By Jessica Pigram and Jilyn Seah, Activities Department, East Campus.
Ashleigh Hopkins is a Lead International Coach for Chelsea FC who works closely with UWCSEA East to provide quality football training to students in the community.
How long have you been involved in your sport / activity?
I’ve been involved in professional football since 1991 - long time, I feel like an old man now...
Did you play or represent in your sport/activity? To what level?
I represented lots of teams e.g. Coventry City FC, Crystal Palace, Everton FC, Swansea City FC, Plymouth Argyle FC, Hereford United FC, Aberystwyth Town FC (Welsh Premiership), Welsh National Teams at several ages, and my county football team.
What was your training schedule like? Did you practice every day?
I trained every day, the training times were different for each manager, but normally started around 10am till 2pm.
What is your fondest memory of playing / being involved in this activity?
Playing against the class of 92 Crystal Palace v Manchester United FC.
Gaining Welsh International Caps.
Winning the World Cup 2019 (Wales Walking Football National Team).
What unexpected obstacle have you had to overcome this in your sport / activity?
Many many injuries!
Why are you interested in this activity?
Love football - it’s my life.
What is your current title and how long have you held this title?
Lead International Coach - Chelsea Football Club - 6 Months.
What are your 3 greatest successes to date?
Having Triplets - Sophia, Megan and Alex (Age 8) plus another boy is due to be born on the 22nd July
Parents of the Year 2010
Gaining my UEFA A Licence
What is most satisfying about your work right now?
Working with a great team of Chelsea FC coaches, and sharing knowledge.
What is the greatest challenge you have ever had to overcome in your career?
As mentioned before - many Injuries!
What is the best advice you have ever received? What advice would you give to our students?
Always be a 24/7 pro (on and off the field).
Can you give us three words that best describe how you feel about your profession?
Who is the icon that has influenced you the most?
Kevin Rafcliffe (Welsh Defender, Everton FC Captain).