Jordan welcomes you through football
Community Coach Youth Worker, Jordan McCartney, brings vast experience of working with refugees to Big Hearts’ new project ‘Welcome Through Football’. Twice a week he coaches young refugees, asylum seekers and people with migrant backgrounds, aged 15-25, to help develop their football skills.
As the first organisation in Scotland to run this project, Big Hearts want to share Jordan’s first impressions and view from a coaching perspective.
How did you become involved with Big Hearts?
I currently work in a coaching and youth work role with YMCA and Street Soccer and a friend told me about the Welcome Through Football project. I really liked what I heard, the role required some experience that I had already gained, so I decided to apply to become a Community Coach Youth Worker at Big Hearts.
What is your first impression of the project?
I think Big Hearts do really great work through a variety of programmes. The facilities they offer for Welcome Through Football are excellent and participants really benefit from the structured coaching as it helps to improve their ability. Thanks to the set up Big Hearts offer, the young people are learning to play as part of a team which benefits those who couldn’t join a local team.
How do you engage with the refugee community?
Football is football, no matter what language you speak. Many of the group know little to no English and some are currently learning at college. During each session, coaches demonstrate a drill and refugees watch and learn, visually. They pick up different words at each session and it’s great to see the improvements each week.
What do you enjoy the most?
I love seeing how happy the group are at each session and how they are beginning to learn and develop their football skills. The change of attitude from the group has been amazing, they are building confidence and forming positive relationships which is a really important aspect of this project.
What outcomes do you hope to achieve with this project?
I hope the group will not only develop their footballing abilities, but continue to boost their confidence which will help to build new friendships within their local community. After only a few weeks I am already seeing positive changes, which is great. Hopefully soon we will be able to set up a match against a local team!
Thank you to Jordan for bringing the local refugee community together through football – you are a champion!
– July 2021