Sport student shines on Rising Leaders programme

26th April 2023

A Sport & Exercise Science student from Solihull College & University Centre is delighted to have been selected to be part of the Association of College’s (AoC) Rising Leaders programme pilot.

Rising Leaders is a programme funded by The Football Association (FA) and delivered by AoC Sport as part of their commitment to develop greater equality of opportunities within the game. The programme is particularly focused on female applicants of Black, Asian, Mixed or other ethnic backgrounds with the aim of increasing resilience, motivation, communication skills and more.

Lleyla Wallace, 17 from Solihull, has been enjoying the programme so far. The first meeting took place at a hotel in Warwick where she undertook a series of workshops and activities alongside the other members of the pilot, who she describes as “like a family”.

student looking at camera smiling
Lleyla has been a tremendous support to her peers and produces work to the highest standard

Lleyla comments: “It was eye opening to hear stories of girls struggling to reach the career they want and the barriers they have faced – whether that be gender, money, family and others. It’s important to give them a voice. This programme gives us the confidence that we can do anything.”

Alongside the programme, Lleyla is working hard on her Level 3 Sports course at the College and is relishing getting stuck into her assignments. Her favourite so far was to create a warm-up programme. She explains: “This assignment was an insight into my future. I want to become a coach, potentially for the Lionesses. I like motivating people and I’m a perfectionist so was keen to get it right!”

Lleyla submitted her application for the Rising Leaders programme with the help of tutor Nadine Okyere. Nadine comments: “Lleyla has made tremendous progress since enrolling on the Foundation Diploma. She has a passion for learning and continues to pursue opportunities to enhance her employability skills and apply her acquired sports knowledge into the real world.

I have really seen her confidence grow through the opportunities she has taken up this academic year. She has been proactive in her role, supporting others and ensuring her work is to the highest standard, which hasn’t gone unnoticed by members of the sports teaching team.

Lleyla is a credit to the department and a true inspiration for future generations of females in sport.”

With 3 more events to come as part of the programme, including attending the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley, Lleyla is excited to learn as much from the programme as she can.

Find out more about the College’s Sport & Exercise Science courses: Sport & Exercise Science