Business Owner and Soccer Coach
Ashlee has been kicking goals since a very young age and she isn’t slowing down any time soon. As well as being President of the South Yarra SC, she is the founder and director of Kick 4 Life, which helps young soccer players compete internationally and develop leadership skills.
She joined the Knox City Soccer Club as a young girl because she was bored sitting on the sidelines watching her brother play. She was a talented player and in 2008, she was offered a scholarship to play in the USA. Sadly, her playing career ended because of an illness. That’s when her focus turned to coaching and teaching kids. She hasn’t looked back since.
What work do you do?
I work in the sports industry. I run private academies, leadership programs, coach development opportunities, soccer competitions. I’m also President at South Yarra SC where I coordinate over 30 teams to play, as well as 50+ coaches and administrators.
When you were at school did you know what work you wanted to do?
I had a plan. I received a scholarship to play soccer in the USA but unfortunately, I got sick and I had to say no to that opportunity. I then went onto become a primary school teacher, I always knew I wanted to work with kids in some capacity.
How did you get started?
I got accepted into Monash University to complete a double degree in science (psychology) and education (primary). During university I ran my own nanny business and I also got involved with soccer coaching at the grassroots level.
What makes you feel powerful at work?
Knowing I’m making a difference by providing opportunities to all players, coaches, administrators and volunteers. The work environment we have created at South Yarra SC is very supportive and people feel valued in their roles. At KICK4LIFE we are kicking down barriers and removing stereotypes to ensure women and girls feel accepted in the Sports Industry, so they have the potential to learn and thrive in every aspect.
What was your biggest fail along the way?
Being the ‘yes’ person. In the early days when you are running an organisation or your own business it’s very easy to say yes to so many things and so many people. I realised this wasn’t achieving anything and was taking the priority away from what was really important. Saying ‘no’ isn’t a negative, it’s making the right choice for the benefit of everyone’s future prospects. I have become much better at analysing situations, decision making, listening and backing myself.
What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
Learning to become a better, more effective leader. This has been a huge priority for me in this space. As a result of this achievement I’ve been able to provide more opportunities for players, coaches and administrators. It has been so great to be a part of this progression in sport and to pave the way for future leaders.
Who helped you get to where you are today?
Definitely my family. My parents, brothers and Mimi (my grandma) have been so influential in where I am today. They are my biggest cheer squad and they have ensured I have the self-belief to lead in this space. Everyone at South Yarra SC has also been hugely influential. They allowed me to be involved in the sport I love even after I got sick and they have believed in me ever since. My best friend who works with me and encourages me to be better every day is also someone who has helped me over the last year to push past barriers, believe in myself and continue to grow – personally and professionally. She keeps me grounded and is always there for a laugh!
How has technology changed your industry in the last 5-10 years?
It’s definitely allowed us to grow and communicate more with our members and the wider community. It is so great being able to share all the positive initiatives we are implementing at South Yarra SC and KICK4LIFE, as well as sharing information about our coaches, sponsors, fundraisers and players.
Do you have any advice for young girls thinking about a career in your industry?
Back yourself and invest in yourself, whether it’s through professional development opportunities, personal growth, volunteer work, travel, work experience or networking. By investing in yourself, you learn to value you as a person and know what you can bring to the industry.
In your wildest dreams, what would you love to do every single day and get paid for it?
I’d love to be paid to travel the world building soccer programs and professional development opportunities for women and girls, especially in places that aren’t trying to do this. That’s the goal.
Kick4Life facebook page: @kick4lifesoccer.
Instagram: @ashgood_sync, @kick.4life, @southyarra_sc.
Twitter: ashgoodsysc, @kick4lifesoccer.
Job: Business Owner and Soccer Coach