The diversity role model highlights the achievements and commitment that coaches, leaders or volunteers have shown throughout the Diversity & Inclusion project via the many different clubs or groups we are working with. Through the hard work of these role models, they have shown great desire to progress themselves or even their community onto better things and without their hard work and endeavour, a lot and hopefully more can follow in their pathways in the future.

Ernest Gaza:

“I was born in Zimbabwe and grew up there until I was 8 years old. I then moved to Aberdeen with my family and spent the rest of my childhood here. I played juvenile football when I was younger for a number of clubs in the local area, as well as for my school. I’m currently playing for Jesus House AFC in the Aberdeenshire AFA, along with studying sport and fitness at college. I’ve been actively involved in volunteering in sport for a couple years and joined Aberdeen FC Community Trust in August 2015. From the first day, I have received a large amount of support from AFCCT, from part-time coaches at football centres and holiday camps to the various in-services and CPD events held.”

“At the moment, I coach at two football participation centres during the week which allows me to learn from the Trust’s coaches as well as take sessions myself. As time has gone on I have taken a more active role within sessions which has challenged me to prepare and lead high quality coaching sessions. “

“I have completed the Scottish FA 1.1 Early Touches coach education course and have been encouraged to book onto the 1.2 and 1.3 courses which I am due to begin within the next month. My goal is to work my way up and become part of the coaching team at the Trust.”

Ernest has recently achieved 100 hours of volunteering with AFCCT which has been officially recognised through the Saltire Awards.