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Being open and honest about her story led Ruth Fox to appear on Ultimate Goal, but the experience gave her so much more in return

The TV show Ultimate Goal was a six-part reality series broadcast on BT Sport that featured 31 women hoping to make it to a final and demonstrate their skills in front of agents and scouts

The players lived and breathed the opportunity, trained and played in the home of the English football teams – St George’s Park – and were available to the former English duo Eni Aluko and Rachel Brown-Finnis as well as the former players and twin sisters Mollie and Rosie Kmita

21-year-old Fox didn’t apply in anticipation of hearing anything, but after being asked to add to her story, she was given the green light to go to the home of England

In the series, the players were put through their paces and received master classes from Rio Ferdinand, Fara Williams, Peter Crouch, Freddie Ljungberg, Jill Scott and Robin van Persie

The player of FC St Ives Town FC entered the situation without knowing what to expect but became more confident in their skills after hearing words of encouragement from Aluko

“I learned a lot socially and technically. It really pushed me socially and went to university two weeks after the Ultimate Goal experience, it prepared me perfectly,” said Fox

“I knew I would be able to leave home, be safe with myself, and have the confidence that I could make friends”

“Just for my confidence, too, if you throw a ball around for just one training session and Eni Aluko comes up to you and says, ‘Wow, Ruth, you can score goals” – that will stay with me forever

“It gave me a lot of confidence that I could score goals and I started to prove that I am up front now”

“It really fits together perfectly because the reason I got through to the last 16 was because of my ability to attack and now my manager has pushed me forward”

“I wouldn’t have the confidence to score goals if I hadn’t had the support of Eni Aluko and the rest of the coaching staff”

“Also, I don’t think I would have had the confidence I’m playing now if I hadn’t made it to the last 16”

“When other people believe in you, you can believe in yourself I really took that with me ”

Fox was one of the players who made it into the last 16 and was featured in the final game in the series where her team came out on top

But it wasn’t just about football for the 21-year-old, she wanted to be open and vulnerable to the struggles she’s had in the past

On the show, the University of Bedfordshire student read an excerpt from the book she published when she was 18, entitled “Inside the White Lines: How the Beautiful Game Saved My Life”

She was diagnosed with depression at the age of 14 and took a break from exercising before coming back, but then reached a point at the age of 17 where she had thoughts of suicide

Fox was hospitalized last year and finally found solace when she was diagnosed with an emotionally unstable personality disorder

“I was diagnosed in the hospital last year and it’s something I knew very little about when I was diagnosed,” Fox explained

“And that’s a scary thing because when you google it it’ll show you all the negative stats and symptoms first

“It’s a very scary place to be diagnosed with something that has such negative connotations

“My great ambition is to raise positive awareness of EUPD and to show that you can work with it and lead a relatively normal life. You can live, you can play football, you can go to university and have friends”

A post by Ruth Fox (@ruth_foxy)

In the third episode of Ultimate Goal, Fox had the chance to tell her story and be frank about her journey in football

She was able to shed some light on mental health and received positive feedback after the episode aired while viewers also searched for her book and it got the highest ranking it has ever had

Fox added: “It was great and especially for me, I really wanted to touch young players who might be in the position I was in

“I wanted to be the beacon of hope and light for them, to show that dark times are coming to an end, and I hoped that I could be that voice for them so that they know they are not alone

“The reaction was very positive and more positive than I could have imagined

“I think a lot of people were interested and wanted to know more about my story and my journey

“That was great because I wrote it for this particular reason, to reach someone out there who needs to hear it and have as much attention as possible This is really valuable to me because it means that I can reach more and more people

“I always say, as long as it helps someone, that’s my job”

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