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My name is Thomas Gledhill, 18 years old and I live in Huddersfield.

I was invited to Valencia with my college, whilst studying a Btec level 3 – studying Sports Development and Coaching. During the two weeks I spent in Valencia the professional activities I engaged in involved coaching and working within a professional academy. My role included delivering sessions for children within local football teams and clubs. We also got the opportunity to attend a football match at Valencia against Arsenal.

During free time we visited the beach and spent time observing academy teams play against each other, this gave me a feel of how match days run in a working and professional environment. We also saw the differences within the coaches on a match day compared to a training day. Myself and my team took part in a paella evening where we learnt about the culture of Spain and understood differences of the Spanish life compared to English life. Free time allowed myself and my friends to be independent, we explored Valencia and learnt about the differences when travelling and tacking public transport.

During my two weeks working with SPF I learnt how professional academies balance their work and free time in order to be successful on match days. Working with the coaches showed me how behavior differed depending on the environment, session and players. I learnt that I am confident when delivering sessions for people I haven’t engaged with before. I adapted my teaching styles as I adapted to the new environment abroad, the language barrier was difficult. However, I showed resilience and developed ways to overcome this obstacle.

My experience with SPF has overall increased my confidence, it has also made me more resilient as a person. I have been fortunate to be offered a Five month coaching role back at SPF in Valencia. The project I participated in through college made this opportunity possible. Living with people from college for two weeks and building on my independence has helped me prepare for my next adventure where I will be without my family for a longer period of time.
My recent trip to Valencia has prepared me for this exciting journey ahead. Additionally, picking up on some Spanish has taught me a new skill which will be extremely useful in the future, particularly when I start my new adventure in Valencia as an 18 year old boy who will be living a completely different life compared to life in England.

I am extremely thankful for the opportunity with SPF through Everything is Possible and Kirklees College. I am more than happy with my own development and impressed with myself for being approached and asked to work in Valencia for five months. I am excited to start my new journey and continue to develop and grow as an individual, continue to learn Spanish and make a difference for children and young people through the love of football.


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Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union – The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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