Our youth ambassador programme at the Academy gives young people the opportunity to volunteer in all parts of our organisation - from facilities and hospitality to coaching and youth work. For some this leads to gaining qualifications and even into a job. Find out how you can get involved here.
I first came to FooTEA when I was in primary school. I feel like the Academy has always been part of my life. From P5 to S3 I came to Street Football in a Safe Place with my friends. It was great to hang out and know that I could chat to the youth workers. I’ve been on lots of Making Magic Memories trips. My favourite was the first time that I went to a Scotland game. In P5 I went on a Hopscotch trip. It was class. It felt like a breath of fresh air. I went from West Pilton to the Highlands. It was really different to be in nature. It was something I had never experienced before and I wouldn’t have had that experience otherwise. When I was in S2 at Craigroyston I did School of Football and Jack Beesley (former SCFA coach and Spartans FC player) said that I should think about coming along to the Academy to volunteer. I started with picking up the cones and now I’m a coach! I’ve done my SFA 1.1 and 1.2 badges. I help coach the girls’ U13 Spartans team with my dad. I really want to learn as much as I can about coaching. Jack has been a great role model for me and I’d love to shadow Dougie - the Spartans FC men’s coach. When I went to high school I wasn’t the most confident person – but being at the Academy has really helped me. Everyone wants to see you learn and do well and I really notice that I feel valued. It’s nice to get told “well done”. I can definitely say that my confidence, people skills, communication and team working have all improved. I’m in 6th year now and I’m a sportscotland young sports ambassador encouraging and making sport happen at school. I’m also part of the SFA VIP programme (volunteer and inspire programme) where I get to go on coaching courses and learn about administration, social media, fundraising, physiotherapy and how the SFA and football runs. Being at The Academy has made me realise what I want to do and I am applying for Uni. I want to be a PE teacher – but I still plan on being involved at the Academy as much as I can!
"When Brandin first joined us it was apparent that he had a real passion for coaching and learning as much as possible. It's been great to see him progress from volunteering to becoming a much valued member of our community coaching team."