Arsenal in the Community

Sharon Hoyos-Martinez, Arsenal Gap Year 2013

Sharon Hoyos-Martinez, Arsenal Gap Year 2013


From: London

Pre-Gap Year: Worked full-time in a gym

Post-Gap Year: Studying International Football Business at UCFB Wembley

Gap Year placement(s): Uganda, Barbados, Hong Kong 

What did you gain from doing the Arsenal Gap Year?

The Arsenal Gap Year enhanced my understanding on how football and sport positively influences the world. I got to see its benefits in 4 different continents and witnessed how much joy it brings to people. The experience led me to study International Football Business which has opened many doors for me. As a coach I polished and gained major skills which I now apply on a daily basis such as leadership, confidence and planning. In addition, being able to adapt quickly to different situations and people is something I value very much.

What was your favourite part of the programme?

My favourite part was definitely getting to travel and work within different cultures and new people. I got to mix two passions of mine which is seeing the world and football. Through the power of football we got to coach kids of any age, gender, race and capability, teaching them the valuable skills that come along with the sport. Being able to deliver these things was a unique and very rewarding experience.

How would you describe your overall experience on the Arsenal Gap Year?

I would describe it as necessary. It was challenging at times but I think I got everything I wanted and more from it. I ended up going to 3 destination, meeting amazing people and doing things I thought I'd never do before. It influenced my career decisions and I would do it all over again.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of doing the Arsenal Gap Year?

I was the only female in my year and although it’s nice to have female company you just get used it. You work even harder to become a good coach and if anything you gain more respect. I would advise girls to not let it become an issue and be confident in themselves as this shines through. I also think being open minded is key throughout the journey.

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