Continuing our series of pen portraits of our 2020/2021 finalists, this week we introduce you to:

Grace Vella.

Some might say Grace Vella has chosen a career field ripe with sexism and homophobia.

Born into a family of huge Liverpool fans, she got thrown into playing football at the age of 5 and it very quickly became her passion.

Even from this very early age, she always felt that women taking part in this sport were seen as second best and it really grated. Despite her passion, the clear message she continued to receive was “football is not for girls”.

One of her most prevalent memories being the Christmas gifts her aunt bought for her and her brother.  He received a blue football shirt and Grace received a pink t-shirt and an apology that they just didn’t make them for girls, sowing a very prevalent seed that would propel Grace into creating the wonderful “Miss Kick” brand later in life.

She went on to play for Liverpool and Manchester City football clubs until she was 18 but continued to feel that her gender held her back. Whether it was funny looks, ill fitted kit, financial burdens or lack of playing opportunities – being a girl just seemed harder and a real disadvantage.

This inspired her to launch Miss Kick, a brand to create social change in football and wider society and change the way that people viewed women’s football. Grace created the first female football apparel brand at the age of just 18, whilst studying at University for a psychology degree.

Grace is bursting with the passion needed to take the brand to the next level at aged just 23.

This remarkable young woman will be sharing her experiences and ambitions with the us on 14th May 2021 at the Inspiring Women Awards lunch.

To book your ‘front row seat’ at this event and be present whilst these inspiring women share their stories, visit book online.