Kirsty Turner at The FDC

Kirsty Turner: International Women's Day

Marketing & Communications
As part of International Women’s Day being this week, we posed some questions to a volunteer at Thetford Bulldogs FC, Kirsty Turner.

As part of International Women’s Day being this week, we posed some questions to a volunteer at Thetford Bulldogs FC, Kirsty Turner, about her experiences as a female in the grassroots game.


What is your involvement in Norfolk Football?

I am a Volunteer at Thetford Bulldogs FC and I got involved after a friend of mine asked me to take my son to a training session with her son. Many parents were doing some fundraising, and this included 5v5 football matches, a little fun day with a few teams of parents playing football against each other to raise funds for the club. I was a part of one of the mum’s teams and it was a great day.

I enjoy being a volunteer because I get to meet lots of different people and hear lots of children having fun, learning, and meeting new friends. I also have made some great friends over the years.

Roles and responsibilities of mine have included sponsoring new kit, being co-treasurer to help the club grow, making teas and coffees every week on match days to raise funds to pay the referees and marking out the pitches.

My football family have helped me through so much over the years.


As a female in the grassroots game have you ever had to overcome any barriers?

Yes, as a female in grassroots football I have had to overcome some barriers. For a start, being brave enough when my son’s team needed a new coach otherwise his team would have folded at U12s. So, I went to our Club chairman and asked if I could do my level 1 coaching badge, he agreed and when I went to do the course there was another female coach. We joined in the practical aspects, but you could feel yourself being watched.

I just got stuck in as it was something that I really wanted to do for my son and others, I thought I can do this just as well as they could. I really enjoyed the course and have since come across some male coaches in games that didn’t respect me as a female, but I have met more men that do show me respect in comparison. I have gone on to do other courses and have felt more accepted as a volunteer in football.


What else could we do at a local level to get more females involved in Norfolk Football?

I think Norfolk FA have promoted getting more females into the game, but there is still that stigma that if you volunteer, play or coach you must be a lesbian. I have heard this personally. But I think as the years have gone on and more females have become involved in the game this isn’t seen as much. It has grown so much over the last 2 years. ANYONE CAN GET INVOLVED!


What would be your advice to other females who may wish to take a step into the game?

If you are thinking about getting into football, either as a volunteer, player, referee, or coach - JUST DO IT! It’s great! I only wish I had done it sooner, although I did it for my son, I wanted to play when I was at school but was told football wasn’t for girls.

Five years ago, when I volunteered to start our Weetabix Wildcats programme, I did it to give more girls a chance to learn and play football, as I had noticed although we had a few girls in different teams, there were girls that also wanted to play with just their friends. Best thing ever. Contact someone for a chat, get involved, you won’t regret it.


What has been your highlight of being involved in Norfolk Football?

As a volunteer I have been so lucky to have so many highlights. Over the years as a volunteer, I have enjoyed so many Thetford Bulldogs team’s matches.

A highlight that stands out for me was watching my son play football with his friends because I helped to make this possible. At U17 level, we even reached a cup final. He stopped playing at U21’s but I couldn’t stop, I am still a volunteer.

In 2014, I won a competition to play at Wembley with Ellen White as my coach, this was just as she was turning pro. I played with a lot of girls that had been playing for a while at Wembley and even got to climb the 100 steps to collect a winner’s medal.

My most recent highlight has to be becoming a Weetabix Wildcats provider where it doesn’t matter about the ability of a young girl, it is more about making friends, having fun, and falling in love with football.

We have recently teamed up with Ipswich Academy and we were able to send some of our girls that are currently playing in our three brand new teams to the Academy. Some had never even kicked a football before they joined us last year.

Another special moment to me was being crowned Norfolk FA’s Volunteer of the Year at their annual Awards Evening.


Did anyone inspire you to get involved in the game?

Yes, my son, and the other volunteers at Thetford Bulldogs fc. I thought I want to be a part of this and give something back to our community.

I still work with some fantastic volunteers and think how lucky I am, and I never regret it for a minute. Love it!

Never a dull moment.


Should you want to know more about female football in Norfolk, or want to get involved, please e-mail our Football Development Officer, Harry Diggens, on