Loughborough Students reflect on an inspiring Santander Women In Football trip

Last week two Loughborough students; postgraduate Sport and Exercise Psychology student Carly Perry and final year Sport and Exercise Science student Rebecca Ruscoe, were selected to take part in an exclusive event to develop the future leaders of women in football.

Both students have represented Loughborough Students Women’s Football Club over the past year and are seeking roles within the sector when they graduate this year. The event was hosted in Barcelona by Santander Universities and featured a three-day experience full of networking opportunities, educational and practical workshops, and an opportunity to enjoy a Champions League match and stadium tour of the Nou Camp.

On day one, both students attended the Santander Women In Football conference that celebrated the growth of women’s football and made visible future career paths and opportunities.

The second day brought a unique experience to the students as they were coached by Albert ‘Chapi’ Ferrer a former Barcelona and Chelsea player and the coach of Barcelona’s Legends team. Additionally, the students enjoyed the Barcelona vs Lyon match capturing Lionel Messi’s penalty in a 4-1 win for Barcelona.

 The final day included a stadium tour and a traditional Spanish lunch prior to departure.

Rebecca commented on the trip;

“Going to Barcelona was a fantastic experience for me. I really enjoyed being trained by former professional coaches and to meet fellow likeminded women from universities across the UK. I also found it interesting how Santander demonstrated that what we learn on the pitch can be transferred into leadership in business roles. Thank you to Santander and Loughborough Sport for allowing us to have such an amazing experience.”

Carly reflected on the experience saying;

“The trip to Barcelona was incredible and insightful. At the conference, we heard various female speakers discuss the immense strides women have made in football and business which was powerful and exciting. Along with the conference, it was really fun to meet 72 other footballers from around the UK and attend a match at Camp Nou—Messi is unreal.

A big thank you to Santander and Loughborough Sport for sending Becca and I on a trip that we will never forget!”

Santander Universities UK launched in 2007; encompassing 84 universities, and providing over £10m of funding in 2018 alone. The programme focuses on education, entrepreneurship and employability giving all students the opportunity to succeed.