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Northop College student Katie Jackson chosen for national football campaign

A NORTHOP College student who overcame learning disabilities to become a sporting star has been chosen as the face of a national campaign.

Floristry student Katie Jackson, who was named Welsh Footballer of the Year in 2009, joined Flint-born Welsh football legend Ian Rush at a launch event in Cardiff for the Level Playing Field campaign, aimed at raising the profile and money for grass roots level football.

The 17-year-old said: “It is really exciting to be part of this campaign.

“I was a bit nervous about speaking to the Press and TV reporters at first, but really enjoyed it in the end.

“Football is a big part of my life and future and I want to help anybody else who might be interested in it to start playing.”

Katie, who has a number of learning disabilities, said she has used football to overcome her personal barriers and difficult circumstances.

Her parents first took her to join a football club because she found it difficult to communicate with her peers.

In July 2009 she became the first female to be named Welsh Footballer of the Year in the category of under-18s with a disability.

Deeside College head of programmes for skills for independent living, Paul Raven, said: “Katie is an outstanding young woman and we are all very proud of her latest achievements.

“She is a well-liked and respected student who has an extremely bright future ahead of her.”