The Influencers

The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself

I have encountered a variety of people in my life so far. These people have supported, guided, signposted and nurtured me. They have helped me get to where I am today; with netball, with school and with my blog! (Shoutout to my careers advisor, Kerry. She is the one who told me to start this blog, so I think she’s pretty cool!) 
Obviously, two of the greatest and most positive people in my life are my parents. Without Kev and Sam, I would not be in the fortunate position that I find myself in. From my first wobbly steps, their guiding hand helped me take that leap of faith in all aspects of what I do. So when I popped out from Mum, I was Matthew Francis for the first 15 minutes, (God bless that midwife, it was her first delivery!) Dad was quick to point out that I was indeed a girl. But I’ve always questioned whether he wanted me to actually represent Matthew whilst playing for Man United as we would always go for a ‘kick-about’ in the back garden. However, at the ripe old age of 50, Dad became a fully qualified netball coach. Such was his commitment to keep me motivated in my field. Fast forward from the footy, from the age of twelve to current day, Dad and I have a daily shooting competition in our back garden. Although now, he’s finding it considerably harder to mark me as we are the same height! 
So let’s name a few teachers… Mrs Allen – patient, encouraging, witty, I have found a friend in her. Mr Collie – understanding, knowledgeable and a really amazing listener. Mrs Parsons – caring, considerate and kind. Mrs Harrison – taller than me, funnier than me… but I’m getting there and I think I’ve made a friendship there too. Mr Turns – aka ‘Richard’, someone that takes it on the chin, fundamentally a ‘good guy’ who recognises any strengths and supported any weaknesses. Mrs Challinor – inspirational, a true believer and someone who makes me value myself. (Her love of English has definitely rubbed off on me and made me want to develop my own skills as a writer… again, hence my blog!) 
All my grandparents. Their love and support is second to none. Special shoutout to Grandad for those early jumping skills on the trampoline where I would bounce away, trying to break ‘the world record’ with him counting patiently by my side.
Grandma’s determination to get me that C at GCSE in maths definitely paid off. She really never gave up. “Monday, 4:30 – 5:30, Lesson with Gma” was always pencilled in my planner. 
Nanny, who always told me that a good cup of tea was wrong without a Nanny cake. Baking together whilst I  was standing on a stool to reach the counter- yes even I needed a stool as I was smaller once upon a time.
Coaches – Danette was my old club coach and is still a firm friend. When on the same team as D, she built my resilience as a player (although I am still not a lover of the burpees punishment after missing certain shots.) Talking of shots, she’s now trying to encourage me to take shots of a different nature… stop it Danette, I’m still not legal, (give it two weeks and I’ll give you a call!)
Brooksey – the key player who got me into all this. I can never thank her enough. 
Sam and Lyn – current coaches. What can I say? Since coming under their wing (attack – lol, no pun intended,) I have become a more confident and strategic player. They have made me see the game differently. Their ability to nurture me, listen and support and give me a more positive outlook with such a happy vibe, inspires me in all I do.

My message to you is clear. Let the positive influencers in your life take you places, whether it be on or off the court. Life is about choices and it’s up to you to determine who will influence you in your decisions. 

*If you need any careers advice about university, GCSE’s or A Levels, then contact Kerry Low on She will be happy to help!*

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