Elisha Stewart moved to the Northern Beaches in 2008 having grown up in the Eastern Suburbs. Having never played football before, her journey started when her son joined Curl Curl FC when he was just 4, and eventually all three of her children ended up playing at the club. Encouraged by some other football mums, she decided to join a newly formed team herself 4 years later in 2016, but having never played before it was a steep learning curve.
Inspired by the coaches that had trained her children, she decided to dive into coaching in 2018 with her daughter’s newly formed W8 team. Elisha took it upon herself to gain as much knowledge as she could to become a good coach, starting by obtaining her MiniRoos Certificate, then her Skill Training and Game Training Certificates in the following years.
“I thoroughly enjoy every aspect of coaching. It can be challenging at times, but the joy that I see from the girls that I coach makes it worth every minute I put into planning and coaching. Watching the girls grow in their knowledge and skills as the months and years have gone by is so incredibly rewarding”.
As the team of girls she coaches were moving through the Skill Acquisition phase, Elisha wanted to take her coaching further, so in 2021 she completed her C-Licence.
“The C-Licence was an incredibly in-depth course that challenged me and taught me so much about football. Eugene and his team of educators were so knowledgeable and encouraging. Their passion for football is truly inspiring. They are so dedicated to what we as community coaches can do to strengthen Australian football at a grassroots level. I left the course with confidence, knowledge, and an increased level of passion to help my girls and the club in any way possible”.
Elisha felt indebted to the coaches that have had such an impact on her children’s pathway in sport that she wanted to try repay the favour by doing the same thing for other children. She has started to help coach at her club’s Development Training sessions and also coach with the Sporting Schools Program run by Football Australia where her free time allows.
Prior to this, at the end of 2021, Elisha took part in the Future Coaches Program.
“I was not sure what to expect from the program, at some points I felt like I was back at University! Everything we learnt was football related but through a difference lens. We learnt to look at football through a new set of eyes and at a much deeper level. It made me really think about every aspect of the game and deepened my desire to continue to have a positive impact on the girls that I coach. The course really inspired a deeper level of thinking both on and off the field. It also allowed me to meet and connect with the most amazing group of like-minded coaches. A truly amazing program to be part of.”
Just this past week Elisha took her team of W12/1 girls to Canberra to compete in the Kanga Cup, something she had always wanted to do but had not felt confident enough to take part in until now. The team exceeded her expectations and made the finals finishing as runners up in the Tournament Plate.
“It was the most incredible week of Football, the girls just grew and lifted with each game. Everything that I have learnt over the years in coaching courses I tried to use to guide the girls in a positive and encouraging way. Their love of the game and incredible sportsmanship was shown in the celebration at the conclusion of the finals, there was not a sad face on any team member. They knew they gave it their all and played an amazing match and they are just looking forward to doing it all over again. For me that is everything. I just want to help as many girls and kids as I can to love the game, continue to play for as long as possible at whatever level they are wanting to get to.”
MWFA is looking forward to seeing Elisha continuing to inspire and support the development of lots of young players.
Look out for more articles on other MWFA Future Coaches over the coming months.