Alex Scott explains why his mother is his role model and how parents can help children find theirs

With the highly anticipated UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final set to kick off in July, Alex Scott hopes to inspire young women and girls to support the Lionesses and get into the beautiful game.

The former Arsenal, Lioness and Team GB player is an outstanding role model, acts as a mentor to many current Lionesses and has always been an excellent spokesperson for women’s football.

But the woman who inspired her to pursue her career was not another footballer at all. It was his mom.

“Everything she had to sacrifice and do for me to play football and pursue my dreams will never be lost on me,” Scott shares.

“I don’t think she understands the role she played in helping me get to where I am today.”

And his mum made a lot of sacrifices, especially when she signed with Arsenal when she was 8 years old. Some parents may worry that letting their child immerse themselves in such a difficult career at a young age could disrupt their childhood, but Scott is so grateful. mother let him follow his dreams.

“It gave me a direction. If I didn’t have football, where would I be today? What kind of person would I be? It gave me confidence. It allowed me to express myself in an environment where I felt safe.

Arsenal’s Alex Scott (left) and Rachel Yankey (right) celebrate their 4-1 win over Charlton Athletic in the Women’s FA Cup final match at the City Ground, Nottingham (Nick Potts/PA)

She was able to grow up with amazing footballers and explore her potential, encouraged by her friends and family.

Being around other sportswomen from an underrepresented background has also helped Scott realize his full potential, and two of his biggest role models in the sporting world are the Williams sisters. “Everything they had to fight to get over it, they did it with such grace. They never made excuses. It was like, ‘No, we will continue to be us and fight in our own way’.”

But, early in her career, Scott had no idea she would be such an important mentor and role model to so many in the sport, including current England captain Leah Williamson – a lifelong Arsenal fan.

Scott admires the drive and dedication of Williamson, who passes on his passion to the next generation.

“If you look at Leah, who was just announced as England captain, her story and everything she stands for, I think she’s going to be a huge role model for a lot of people who will pass into the next generation. She is incredible.”

Scott is also a LEGO Ambassador and, as national sponsor of the Women’s Euro, the brand has launched a new study revealing that more than three quarters (79%) of young girls admire women who defy gender expectations at the Ancient. Alongside the campaign, Alex visited schools, talked about football, diversity and role models, and was touched by some of the experiences of the children she met.

“This boy said that when he had his head down his coach gave him the motivation to keep smiling and keep playing. Oh my God – he just popped this out of nowhere! Sometimes as a role model you not sure how much of an impact it could have on the direction of someone’s life.

If parents can show their children various role models, role models from a similar background, or people who can inspire them to overcome obstacles, Scott believes it can help a child immeasurably.

“It lets you see something real in someone and connect with their story. If they managed to go on and do something, whether it was playing at Wembley or getting the job they wanted, that gives you conviction. It was this extra inspiration that she created, me too, no matter my situation or the card that was dealt to me. I can change that’.

Representation has a wonderful ripple effect, and in the 100 years since the FA banned women’s football, we have seen these role models come forward and create a more inclusive space.

Scott says: “In 2002 we had used men’s first team football kits. And I felt like I was wearing a parachute. Even having women with their own custom fitted kits is a step.

With each generation of honest and brilliant female footballers, the sport has grown stronger and stronger, showing the power of women and girls to not only inspire each other, but to inspire change in the industry.

The LEGO Group has launched ‘Play Your Own Way’ lesson plans to encourage children to celebrate the people who inspire them through play, in partnership with UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. Teachers can sign up for download the resources from WEURO2022Schools.com.

Rebecca R. Santistevan