Olivia Smart to help mark International Women's Day

Olivia Smart to help mark International Women\'s Day

Leeds United Women's player to host special Q and A with young females.

Leeds United are showing their support for International Women’s Day today and to help mark the occasion Olivia Smart will be hosting a special Q and A with young aspiring female footballers.

International Women’s Day is an annual campaign that is celebrated on 8 March around the world and is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights – celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias, and taking action for equality.

To help support the occasion, Leeds United Women’s star Olivia Smart, who also works as a trainee advanced practitioner at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, is taking part in an exclusive online event with young females that are currently working with the Leeds United Foundation through their Girls Academy and Shadow Squad.

Held over Zoom, Olivia will be discussing her life as a footballer for the Leeds United Women’s team as well as life as a career woman, especially working for the NHS throughout a worldwide pandemic and how she has balanced her love of football with education, her career and family and friends.

The club’s official charity deliver a number of female specific programmes, ensuring there are plenty of opportunities for young girls to play football, develop their skills and have the chance to progress through a female pathway.

The Girls Academy consists of an Under-10s, Under-11s, Under-12s, Under-14s and Under-16s team with 66 players across all of the different teams. It is a Tier 1+ Academy that allows players identified as having elite potential the opportunity to access appropriate levels of coaching and support to ensure they have all of the tools to progress into the England talent pathway.

The Shadow Squad consists of 200 young females, with weekly sessions delivered to several ages groups. This programme allows individuals to develop their skills and ability with an environment provided to encourage participation in football with a high standard of coaching giving youngsters the opportunity to progress into the Girls Academy, if that is the right route for them as an individual.

If you would like more information about the work being done to increase opportunities for females through the Leeds United Foundation, please contact Abigail.Lee@leedsunited.com.

For further information about International Women's Day, with the theme for 2021 entitled #ChooseToChallenge, please click here.

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.