IFCPF welcome Leah Glaser as the Female Ambassador for AmericasVideo
Written by Sam Allen, Video by Leah Glaser and Harry Tizard.
Leah Glaser from Montclair New Jersey is the latest Female Ambassador to join IFCPF representing the Americas. We spoke to her about her CP football journey.
Leah Glaser IFCPF Female Ambassador (Americas) Q & A
How excited are you to get involved with IFCPF as an ambassador? What do you aim to achieve in this role in the future?
I am very excited and eager to get involved with IFCPF as an ambassador and represent the Americas. As an ambassador, I hope that there is an increase in awareness for the girls' game of soccer. I hope that more female players with CP get involved in any way they can.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into playing football?
I am a 19-year-old female from Montclair, NJ, and am a senior at Montclair Kimberley Academy this year. I only recently started practicing football nine months ago and playing five months ago. I started playing because it was one of the few ways to get movement in during the pandemic. With a gentle nudge from my neighbors and friends, co-founders of CP Soccer, Ash and Shea Hammond, I started seriously training and before I knew it I was in the preseason for high school and playing on my team. The time from being in a lockdown due to COVID certainly gave me the ability to try something new and grow so much. Because of the continued support and push from my teammates and coaches, I am not done growing and can't wait to see what comes next.
Who has been your biggest inspiration growing up both in the game of football and in life?
Since my exposure to the game only started recently, I do not have someone that was my biggest inspiration growing up. Nevertheless, the younger members of CP Soccer push me every day to continue my training and be my best self so that I am the best person I can be for them. Growing up in life, my mom has been one of my biggest inspirations because she has taught me to fight through any challenges in my way. She has taught me to get back up and not quit.
What is the biggest thing you have achieved playing football so far?
Thus far, my biggest accomplishment was playing in a varsity high school game. At that moment, I was so invested in the game and my positioning that I forgot what it meant to be a player with CP on the field with all able-bodied girls. It took me until after the game to realize what I had just accomplished and could not sit back and feel pride in representing my school on the field and in my accomplishments as a whole.
On the other hand, are there any setbacks you have faced which you had to overcome to get to this point?
Yes, of course! I have to say that I was honestly not prepared for the toll training every day would take on me at first. One of the biggest setbacks was probably having to fight through being tired and sore and still try to prove myself. But, I was able to overcome that and learn what is best for me.
How much has playing the game helped you in life so far and what has it taught you in the way of skills?
Playing the game has taught me so much. It has brought me closer with some of my best friends now, and it has taught me to be a part of something bigger than myself and set my expectations high in life, and then go beyond them to prove yourself to not only you but everyone else around you. It has taught me how to be a team player, how to accept failure and critique (although I still may be working on that one), and how to pick myself up and dust off the dirt and continue with the curveballs. It also taught me the usefulness of being positive and how it can affect your game on and off the field.
What are your goals for the future in football but also in life as a whole? How does your new role at IFCPF feature into this?
In the world of football, I hope to one day be able to represent America as part of the Women's Para National Team and continue training as much as I can. In my life, I hope to continue working on marketing and social media, hopefully as part of a major league sports team. I am not sure if that will fall into place, but I can only hope! At least I know that in the next year, I will soon be off at college and continuing training.
We can't wait to follow Leah in her football journey- welcome to IFCPF!