Time With Natalie is really honoured to be sponsoring Vyan Sampson who plays football for Arsenal Ladies Under-17 and England. As a resilient person Vyan, who resides on the Pepys Estate in South London, has risen above challenges.
Her mother Hartinse Williams believes that anyone can prosper despite facing financial difficulty.
“They like to call this area ghetto and we need to prove to people that good children are coming out of the poorer sections of London,” said Williams. “I’m extremely proud of her. I just want to stand on top of the highest building and just tell the world of her achievements. She does her schoolwork; that’s always up to date and is basically just a good child trying to make something of herself.”
Although England’s under-17 women’s side failed to reach the final round of the European Championships last year, Vyan Sampson has fond memories of her debut for the Three Lionesses.
Sampson played her first match for England against Iceland during the second qualifying round. The final round of the tournament took place in Switzerland.
Describing her emotions as she got ready to play, the 15-year-old Arsenal Ladies defender from Deptford, south east London, told the Voice of Sport: “The coach (Lois Fidler) told me to warm up and I was getting really anxious…I was getting really fidgety.
“And then when I went over to her she told me that I’d be playing centre forward and that they needed someone strong as a target player for everyone to play through. It wasn’t really anything different because at Arsenal I play everywhere.
“They say I’m really versatile. It felt even better because she had the trust in me to put me up top.”
Sampson’s debut match has boosted her confidence. As part of the England set-up, the former Charlton Ladies and Crystal Palace Ladies centre back has to balance training five days a week with schoolwork.
Her club is thrilled with her development. “We are pleased with the progress Vyan is making,” said Arsenal Ladies technical director John Bayer.
“She is an intelligent, composed player who has a bright future if she continues to work hard at her game.”
(The Voice magazine)