The National American National Football League (NFL) have made a huge decision in appointing the first female coach in its history – 37-year old Jen Welter, who’ll be working with Arizona Cardinals. About time, too!
It’s been a trailblazing year for Miss Welter, who also holds a PhD in psychology, and she spoke honestly to reporters about overcoming her own self-doubt now she’s been appointed: “I’ve thought of all the reasons why I might be the wrong person to do this. ‘You’re too small [she’s 5 foot 2], you’re too this, you’re too that,’ she continues. ‘The truth is if I can change the game, literally, for any of those girls, it’s worth it. Because it’s really not about me. It’s about them and the future of the sport.”
“I want little girls to grow up knowing when they put their minds to something,” Jen says. “When they work hard, they can do anything,” Welter said. And she joked with reporters about how she couldn’t care less about being a cheerleader when she was a teenager: ‘Heck no!’ Adding she told the other girls, ‘I’d drop you because I’d be watching the game.’
Tweeters have been sending her messages of support since the news broke, sharing her sentiments about what this means for women in sport. One father wrote: “@jwelter47 – As the dad to 3 girls & NFL fan glad your breaking major ground here! Your success is such a positive role model for them.”
Jen’s NFL hiring is a major breakthrough in fighting the gender battle in sport – but like she says herself “coaching is coaching. Last year when they saw that I was a football player, it didn’t matter if I were a guy or a girl. The love and passion for football is second to none… It’s an opportunity to inspire!”
By Emma Firth