Inexperienced Monkey : Seeking Advice

Appreciate any inputs this community has to give, Thanks for taking the time out!

Background: Decent High School student, went to Non-Target UK for Econ. Undergrad. Spent 3 years focused on picking up grades after health issues, graduated with a First class & part time work experience at local McD to support expenses. Spent majority of time before undergrad as National-level athlete & President of Student Council, but lack any leadership experience throughout Uni. Currently at UK target midway through MScFin. 

Dilemma:  I have been networking aggressively (2-3 calls every week), but there are a few factors holding me back from the feedback received so far:

a) Lack of leadership experience through Uni- My experience as an athlete seems outdated, 5-6 years ago. However I am unable to formally relay the fact that multiple surgeries that resulted in a premature halt to sport & the consequent mental health implications left me room only to focus on getting my grades up through Undergrad. 

Any advice on how to communicate this gap effectively through the CV, I believe transferrable skills like perseverance/work ethic/resilience from then still apply.

b) Lack of Solid Work Ex. - My only exp. comes from ~4 months at a small boutique where all I did was create pitch decks for IPO's & did limited financial modelling. I am currently pushing hard to reach out to small shops & fill up the gap with unpaid experience while working towards a CFA, are there any more steps I can take to expedite the process/ catalyse my efforts?

Trying to build a holistic perspective on how to approach things for when motivation seems to be running low, appreciate any input on whether to keep pushing the same agenda or make some changes.

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