07th June 2021
Thank You Day began with just 13 individual members of the public proposing the day. Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce you to them all. Today, we’re meeting Eriona!
I have a real passion for football and have played it for as far back as I can remember. Now at eighteen years old, I’m a young aspiring female coach at Pro Touch Academy in London. I train a range of groups there, such as young people with special educational needs and female players in secondary school.
One of the things I most enjoy about coaching is seeing the passion that the young people have for the sport and that they feel the same way about it as I did at their age. When I see their passion, I know they can make it where they want to if they truly believe in themselves.
Football gives young people a getaway. At school if I wanted to take my mind off things, I knew the pitch was the place to go. It’s also a great way for young people to make friends. I’ve been playing football for over ten years now and still talk to the friends I made back when I started.
The lockdowns did have a big effect on things. Everyone was stuck inside and it was harder to stay active. My local football pitch was locked up with a big padlock. Checking that the young people were doing ok was a top priority for me. We started running Zoom sessions so we could keep in touch. Even if we couldn’t play football, it was good to communicate and interact with each other.
My dad’s support helped me to stay positive over the last year and on Thank You Day I’ll be thanking him. When he saw me sitting inside, he’d encourage me to go to the park, kick a ball around and keep active. My dad is a Transport for London worker and he’s still been working and providing for us all through the pandemic. He’s such a hard worker and that motivates me to be like him.
There are people out there, like my dad, who have worked really, really hard over the last year when others couldn’t, and they deserve their day on the 4th July. The NHS nurses especially because they carried on even when case numbers were high – I’d like to thank them as well.
Thank You Day is a way for us to express our feelings to each other really and truly, and not just keep them bottled up. As well as encouraging others to step forward and say thank you, I plan to celebrate by getting my dad a little gift and spending time with him. I hope that the people who are thanked will realise we’re thinking about you. It’s not like you’ve been alone during this time.
The young people I coach are so happy to be back playing again. They are communicating with everyone and anyone, and just really listening to what the coaches say. I can see that they did really miss football. They even missed school and normally they say they hate school! People often don’t appreciate stuff until it’s gone and lockdown really showed us that you have to appreciate the little things in life.
Meet all the Thank You Day proposers.