My name is Pedro Direitinho, I’m 31. I moved to Scotland 4 years ago with my wife from our home country Portugal to experience a new way of life and have an adventure; we have yet to acclimatise to the weather! I’m studying a HND in sports development at Edinburgh College where I have gained many coaching qualifications including ‘Early Touches’ which I am putting into practice through my volunteering. I decided to get involved in volunteering here as I previously volunteered at a nursing home in Portugal coaching physical/sports activities for elderly people. I enjoyed that fulfilling experience and, needing to get acquainted with the way Schools and Coaching work in Scotland, I decided to start volunteering once again.
I am hoping for a career in sports when I leave education!
What do you do as a volunteer?
I volunteer with Active Schools as assistant coach; I help coach the 5-8 year olds at Musselburgh Lidl Mini Kickers Centre on a Tuesday. As assistant coach I help the lead coach with sessions, sometimes leading on the warm up or individual drills or taking little bits of the session together with the lead coach. Our aim is to to get children involved in sport from an early age with fun exciting games based loosely around Football. It also allows children in Nursery and Primary 1+2 to develop their motor skills as well as getting them fit and active.
What difference do you feel you make?
I am very passionate about football. I hope I pass this onto the kids as well as football skills… maybe I will train the next Ronaldo!
What difference do you feel volunteering has made to you?
Volunteering for me has been a learning experience, discovering the style of coaching in Scotland, a different way to interact with pupils/athletes and all the ‘lingo’ and different expressions used. I won Active School’s volunteer of the month in December 2016 which was presented to me by Anna Potter, the Active Schools Co-ordinator. It will be great for my CV when looking for employment after college. It has also been an opportunity to give back to the community that has welcomed me and my wife in Scotland.