From Cornwall, England to Hammond: How Amber Grose found a passion for sports in the local area
With a National Diploma in Sports Fitness, Exercise and Coaching and a certification in Sports Leadership, Amber Grose is proudly serving as the current Deputy Director at Chappapeela Sports Park.
Grose’s journey began in Cornwell, England where early on in life, she developed an appreciation for sports. Her mom was an athlete, her dad a coach and her brother a partner in rugby and soccer.
“A lot of my childhood was based around sports,” said Grose. “I was never good at arts or anything else like that. It was always sports, so my childhood was really made up of a lot of soccer and netball, a European sport.”
During her childhood, Grose’s parents convinced her to move four hours away to attend Bristol Academy in the United Kingdom to play professional soccer in the hopes of her learning to became a successful and independent athlete.
“I guess that was my biggest transition and it taught me how to not only live on my own, but also the importance of how much more there is out in the world,” said Grose. “I think that helped me transition here. It helped me really focus on what I was passionate about despite whatever barriers there are. When I was younger, I wanted to stay with my family. New things are difficult, and I think that really pushed me to accept new things and take on challenges.”
Grose considers herself successful based on her chameleon-like style of adjusting to new changes in life.
“I measure success through overcoming things,” said Grose. “There are a lot of changes I’ve gone through in my life and decisions to move to different places, chasing opportunities. Three years out of college, I have a job that I love now.”
After moving to the United States in 2010, Grose gained international playing experience under her belt by playing for South Florida University and Stetson University while on a full soccer scholarship.
Four years later, Grose graduated with a degree in sociology. Her intention for this major was to engage in work with diverse communities. During apprenticeships and service opportunities, Grose dealt with sensitive topics like AIDS, HIV, and LGBT help groups for people in low socioeconomic areas, eventually inspiring her future career choice.
“I have always had this big ideology that one day I’m going to be in a job where I can offer an outlet through sports for communities that don’t have a lot of those opportunities,” said Grose. “It’s actually perfect for this job. When I was taking my college courses, I did some business classes and I wasn’t engaged in what I was learning. I decided to find something else that I was passionate about and a career that would maybe get me some more outlets than sociology.”
After moving to Hammond, Grose gained experience in the workforce by obtaining skills in administration, human resources, payroll and benefits. She also found time to share her expertise as an athlete by educating local high school students, the Mandeville Soccer Club and the Louisiana Olympic Development Program in soccer.
Engagement, knowledge and teamwork are keys to Grose’s leadership style as a coach.
Grose said, “Recently, I coached a youth girls team and I think it really changed me as a coach, and showed me the importance of getting people engaged in sports and loving the sport, not as much focusing on outcomes and competitiveness of sports. It’s about getting the kid out there, learning how to do different functions with their body, enjoying a game and learning how to be a part of a team. Those kind of aspects broadened my horizons on what a coach does. The lesson is beyond a win or a medal.”
Although she mastered coaching in the U.S., one of the biggest differences that Grose was surprised to find was the change in cuisine.
“In England, they have different cultural foods like Indian food and Chinese food, which is huge,” said Grose. “Then here you have your Mexican food and all that. Now I’m a Mexican food lover.”
A somewhat disappointing aspect of Grose’s culture shock was the lack of sports facilities in the U.S.
“In England there was just so many places you can go to play pickup games,” said Grose. “You play sports everywhere. You can always be active.”
Thankfully, Grose found a sports facility in the local area where she has turned her passion for sports into a career.
“I’m really excited about my opportunity here,” said Grose. “I’m hoping to bring more of a soccer field here to the park. The majority of the park is soccer fields and I think we can be these huge assets in the community, the whole Tangipahoa community instead of just the Hammond community. I’m excited to offer a great outlet for any kids that want to be involved in sports.”
Grose understands the importance of defining goals by not only being a team leader, but also a team player.
Grose said, “It has always been a dream to do what I love in a sporting environment and having the opportunity to give back to the community by adding more programs and giving people of all ages a safe and rewarding outlet. I look forward to joining the fast paced team currently at CSP. The opportunity is an honor and I cannot wait to add to the growth of this great park.”