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Level 2 Coach - Jas Singh Virdee
- Name: Jas Singh Virdee
- Age: 23
- Football Qualifications: Level 2 (Completing Level 3)
- Occupation: Ethnic Minority Officer/Community Sports Coach
Jas Virdee always wanted to be a football coach and purse his love for the game by working in the football industry. Jas is the next generation of young Asian coaches that has followed a career in sports development and has succeeded in breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes Asians in the game.
Football coaching was the catalyst for Jas’s sports career as he started with an education in sports development, before becoming the first ethnic minority officer at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. Through this role he was able to be a positive role model for future aspiring coaching and young Asians planning on pursuing careers in football.
Jas recently graduated from Buckinghamshire University with a BA (Hons) Sports Coaching Management degree (2:1). It was whilst studying at college and university that he gained 6 years work experience as a part-time coach for Brentford FC Community Sports Trust coaching sport to participants aged 5-18 during school, after school and at estates venues. During this time he also obtained the FA Level One and Two coaching licences through Wycombe Wanderers FC and has recently attended his first half of the Uefa B licence course, which concluded in November 2006.
Jas explains in his own words:
It is very important for me to obtain the relevant coaching qualifications to help me progress further in the football industry and with Brentford FC. Without support from my university in making sure I had the opportunities to gain these qualifications I would not be working in the sports market. My qualifications have helped me gain an influential position to make a positive impact to young Asian lives. My experiences throughout my years of coaching have shown me why I have chosen to become a coach and work in sport. My experience has demonstrated that we still live in a time of barriers and discrimination, but I hope to overcome such challenges by working in the industry. To change views and opinions and to have a positive impact is what motivates me to continue my work.
Jas broaden his coaching skills in a variety of sports, obtaining coaching level one licence in basketball, athletics, rugby, and disability football. Therefore developing not just as football coach but also as a multi-sports coach. Jas is a positive role model for the next generations of Asian football and sports coaches who see sports industry as a career choice and therefore have become integral to the development of young Asian footballers, sports men and women of the future.
In January 2006 Jas took up a full-time position with Brentford FC Community Sports Trust as an Ethnic Minority Officer/Community Sports Coach. Part of his role is to attend highly populated ethnic minority regions within local boroughs and be able to provide football related activities for them. Another part of his role is to try and get more Asians involved in football whether it is on a social playing level, as spectators or just to be given opportunities.
We are trying to actively support Asians attending games at Griffin Park where we see so few Asian faces. Part of the way to encourage them to attend games is to offer free tickets to the community where one adult and one child are free to attend a home game, the intention is to increase participation in all areas of the game for the Asian community.
Jas Singh Virdee
However one of his key roles is to educate children in schools about race and racism. He recently helped Brentford FC Community Sports Trust to obtain a funding grant from the football foundation called ‘Stand Up Speak Up’. This has helped him to deliver a project to 32 schools, which offers two coaching sessions and two workshops per school. The workshops consist of posters, leaflets, educational material being provided to children and made by them, but also discussions about racism and views and opinions upon racism about the football agenda will occur.
In September 2006 he recently received a funding grant to carry out a sport for community project. This project is based upon him going into two high schools in Southall and offering a coach education programme to selected pupils. Students will be educated per term on a variety of courses from table tennis, sports leaders awards, junior football organiser awards and level 1 coaching accreditation in specific sports. Once educated during class time they put into practice what they learnt after school. He will also be carrying out the same programme with two local community groups.
Jas sees a positive future for him and Asians in football. If more people become engaged in football at all levels with the right support, they can continue to breakdown the barriers and create a more equitable game.
The projects I am delivering have only just begun, I see my future working alongside community groups and organisations to overcome barriers and to try to campaign and make people understand that racism is not expectable.
Jas Singh Virdee
Visit the the Brentford Sports trust website
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