CHAY Hathway is stepping down as Chair of the Suffolk FA Youth Council.
The 18-year-old from Woodbridge has been Chair for the past two years.
A Youth Council member for three years, Chay was one of only a dozen apprentices taken on by The FA last September from more than 500 applicants across the country.
Since then he has been working at Wembley Stadium developing his skills and experience alongside national staff.
Chay, who is also a Level 5 referee and a member of the FA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (FA CORE), said: “The Youth Council has exposed me to an environment and allowed me to interact with some key people at The Football Association.
“This inspired and helped me to understand the environment in which they work in.
“Furthermore, I gained an understanding of the key objectives both for Suffolk FA and The FA which I have no doubt helped me when it came to my interview almost a year ago.
“My experiences working at The FA have only further developed and inspired me. Before working at The FA I would dip into these amazing environments; I now have the opportunity to be part of them every single day.”
Chay (pictured above) continued: “It’s also been great to build bonds with both the RAFA Youth Council and the National Game Youth Council, who have given me massive amounts of support and provided inspiration along the way.
“I’ve been given opportunities in every part of football from writing stories to go on the Suffolk FA website, to social media and the videos, also getting used to meeting and interacting with some of the key stakeholders in the game.
“The Youth Council really have been given total control over our journey over the last three years and I believe that this will certainly continue.
“It’s often said young people are the future of football but in Suffolk young people are taking control of football in the present. It’s also been great to see the journey of other young leaders in particular Eva Hubbard, who started on the Youth Council with me, but also seeing people who have come through the Football Futures programme and are now further developing in various areas of football.
“Seeing the journey of the Youth Council has been extremely pleasing from starting from beginning to having our own identity and gaining the respect and recognition of both the Suffolk FA staff as well as board and council members.
“The Youth Council has taken me further than I could ever have imagined and I hope it will continue to inspire people as much as it’s inspired me.”
Suffolk FA Youth Council co-ordinator James Morley said: “I would like to say a big thank you and well done to Chay for his time as part of the Suffolk FA Youth Council.
“He has been a credit to himself for the hard work which he has put in over the last three years. When I first met Chay he was quiet and lacked confidence, but now through his time on the Youth Council he has really grown in confidence and developed into an impressive young man.
“Chay’s journey is a great example of what being part of the Football Futures and the Youth Council can do for a young leader who is looking for opportunities to develop their early career and create some great foundations which they are able to build on.
“We would like to wish Chay all the best for the future with his refereeing and his career.
“We are in the process of appointing a new Suffolk FA Youth Council Chairman to lead our current young leaders who have an exciting future together and developing as a group with the support of Suffolk FA staff and board.”
If you are interested in joining the Suffolk FA Youth Council, please contact James Morley at Suffolk FA on 01449 616606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in joining the Football Futures programme sponsored by R Bugg Trading Ltd, please contact James Morley via the above.