Gemma Smith


GEMMA SMITH, Manager of the Birmingham Women’s Futsal League and founder of the new SPORTING PATHWAYS initiative?

Gemma has a distinguished background in football as a goalkeeper, even though she is a more than useful outfield player.

She first joined a club aged 11 when she was scouted by BIRMINGHAM CITY – the club she proudly supports.

Gemma was at Birmingham from the ages of 11 to 16, also being chosen to represent the Birmingham County Centre of Excellence from 14 to 16.

The highlight of Gemma’s career came when she was selected for the England Under-17s squad following a successful trial.

She was in the standby squad, and while she did not progress any further, it was still a fantastic achievement of which she is rightly very proud as there was a lot of high-class competition in that age group.

As a senior, Gemma was also at Coventry City for two seasons.

As her career in the leisure industry developed, Gemma found she had less time for football, but the game still plays a massive part in her life.

She recently earned a promotion to become technical manager of the Birmingham International Futsal Arena. Gemma also co-ordinates the ever-growing Birmingham Women’s Futsal Leagues.

She said: “When we started off in March last year we had just two teams, but now we’ve got three divisions and 18 teams. I’ve been involved in ladies football for a number of years so managed to attract a lot of players that way, but also through advertising on networking sites like Facebook and word of mouth.” Gemma Works at Birmingham International Futsal Area as Girl’s and Women’s Futsal Co-ordinator/Technical Manager.

Hobbies/ Interests

· Playing a variety of sports

· Socialising with Friends

· Keeping Fit

what do you like about sports and your work?

· To build my strength physically and mentally

· To build my character. Always give 100%

· To make friends.

· To learn how to be a team player.

· To learn to accept criticism.

· To learn to recognise my strengths and weaknesses and to be willing to work on them.

· To learn how to be gracious in both victory and defeat.

· To learn to respect other people’s opinions, whether you agree or not.

· To learn to work and fight for what I believe in.

· To gain self-confidence for what I’ve accomplished.

· To learn to set goals for yourself, no matter how high.

· To appreciate the fact that I’m blessed with a healthy body capable of playing.

· To understand that no one is perfect. Learn from your mistakes, but do not dwell on them.

· To learn to budget my time. Work comes first, play second.

· To know that no matter how well or how poorly you play, Sports do not define people, people define sports.

Work/ Voluntary Work

· Desire to learn new skills

· Have fun and make a difference to other people’s lives.

· Give something to others that aren’t as fortunate as myself

· Social work environment – Meeting new people who share the same interests and values

· Love to play and promote sports

· Very rewarding to see results from our hard work and also seeing a positive impact on other people’s lives through our successful events.

Who do I admire?

The two people that I admire the most are my Mom & Dad.

There are so many reasons that my mom and dad are the ones that inspire me the most especially when it comes to my sporting career. They are always there to help, give advice, support and there for me no matter what.

What Have I gained through playing sports?

· A Job in the leisure industry that I love doing

· Met lots of new people and made friends

· Kept me fit and encouraged me to lead a healthy lifestyle

· Gained qualifications and experience through playing and coaching sports

What Achievements am I most proud of?

· Going on trial for England Ladies football team and making it to stand by at the age of 17.

· Representing my county and also being part of a centre of excellence also for football.

· Organising and completing the 10 and 20 hour Women’s futsal marathon and T10 Cricket events. All of which were really successful and great to be a part of, most importantly raising money for charities for children with disabilities.

Biggest Challenge/ Obstacle course I’ve overcome/ Experienced Discrimination/Prejudice

· Organising and completing the 10 and 20 hour Women’s futsal marathon and T10 Cricket events. It’s really hard to find time to promote and run big events when you already have a full time job. It’s definitely a big challenge but we have done three very successful events and have more planned for the near future. I really enjoy the challenge and the positive results you see on other people’s lives through your hard work and determination to succeed.

· Also women and sport is another obstacle I have faced. As the main sport I play is football which is said to be male dominated. You have to prove yourself more, work harder and prove that women are just as capable as men when it comes to playing sports.

Future aspirations

· To set the world record for playing futsal non-stop

· To organise and run many more charity events that are as successful as the others.

· To encourage everyone to play sports as I really believe sport can have a positive effect on anyone’s life.

How would I encourage others to get into sports?

Greater confidence and self-awareness

Improved health, fitness and overall well-being

Greater social contact and interaction

Less isolation and loneliness

Increased ability to deal with stress

Greater sense of relaxation and well-being

Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression

Improved self-esteem and self-image

· Physically active play develops motor and social skills, intellectual capacities and concepts, and creativity. Sport and recreation can reduce self-destructive and delinquent behavior in young people, and contribute to a more disciplined attitude.


Birmingham City Football Club

Birmingham County Centre of Excellence

England Under 17′s

Coventry City Football Club

Birmingham Futsal Technical Manager

Footbal Level 2 Coach

Futsal Level 2 Coach

Futsal Qualified Referee

Cottage Farm Football Club

SportingPathways Founder

Hosted First Ever Women Futsal Marathon 10 Hour Record 2012

Hosted Women’s Indoor T10 Cricket World Cup 2012

Hosted Women’s Futsal Marathon 20 Hour Record 2012

Hosted World Dodge Ball 2013

Hosted Women’s Indoor T10 Cricket World Cup 2013