Why one of our grads carried the Premiership Cup for Man City

It would be any Manchester City fan’s dream – to carry the Premier League Trophy onto the pitch for the titleholder’s last game of the season.

Former Trafford College student Zahrah Malik was able to do just that, appear on television carrying the trophy at the end of the match against Brighton, thanks to her voluntary work and dedication to her degree for the Club’s charity arm, City in the Community - an opportunity made possible through her BTEC in Development Coaching and Fitness.

Zahrah became one of only 35 people in the UK to secure a place on a Community Football Coaching degree with City in the Community at Manchester City Academy’s in September 2018, after gaining a sparkling resume at Trafford College.

Over two years of studying at Altrincham Campus, Zahrah studied an additional Career Ready certificate and secured a part time job from her work placement, coaching youngsters for Longford Park Junior FC, as well as passing her coaching qualification with flying colours.

The 18-year-old from Eccles said: “To be asked to carry the Cup was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I started crying when they asked me! It still hasn’t sunk in. Since I did, I’ve been asked for photographs and autographs, which is really weird.”

Zahrah has been involved in work placements coaching young people at City in the Community, inspiring students of all ages on visits to nurseries, schools and colleges and supporting young people in tackling life’s challenges using football through the Prince’s Trust. She has taken part in a football summit of young leaders from 18 cities around the world at Manchester City Academy and helped organised a festival for girls to mark the women’s World Cup 2019 through young leaders training.

She added: “My first female role models were my College tutors. At school, if girls wanted to be involved in football they had to stand to the side and be cheerleaders. If you played no one would pass to you and even the coach was male. But at Trafford College they really worked on our confidence and developed it by encouraging us to take the lead.”

Zahrah aims to one day become a coach at Manchester City Academy from the charity when she graduates in 2021.

“I’m 100 per cent behind the Women’s World Cup. I see it was only the beginning, the beginning of what I see as becoming even more popular than the men’s game. “I’m glad I’ve been supported to go into coaching by Trafford College after not quite making the grades to study Sport Science. Now I’m leading the way for girls. Ten years ago I wouldn’t have ever thought I could get a career in football and that I’d get a hair and make-up job. Now there are so many more opportunities.”