Blackburn Rovers Community Trust’s Youth Zone sports manager Rhiannon Roberts certainly leads a busy life, juggling a full time managerial position alongside the demands of playing football at an international level.
A central defender, Rhiannon currently plays for Wales and Doncaster Rovers Belles, and this week, she has been competing in the Cyprus Cup for her country against the likes of Italy, Spain and Belgium.
Rhiannon is not only passionate about the sport she has played since she was a child, she is equally as determined to make a positive impact in the community by helping to provide opportunities for the younger generation.
Even though Rhiannon has only been in post for two months as the Trust’s sports manager at Blackburn Youth Zone, her impact has been immediate.
Alongside introducing a number of new ideas and methods to help improve participation levels at the town centre location, Rhiannon has also proven to be a role model for the children due to her high profile status within women’s football.
“I have a huge passion for making a difference and giving back to the community,” said Rhiannon. “This is not my first full time working in the community alongside playing football and I don’t have too much time to socialise outside of work and football, but this is what makes me happy.
“I am very fortunate Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and the Youth Zone support my football and this encourages me to continue working hard, motivate others and be a role model to the young people I work with at Blackburn Youth Zone.
“I work with predominately people under the age of 21 to develop and maintain a comprehensive and varied sports timetable at Blackburn Youth Zone.
“I manage the other delivery staff at the Youth Zone ensuring we run a quality session and increase the impact on young people taking part alongside thinking of new methods to engage more young people.”
Even though Rhiannon is away on international duty at the Cyprus Cup, she has still recognised the importance of her responsibilities in Blackburn for International Women’s Day.
She explained: “We are hosting a three hour Zumbathon session and afternoon tea to mark International Women’s Day. It is a fun filled two hours of dancing and exercising to a number of popular Zumba songs and we have encouraged all females to attend our event at Blackburn Youth Zone.
“We also organise female focused events on a weekly basis and every Sunday afternoon, from 1.30-3.30pm, we run a girls’ group where participants can take part in a variety of activities including dance, sport and art.
“The message I would pass on for any females looking to get involved in football or any sport for that matter is if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything. It is important to love what you do in life.”
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust chief executive officer Gary Robinson spoke highly about Rhiannon following her appointment in January. He said:
“Rhiannon has been fantastic since she joined the team and has worked extremely hard.
“The positive impact she has made at Blackburn Youth Zone was immediate and she is a great role model for any young person aspiring to not only play football, but participate in any type of sport.”