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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Footie-mad Ailsa lands dream job

BUDDING sports reporter Ailsa Cowen has brushed shoulders with some of the best young female footballers at St George’s Park.

Year 11 West Lakes Academy student Ailsa, from Egremont, won a national competition to experience life as a sports journalist, reporting from the touch line of the UEFA Under-17 Women’s Football Finals.

Ailsa, a self-confessed football fanatic, decided to enter the competition, organised by Jump magazine and Continental UK, when she noticed one of her favourite footballers promoting it on Twitter. The competition called for entrants to create a short report on women’s football through any method they liked as long as it was fun and informative.

Ailsa, already passionate about journalism, submitted an article she had recently written about women in sport along with a video report which covered fun facts about herself. The video report highlighted Ailsa’s love for playing and watching football and her experience in writing for a local newspaper.

Jump announced Ailsa as the winner of the star prize after fighting off competition from teenagers up and down the country. She travelled to St George’s Park, the Football Association’s National Football Centre in Staffordshire, last week to take part in three days of activities.

Ailsa said: “When I first went past the sign, at the front of St George’s Park, butterflies and pure excitement rushed over me. I still couldn’t believe I was getting such a great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Ailsa was responsible for various reporting duties over the course of three days, including meeting with England’s under-17 women’s team, taking part in a press conference with the team’s coaches and reporting on their first match against Italy with her very own film crew.

Ailsa also had a tour of St George’s Park, interviewed England women’s manager Brent Hills and even updated Jump’s social media throughout the tournament.

Ailsa said: “Winning this competition gave me the best three days I’ve ever had and put me on the right track to becoming a sports journalist. I hope I’ll be lucky enough to have more experiences like this in the future.”

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