A TEENAGER who turned her life around through sport has been chosen as a Football Association ambassador as part of its 150-year anniversary.
Taome Caville’s parents said they spent much of her childhood going in to see her headteachers because of her bad behaviour.
But, after the 16-year-old got involved with coaching at Darwen Rangers youth football club, they saw a big change.
Taome was invited to a glitzy London ceremony yesterday, attended by a host of famous faces from sport, including England manager Roy Hodgson, and former Manchester United star David Beckham. The invite came after being named Blackburn with Darwen Sports Council Volunteer of the Year, and then FA Young Volunteer of the Year.
Taome grew up in Tunnel Street, Darwen, and went to St Peter’s and St Barnabas’ Primary Schools, before going to Darwen Moorland High School, later to become Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA).
Dad Neil said Taome could be very difficult when she was a child. He said: “She was very firey and could blow up at the drop of a hat. All the way through her time at DACA we were up and down to see the headteacher.
“I got her into playing football, and when I was running Rangers I got her into coaching. She has loved it ever since. It really turned her around.”
Taome said she had been badly behaved as a child, but coaching at Darwen Rangers changed her life.
She said: “I realised that instead of punching a wall, I could go down and kick a football. I wasn’t on the right path. I wasn’t going the right way in life.
“When I took up coaching I realised that was my passion, and to be a coach I had to be a role model. That is when everything started falling into place.”
Taome, who started off coaching an under-sevens side, said she now hoped to embark on a long career in sport.
At the event she met former Arsenal and France star Patrick Vieira, who runs coaching academies in Africa.
She said: “I am trying to get some work there, and one day I would love to work at a professional club and coach full time. But I am still only 16. I want to do a bit of travelling and see a bit of the world. Hopefully, I can do that through coaching.”