Deaf Caister footballer prepares to kick off Stateside sporting career
PUBLISHED: 07:55 03 August 2012
A TALENTED Caister sportswoman has achieved a lifetime's ambition after netting herself a place in an all female football team across the pond.
Gemma Newson is jetting off to the United States next week to take up her position as goalkeeper for the women’s football team at the University of Texas.
The 20 year old already plays for the English and Great British deaf football teams but said she cannot wait to kick off her American career.
“It’s been my dream to play in America, it hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” she added. “The whole team’s aim is to win the nationals but my personal aim is to get the most experience that I can, and then bring it back here and give that back to the Great Britain and England deaf football team.”
The former Caister junior and high school student had posted her sporting CV online through a specialist website, with hopes of going to play on US soil after completing her studies at the University of Bedford.
But she got an unexpected call when the University of Texas contacted her as they were keen to sign her up as the team’s goalie.
At first she had to turn the offer down as they only offered her a part scholarship but the Americans were so keen to snap her up they came back with a full offer, meaning all her costs are paid for.
Gemma said she was keen to play in America as women’s football is a “massive thing” in the States and much harder than it is in the UK.
She will now be staying on campus with her international team mates while continuing to study sports science and is looking forward to Stateside university life and getting to see more of the country through her footballing.
Gemma, who also studied at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, said: “The season runs from late August to December and we have only got five home games, the rest are away.
“I’m nervous definitely. We get there and we’re straight into the pre-season and up at 6 o’clock in the morning for training every day. I’m not really a morning person so that will be quite hard.”
Her mum Debbie, 47, added: “She’d always said ‘one day I’m going to go to America and play football’ and here we are. I’m very proud of her, she’s done very well. Everybody says the best place for training, especially in women’s football, is America.
“So for someone to offer her that full scholarship as well, you can’t possibly turn it down.”
Gemma’s US signing is not the only exciting boost for her footballing career as she is also hoping to take part in next year’s Deaflympics.
She is looking for sponsorship to help her get to Bulgaria as athletes are self-funded and she needs to raise £4,000 to compete.
If you could help her with sponsorship, email firstname.lastname@example.org