Youth Council

Fantastic Experience for Ellie at National Leadership Academy


North Riding FA Youth Council member, Ellie Hall, attended The FA’s National Leadership Academy at St George’s Park in July, taking part in four days of workshops designed to improve leadership skills alongside other young people.

A record number of 60 people were in attendance, with 45 nominated by their County FAs and the rest invited by UEFA. To give you a taste of what they got up to, Ellie has kindly provided the following review of her experience.


Ellie Hall

Four days filled with learning, development, networking, making memories and fun - that’s how I would sum up The Football Association Leadership Academy 2019 (FALA19). Being new to the North Riding FA Youth Council I was naive about what FALA19 was going to consist of. Being with 60 complete strangers for four days from all around the world, whom the majority knew more about the Youth Council than I did, I was very nervous. However, my expectations were vastly exceeded and I have never made as many friendships or grown so much in four days. 

Firstly, St George’s Park was breath-taking. The world-class facilities, the relaxed atmosphere which floods the site and the knowing that the world’s best sports personnel have used the same facilities we were using made the experience so much more thrilling. In addition to this, talks by Sue Campbell (The FA’s Director of Women’s Football), Greg Clarke (Chairman of The FA) and Steve Day (Head of Participation at The FA) really emphasised the importance of youth voices in the game and how our generation can be the generation to really impact lives through the sport. 

Having such highly regarded individuals talk to us about their values, backgrounds and personal accounts combined with them sharing the same passion and desire as I and everyone else in the room made these talks such a privilege to hear. These talks really highlighted the importance of young leaders. 

The four days predominantly consisted of workshops, including, Insight, Personal Leadership Philosophy, Trust, Communication and Knowing Yourself, with reflection and group activities held every evening. Despite having a Sport and Exercise Science degree I learnt a great deal through these workshops and my thinking was really challenged during every workshop, to make me really reflect not only on my own leadership philosophy but how I conduct myself during everyday life. 

The topics were delivered so effectively which made understanding, relating and remembering the topics so easy and to this day, I am still heavily using the content I was taught on FALA19, including simple analogies which we were taught to better ourselves, our work and those around us: 

- ‘SHED’ (Sleep, hydration, exercise and diet)
- ‘BRAVING’ (Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-Judgemental and Generosity)  
- ‘The 4 Hobs’ (You, Family/Friends, Community and Work/Study) 

During one day we got the opportunity to go on an outdoor leadership activity day led by Fieri, who consist of individuals who have led groups in war and other highly dangerous activities. This day allowed us to work in groups to complete a number of leadership tasks which put everyone out of their comfort zone whilst promoting the values of a true leader and follower. 

Overall, I don’t think this article and a few words really puts into perspective just how remarkable and life changing the FALA19 was, and this was down to the FA National Youth Council, the Mentors and the 60 young leaders who were on the journey with me.  

From a shy, nervous girl on day one to leaving on day four after talking on stage in front of everyone during the closing ceremony, it just shows how much confidence and belief I gained out of the four days. The FA really has some brilliant individuals who are going to flourish to make the game better for all and I am really looking forward to the future to continue with the ‘Learning and Development Programme’ over the forthcoming season and to be part of the North Riding FA Youth Council, to change lives through football. 

To read more about the North Riding FA Youth Council and to find out how you can get involved, please visit