety of roles in football.

Tell us about your role(s) in football

I am a qualified London FA football referee which I have been since February 2016 having been introduced to refereeing by Jeff Pettit down at Charlton Athletic Academy. Prior to this I played football and ran the women’s football team at the University of Southampton. I am also a London FA Council Member and Referees committee member.

What does a typical week look like for you?

Typically I’ll have a match on Saturday or Sunday, and the day that I do not have a match I’ll be relaxing with family and friends enjoying a glass of wine or two! On a Monday I would have a medium intensity cardio session and an upper body workout at around 6:30am prior to work. I usually then referee on Monday evening in the Islington Midweek Football league. This usually means I don’t get home and to bed until around midnight. On Tuesday again 6:30am I’ll get up and go for an active recovery session which is usually a swim or a light jog again before work. From Wednesday to Friday I repeat the cycle of gym activity before work but usually introduce three full bodyweight sessions alongside a mix of high and medium intensity aerobic exercises such as sprint training. My job as a business consultant means I am often out in the evenings with clients, combined with a few London FA council meetings and other refereeing meetings a month, my week can get very busy!

Who are/were your most important female role models?

Personally I find many women that I meet day to day to be really inspiring. I have so many inspirational women in my family, from my mum who has always encouraged me to aim high and work hard, to my great aunt who has beaten breast cancer twice and still runs an active farm single-handedly at the age of 80, and my cousin who despite having Cerebral palsy, Bulbar palsy, and chronic renal failure never stopped smiling no matter what life threw at her.

There are three famous women who I consider role models:

Emmeline Pankhurst because without her efforts in demanding equality for women, I probably wouldn’t have been able to study politics and economics at university, become a football referee, and have my views respected and heard at my place of work.

Marie Curie because her history taught me that no matter how much others try to stop you or underestimate you, if you persevere you can do so much good.

Michelle Obama because she let her personality shine through and encouraged girls across the world to spread their wings and soar.

There are so many more for hundreds of different reason but these three spring to mind.

Tell us one thing still on your bucket list

I used to do a lot of sailing as part of a club and so I have always wanted to buy my own boat and sail around the Mediterranean in the summer months.

Where is your go to place to get away from it all?

One of my places to get away from it all is my Great Aunt’s Farm in Chew Magna, Bristol because it is so peaceful and reminds you of the simple things in life. However, through my life I’ve learnt that we shouldn’t be looking for physical places to get away from it all, we should instead learn to find space in our own minds.

What has been your proudest moment in the last 1-5 years.

From a football perspective I have two proudest moments:

The first was refereeing the Woolwich and Eltham Sunday Football Alliance Cup Plumstead Challenge Cup Final in the sunshine with a great team of officials. The game went to extra-time, my family had come to watch the match and my team and I received a lot of praise for our performance from the players, coaching staff, league officials and supporters. As a referee those are the games you work hard for all season to get.

The second proudest moment was when I received a piece of feedback from an observer saying that my fitness was one of my biggest strengths. This may sound small but it links to the perseverance point I made earlier; when I first started refereeing I thought I was fit but clearly not enough as all of my feedback was around improving my fitness. I started doing a lot more sprint training having sought advice from my Centre of Refereeing Excellence Coach. I know I work really hard on my fitness so for that to be recognised meant a lot to me.