Jamie Tomkinson has been a Youth Worker at Spartans Community Football Academy for the past 5 years. He has had a strong positive influence on shaping youth work at The Academy and has been an important role model and mentor for many young people in our community. This week we are both proud and sad to see Tommo leave us for a new challenge. We took the chance to catch up with him to ask him about what lies ahead.
Where are you going?
First of all I will be going to Eastern Europe – specifically Armenia, Georgia and Albania, working with Coaches Across Continents (CAC) who I recently spent some time in India with. Coaches Across Continents are an international charity who use sport as a tool to try and tackle various social issues.
How long is your trip?
The first trip will be around 4 weeks – 2 weeks in Armenia, 1 week in Georgia and a final week in Albania.
What will you be doing?
CAC's main motive is to deliver education outside of the classroom, through activities, games and self-directed learning – meaning it is the coaches job to facilitate the learning, not to instruct it. CAC works closesly with in-country partners, who identify social issues they would like to learn about and try to tackle – such as gender equality, children's rights and health and wellbeing. The programme we will be delivering in Eastern Europe has a focus on female empowerment and gender equality.
What are you most looking forward to?
I'm excited to experience a new culture, meet new people and learn new skills.
What will you miss about The Academy?
Over the last 5 years I've been fortunate to enough to meet some great people, and some better friends. I like to think I've managed to make a meaningful impact in the lives of others and will miss the young people and volunteers who I often see more often than my own family!
What things have you learnt at SCFA that you think that you will use in your new journey?
In the 5 years I've been here I've been able to take on many different roles – coach, youth worker and duty manager to name a few. The variety and flexibilty of the work I've been able to carry out at The Academy has made it continually interesting, changing and exciting. All of these different roles has been able to give me skills that I will be able to take forward with me
Are there any other organisations that you will be working with?
Thanks to becoming a Michael Johnson Young Leader (MJYL) last year, I now regularly speak with them and Coaches Across Continents and Beyond Sport around what I'm currently doing, but also what I want to do in future. I've been lucky enough to be asked to become a 2nd Year Ambassador for MJYL and recently submitted my project plan to them.
Tell us about your project!
My project is: "How Becoming a Community Leader Worldwide Can Help Influence Change in My Community". This means I hope to use my experiences through various different trips around the world, to use this to make positive social change back home.