This international women’s day we caught up with Kiki to find out if she is still enjoying her dream job at Chelsea Football Club and to talk about fairness in women’s football.
I think I was 11 when I first decided that I liked football. I went to my first Arsenal ladies’ match. I think it was because I saw how well they played and how many trophies they’d won in one season.
Since the world cup last year there’s a lot of attention around women’s football. It showed that football is for everyone, not just for men.
From the moment I left school, it was clear that I wanted to work in football and coaching. It was the only thing I wanted to do. This is now my second paid job in football. I previously worked at Crystal Palace for about four years as a match day safety steward. Basically, that means being on crowd control. Making sure the crowd are in their seats and don’t go on to the pitch or block the fire exits.
I applied for the job after seeing a Facebook ad. It was a very quick interview, and they gave me the job straightaway. The interview for my current job at Chelsea was more detailed. It’s a similar role to the job at Crystal Palace, but it’s for my favourite club. I’ve been happily working here since 2021.
I was already going to the matches, so it had always been my dream job. I’m a big Chelsea fan. I was going to buy a season ticket, and now I don’t need to! Although, when we’re working pitch side, we’re not allowed to watch the game. But the atmosphere is still amazing. I work every match day, whenever they have a match at home. I love my job, regardless of the match outcome. The thing I really enjoy is the feeling of the crowd.
The job is important to me because it’s something that I’m passionate about. The staff are friendly and supportive and if I didn’t have a job I cared about, I’d be bored. I love working.
I go to the Certitude Stepping Up kickabout sessions in Ruislip every other Saturday too. They always get a good turnout. It’s a good way to keep fit and meet new people.
I’m also doing a disability coaching mentoring program at Wembley. I’m already a qualified coach and used to coach children with down syndrome at QPR. One of the coaches from that programme invited me to this one at Wembley. My sister also recently got into football coaching and has become qualified. Football is definitely getting more attention amongst women and girls.
I think it’s good that you see more women’s football on telly now. They just need to make it fairer when it comes to the cost of tickets. Women’s games ae not as expensive as men’s. It needs to be fairer for pay too.
Football has always been my passion and I’m happy that I’ve now built-up experience so that I can keep working in it. With my coaching qualification I’m hoping to inspire others to enjoy it as much as I do.
Kiki lives in London and is supported by Certitude.