Annie Zaidi, otherwise known as 'Coach AnnieZ' has been awarded an BEM in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for recognition of her services to sport.
Annie, 32, has transcended stereotypes about race, gender and religion to become the first female Muslim football coach in the UK. Described by David Beckham as "an inspiration to so many people", Annie's coaching portfolio includes the U21 men's team at Queens Park Rangers, the Leicester City U11 girls' team, and BME Coach Mentee at the FA. She is working towards her UEFA B coaching licence and has her sights set firmly on becoming a coach in the professional men's game.
Annie's love for the game started when she was a young girl playing football in the back garden with her brothers, and now 20 years on her passion has become her career. The BEM will add to her other recent accolades which include the 2015 Helen Rollason Award for Sport and Football Coaching, and National Ambassador for Sporting Equals, Women in Football and Football for Peace.
As a life-long Arsenal supporter, Annie's ultimate ambition is to one day become manager of the Gunners. She refers to football as her 'second religion' and has set up a Foundation helping to create more opportunities for girls and young women to realise their potential. From speaking at the Fifa Women's Football and Leadership Conference to community coaching, mentoring and school visits, Annie has become a positive role model.
The Coach AnnieZ Foundation welcomes your support to help empower, inspire and encourage the next generation of young people to achieve their goals in life.
For all enquiries, bookings and donations please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org