Manisha Taylor is a trainer, footballer coach and scout and sports journalist.  She will be joining our sports panel to discuss the Business of Sport on Saturday 29th June at Birkbeck, University of London.

By profession Manisha is a Primary school teacher with a BA Education (QTS) from Goldsmiths College, University of London. she has been working in education for over 12 years and since qualifying has attained the National Professional Qualification for headship (NPQH), which qualifies her to become a Headteacher, in addition to a MA in Leadership. Manisha is a former Deputy Headteacher, and presently working part-time as a football coach (left full-time employment last year to complete her Masters degree).

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HOW DID YOU GET INTO COACHING:

I started playing football when I was 8 years old (1988), so already had a natural interest within the game.  Coaching gave me the opportunity to utilise the skill set that I had gained in teaching, and knowledge and passion for the game. I love learning and passing on learning, so coaching was a natural progression.

 

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COACHING ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Impact in schools – I have pioneered the first football club in respective schools and run them during lunchtimes/after school. This began with a club for boys which then grew to a separate girls team, who began to take interest. I felt being actively involved with them to promote the sport was imperative to gain interest from both boys and girls as well as their parents – leading by example to breaking down stereotypes and barriers was key. Since leaving my former schools I have ensured that football is sustained in liaising with Rachel Yankey (Arsenal/England) – those schools now use her programme as an external partner. As a result of my involvement in the FAs ‘football needs campaign’, interest and participation from BME girls within schools I work in has increased.
  • Gibbons Wreckers Youth Football Club (Community club based in Harlesden – volunteer – 2 hours per week)   I am the head coach and manager for the Under 7 team and have been coaching at the club for 3 seasons. I am also involved in other aspects of the club such as: creating a coaching handbook; creating a club video for our open day for parents, and organisation of resources as well as writing risk assessments for external visits and leading on the taught coaching programme/curriculum. My role is also to liaise with the schools in which our players belong to – working jointly to impact and nurture the holistic development of each player (social, psychological, technical, physical and educational).
  • Indian Gymkhana (This is an Asian community men’s team based in West London. I volunteer – 1.5 hours a week, match days would be an additional 2 hours) – I am the men’s 1st team coach who play in the Middlesex County Regional League (Premier Division). I have had an impact on how Asian women who work in the men’s game are perceived and viewed as professionals within their own right – having knowledge and skills within the game, equal to that of male counterparts.
  • Other – In a voluntary capacity, I help London FA, Middlesex County FA and London Playing Fields Foundation with girls in football initiatives/festivals – having a wider impact on female participation within the game at grass roots. In working with the organisation ‘Kick it Out’, in my capacity as a mentor, I have had impact on signposting young people on relevant career and coaching pathways. I currently have many young people from the BME background, including an increased number of Asian players, who I mentor. I am also a ‘master class’ coach – where I demonstrate coaching sessions, one that I did recently at Chelsea FC, for young people and adults who are seeking a career pathway into coaching. This has had wider impact, both locally and nationally on males and females within the game. I am also a shadow coach at Arsenal Ladies Football Club which is aiding my development in coaching professional elite players.  
  • Equality/Inclusion in sport –Using my personal experience and passion for equality and inclusion in sport, I have been using my monthly column in The Asian Express to highlight a variety of pertinent equality and inclusion issues and how they relate to not just the Asian Community, but society as a whole. I have recently written an article on Mental Health and Football as well as Disability Sport which has been very well received. 
  • The Rachel Yankey Football Programme – I have initiated and been the strategic lead in leading education and social inclusion projects with Rachel Yankey (England International/Team GB/Arsenal Ladies) and Wembley Stadium.  Impact has been engaging the disengaged pupils into mainstream education and learning, including students from pupil referral units and severe social/psychological/behavioural problems.
  • Fair Share Brent (community impact) – I work in partnership with the Fair Share Brent Trust, in conjunction with my youth football club, to run holiday programmes for young people within the local area. The aim of the programme is to provide a safe environment and an opportunity to be active and develop lifelong skills they can transfer into everyday lives. It is specific to those from disadvantaged and hard to reach families – providing equality in opportunity, impacting lives for a better future.
  • Arsenal Ladies CoE  – I shadow coaching sessions to aid my development as a coach.

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 Ambassador for the FA ‘Football Needs Campaign’

  • Sit on the London FA ‘Inclusion Advisory Group’ (IAG)
  • Ambassador for ‘The British Asian Sport Talent Foundation’ (BASTF)
  • Sit on the ‘Women’s Sport Trust’ Grants Board
  • Involved with the promotion of Chelsea FC’s ‘Asian Soccer Star’
  • Involved in events organised by Kick It Out (mentoring and leadership; master class coach)
  • Sport Columnist for ‘The Asian Express’ newspaper
  • Equalities tutor at ‘Kick it Out’ delivering the Kickz project within the UK
  • Academy Football scout at Brentford FC
  • Asian Women Award in Sport 2013 (shortlist)

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TESTIMONIALS:

“Manisha is an inspiration to both men and women alike, of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. She had continued to succeed in all aspects of her work within the professional games, despite adversity and circumstance. Breaking and fighting through many barriers, both personal and external – her resilience, determination and mental strength needs to be recognised. An inspirational individual and credit to the game of football” (Bobbie Chahal, Sky’s Soccer AM show)

 

“Manisha Tailor has been an integral member of the London Football Association Inclusion Advisory Group.  The LFA IAG was set up to represent the diverse community of the capital at Board and council level. The aim is to give under represented groups a voice and a choice on how football is run in London. Manisha joined the group at an important transitional period and helped the group become a standing committee within the London FA structure. Manisha sits on the group and represent multiple groups including Women and girls, people with disabilities and Asians in football. Her experience and knowledge is valuable to the group, for setting up different programmes that are designed to increase participation for BME and under represented groups. Manisha acts as an inspirational role model to young females that want to get involved with football and sport, whether it’s, participation, coaching or an ambassadorial role. As a coach Manisha has so much to offer, and in the current climate where women in coaching roles are so low in comparison to the population, we need the likes of Manisha to change it. If anyone Manisha deserves this award for the work she does in the community and the ambassador she is for women in sport. The columns and blogs that she writes are enlightening and inspirational for all to read and the London FA are very lucky to have her representing us in the community.” (Darren Smith, Football Development Officer at The London FA – Inclusion)

 

“Manisha is a wonderfully dedicated individual who has a tremendous passion and desire to achieve in football.  She will continue to progress and I have no doubt she will achieve all of her ambitions” (Troy Townsend, Leadership and Mentoring Manager – Kick it Out)

“It is a pleasure to work with Manisha and see her grow in confidence while working in the football coaching environment.  Her coaching style and ethos of allowing children to be taught through guiding them to make their own decisions, and learn through making choices whether right or wrong, has helped to build more confident players who are able to use initiative and have the resilience to think for themselves”.  (Rachel Yankey, Arsenal Ladies/England Women/Team GB)

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