A PASSION for football has paid dividends for Jessica Coates.
The 22-year-old plays in goal for Seaton Carew Hartlepool Ladies Football Club. She has also played the beautiful game in America while she studied a sports course at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennesee.
Now she is back home and devoting her life to the game she loves, while studying her final year at Teesside University on a sports science course.
As well as playing football, she is also a coach and co-ordinator for her team - helping players aged from five to 14.
On top of all that, Jessica also has a part-time job on the Hartlepool United community sports foundation scheme, currently helping children aged five to 13 on a summer programme.
Soon, Jessica will be adding to her repertoire when she takes on a job with the Durham Wildcats basketball team.
Football has been her passion since she was six. She explained: “My brother used to play with a school team and I started out as a defender.”
But Jessica was so good, she was causing one or two problems.
“The boys started taking hissy fits and told me to go in goal,” she said. She stayed there ever since and has spent years in that position.
Her talents are so good, she has been nominated for a Hartlepool Mail sport award in the unsung hero section.
She has already won the Durham FA Young Volunteer of the Year award this year and now hopes to make it two trophies in a season.
“That would be great,” she admitted.
This is only the second year that we have run our sports awards and our inaugural event was a winner. But we want to make the 2014 version even bigger and better.
From the best in disabled sportspeople to grass roots performers, from coaches to teams – we want to honour them all. And we can only do that with your backing.
Currently, we are featuring stories on some of the nominations that we have already received.
Then it’s over to the judges to draw up a shortlist before the glittering ﬁnale in early October
For now though, we want to hear from as many people as possible to put in their nominations before the deadline arrives.
Fill in the application form HERE