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Name Leah Williamson
Gender Female
Ethnic xxxx
Job xxxxx Footballer
Desc xxxx

Affiliation

Org xxxx Women National Team
Club as Player Arsenal Women

2015 04 11 Retrieve

[Leah Williamson on what she did in the hours between the England women’s U-19 team game against Switzerland and the replayed last few moments of their match against Norway, and on taking ‘that’ penalty in the latter] I went for a sleep. There was nothing else to do. I have never felt calmer than when she blew that whistle. I have experienced every single emotion over the past 24 hours. It’s incredible and my mum managed to change her flights home so she could stay and watch. That was really nice

2019 10 11 Retrieve

[Leah Williamson’s pride as Arsenal launch Jakarta coaching scheme] I’m quite an emotional person, I can’t hide it very well. But when I was there I felt like I had to be very hard faced and strong. On the plane it definitely hit home a little bit, that’s when I really started to think about what I’d just been through. To see it and experience it is bad enough, but then having to leave those girls there in those circumstances is tough. You wish you could do more. That’s why the programme really is a Godsend because you know that environment is still going to be there for them

[Zaatari, one of the largest refugee camps in the world that sits an hour’s drive away from Amman, the capital of Jordan] Seeing it helping those kids so much was incredible. The reason I love it and I said this when I was there, was I couldn’t believe how much Arsenal were involved. It’s not like we were dumping a bag of money off and then coming back and visiting to see what’s been done, it’s literally Arsenal in Indonesia, which is pretty special. That’s the best thing about it. Not just for the kids but for the coaches that we teach, who then go on to deliver the programme. Sometimes I take it for granted how good this club is, how classy and world-leading we are in terms of what we do. It’s not just a football club and seeing first-hand how far and wide we reach and the impact we can have, was very special

[While on the ground in Jakarta, Williamson joined in with two coaching sessions which were being held on the pitch which had been purpose built by Arsenal] To have an hour each day having such a great time with the girls, without speaking the same language, was a highlight for me.

[She learnt that Diah’s father left while she was still very young and now she has to provide for her family, selling snacks from a kiosk she has opened outside her house each night] She wakes up in the morning early to get the snacks to sell on her stall after school. She works to support her family, but also finds time to go and play football because she knows how good it is. On top of that she’s appealing for children’s rights and is trying to raise awareness about child labour to the deputy minister of the area. I just sat there listening to her thinking, ‘how is this child capable of being so amazing?’ Then after I left someone told me she actually baby sits in the evening as well to earn money. She’s 14 and has the weight of the world on her shoulders trying to support her family

I met her the first day, she came to play on the pitch. That’s when I saw what she should be all the time, just being a kid having fun. When I spoke to her in her house I saw the vulnerable side of her that makes me so glad that Save the Children and the Arsenal Foundation are supporting her, because she does need it. You see on the pitch what the project is bringing out of her. It’s letting her just be a kid again. It’s an escape from her life back at home. She loves her family and she’s aware of how hard her circumstances are. She’s tired all the time, but the fact that she still turns up at the project every week and that she loves it so much, shows how much she is benefitting from it as well

2020 06 05 Retrieve

[Opponents have tended to man-mark Williamson. In that interview, Leah expressed surprise at Manchester City opting to man man-mark her during the league game between the teams in October] Jen Beattie played next to me in that game and she has played for City, so they know how good she is on the ball. It was almost redundant because it meant she had more time