Education: Bellahouston Academy
Sport: Football, Running
Coaching and volunteering: Lunch-time clubs at school
Club: Giffnock Soccer Centre
Hobbies: I play two instruments - piano and trumpet. In my spare time I love to watch British comedy including some of my favourite comedians Russel Howard and Mo Gilligan.
Proudest achievement: In 2018 my football team, Giffnock Soccer Centre, and I travelled to Spain to participate in the Barcelona Football Festival. We were competing against international teams such as IF Vaster from Sweden, FC St. Leu 95 from France and EZ Cruizero from Brazil.
Future aspirations: During my time on the panel I would like to increase awareness of sport among young people especially those who deal with mental health problems. Sport is a fantastic way to increase self-confidence, improve social skills and of course keep your body physically healthy.
Interesting fact: An interesting fact about me is that I was born on the 25th of December in Rotherham, England. As I was the first person born on Christmas day at Rotherham General Hospital I got my first feature in the local newspapers the day after!
Q&A with Emmanuel
What sport(s) are you involved in and what is it that you love about it?
I started football when I was 4 years old after my mum saw an advert for a new football team in the area and I joined eagerly, starting out as a goalkeeper. At St. Mirren Development team I met lots of new people in my area and developed my social skills from a young age. I now play for Giffnock SC 05’s and have moved out of my position from goalkeeper to centre-midfielder. Football has improved my self-confidence and leadership skills which I can use in other aspects of life; that is my favourite part of football, the transferable skills that you gain from playing football regularly. I love playing football more than anything else, the competitiveness that rises out of me during a game is so thrilling and exciting and I hope to continue to play football after school.
What motivated you to be part of the Young People’s Sport Panel?
My main motivation to join the YPSP was to help people in my area have a voice in sport and change sport for young people growing up, making it more accessible and inclusive for different types of people. The YPSP is a great opportunity to meet other young people with similar aspirations and goals from across Scotland, we will work together and hopefully improve sport for young people.
What do you think of the YPSP so far and what work are you involved in?
The YPSP has been great so far and given me the opportunity to work more professionally with an organisation like sportscotland and bring my ideas into fruition. Currently we are working on a YPSP podcast to bring guests, panel members and others together to inspire and raise awareness of different issues in sport to young people.
What do you think are (some of) the big challenges facing young people in Scotland today?
In my opinion it is difficult for young people to access a sports team for many different reasons. Some parents believe that sport can detract from the work their child does in school and distract them completely, some students may believe that in order to join a team you must be a very talented player when in reality there are teams at all levels recruiting for players and there is more to sport than going professionals anyways! There are quite a few narratives that misrepresent sport that should change in order to get more young people involved in playing and coaching sport.
How do you think sport can help support young people in Scotland?
Sport can help with your social skills and confidence but what I find is that sport gives me something to do outside of school and breaks up my studying time to give me a generous and enjoyable break throughout the exam season. Joining a sports team also gives you the chance to meet new people who you may not see every day at school but rather twice or so every week, these friends may come from different places in the world or socioeconomic backgrounds and will broaden your views and allow you to mature and respect different types of people from various walks of life.
If you could change one thing about sport in Scotland, what would it be?
Although there are probably more important issues in sport to tackle, I would change the accessibility of spectators to professional games for children. I think a positive way to get more people into sport is to encourage them from a young age so allowing children easier access to professional games could inspire them to do that sport. A foundation of some sort could be funded to provide children and their schools or teachers to watch more professional games which will hopefully inspire them to join that sport and meet new people etc.
Is there a role model who inspires you? What is it about them that you admire?
There are plenty of role models who inspire me in my day to day life from Jesse Lingard to Lewis Hamilton but my biggest inspiration is Marcus Rashford MBE. I admire his willingness to help underprivileged people and particularly children even while the whole nation is watching him play at the biggest club in the world. The pressure he carries daily is immense and Rashford even finds the time to help our children and provide help for the community. I also love Manchester United and Rashford is a joy to watch play football weekly, his desire to help people and be at the top of his game is something that motivates me in all that I do.