In this second part of the series in conjunction with League sponsor Orchard, we feature Kerry Harris.
Kerry wears many hats. She is the Head Coach of Cardiff Met Women and a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching at the University’s School of Sport. Last season, her Met side reclaimed the Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League title, losing only one game on their way to becoming champions for a record fifth time.
From having a wealth of experience in teaching, Kerry continued her studies at Cardiff Met by doing a MSc in Sport Coaching, a PhD and a PgC tHE. During her postgraduate studies, Kerry took on roles including a Football Development Officer, Technical Director for the Cardiff Met Football Academy and, most recently Head Coach for the women's football programme.
Kerry’s commitment to Cardiff Met and the development of the players is evident as she continues to support them and gives up so much time to ensure that these aspiring ladies have that step ladder to grow and play to the best of their ability within football. Attending university is a real privilege and Kerry always supports those whose are less fortunate and precedes to facilitate and encourage whilst opening as many doors as possible.
"It’s been a long, hard but exciting journey. I love what I do, the people I work with and the support I get. In fact, I feel very privileged and recognize that we would not be where we are without the support we have earned and worked hard to obtain. Like other clubs, we have had to earn our stripes, and do the ‘leg work’ and we continue to do so despite what other clubs think in that we get it for free."
Through her teaching and coaching she understands and caters for the diverse needs of all participants and promotes equality and inclusion. Kerry engages with and adheres to FAW safeguarding but also has her own principles on coaching for the participant’s stage of development. She ensures that every player should be tested without leaving feeling disheartened, making sure that the player knows that the process is always more important than the product and the most important thing is to enjoy it.
This approach is massively refreshing and this is what makes her a role model for these players.
In terms of jobs and influence within the community, it’s incredible to see how much their players and coaches have progressed. Kerry coaches, educates, mentors and facilitates players so that they can go and hopefully spread their principles and approach to the wider community.
As she continues to nurture and inspire these young women to triumph in football, Kerry’s influence and leadership is impressive and Cardiff Met are so thankful for this support behind them.
"I enjoy the variation every year and try and embrace the turnover of players and staff which can be difficult but essentially keeps us fresh! I’m extremely grateful to be where I am coaching, with who I am coaching and with the support that I get.
"We never take that for granted, and strive to make the very most of it. We’ve come from ‘nothing’ like other clubs but worked hard to get where we are now and into a position where life is that little bit easier (but still difficult). We will continue to push all boundaries and put Wales on the European club map."