A Sussex Coast College Hastings student was involved in the first ever women’s football match at the home of Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ellie Baxter, who studies personal training and fitness at the college, lined up for Charlton Athletic Ladies in a top-of-the-table clash against Brighton & Hove Albion Ladies watched by almost 3,500 supporters .
If I’m honest, my dream is to own my own business one day; I play football just for fun.Ellie Baxter
Baxter began the game as a substitute, but was soon called into action in the 10th minute. The midfielder wasn’t able to stop Brighton taking the three points and jumping above the Addicks into top spot in the league.
She said: “It was a great game to be part of and the atmosphere was immense. The manager told me to get out there, run my socks off and just enjoy the experience. My mum and sister came to watch, although it was quite funny that they had to pay!”
Baxter has quickly established herself in the Charlton side after joining from Chelsea at the beginning of the season.
She spent seven years as part of the Chelsea development team and when she reached 18, had to make a tricky decision on whether to pursue a career in professional football or concentrate on her studies and other career opportunities.
“There were no guarantees that I would have made it as a pro,” said Baxter. “The group of girls that Chelsea has got are really good and the competition for places is really fierce.
“If I’m honest, my dream is to own my own business one day; I play football just for fun. I only got into it because my sister took me along to a training session when I was about five and it went from there really.”
Baxter, who represented England Ladies at under-14 level, travels to college each day from Robertsbridge and achieved a distinction star in level 3 BTEC sport last year.
She is planning to continue her time with the college for at least another season when she studies sports injury next year.
Sussex Coast College Hastings has a number of sport and fitness courses available in January and September 2016. Visit www.sussexcoast.ac.uk
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