Lois Balfour, HCSA Football Development Officer has completed a 3-month long coaching academy with Nike as part of The Powerhouse Project [PHP] to empower the next generation of female leaders in football. 

Lois was selected to be one of twelve aspiring coaches to join the programme as part of the PHP second cohort. The programme aimed at providing an opportunity for female coaches with a UEFA C licence to improve their skills and experience to aid preparation ahead of taking the next step in their coaching journey on the UEFA B licence course.

The UEFA B licence is a crucial qualification for any coach hoping to work in the elite side of the game, and it is often a minimum requirement to work in any professional football academy.

The unique programme provided Lois with an ‘unforgettable experience’ as she participated in a series of masterclasses and on-pitch sessions at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground; a trip to one of the biggest powerhouses in world football, FC Barcelona and various networking opportunities at Nike HQ in London.

Lois Bafour said: “It has honestly been an unforgettable experience, I feel so lucky to have been selected to be part of The Powerhouse Project and receive these opportunities with 12 other females which are now lifelong friends.

“The Barcelona trip allowed me to be exposed to a new world of football and it has motived me even more to continue to work hard so I can achieve my goals of working up the coaching pyramid.

“I would like to thank Nike London, Powerhouse Project, Sports Direct and The FA for believing in this project as it truly does have an impact on my development as a person and a female coach.

“I would also like to thank Peter Betts and the rest of team at The New Croft for being so flexible and supportive with my development and helping me along the way.”

Lois hopes to use her experience to inspire other females in Suffolk and wants to encourage others to get involved in the game within their local area.