“I want to be a role model and show young people that education is a good choice.”
That’s the vision of Eesa Sawyers – and his role at Birmingham City’s Community Trust is helping him achieve just that.
At the age of 16, Eesa was searching for a pathway to pursue as an alternative to his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
With help from Birmingham’s Kicks programme, he discovered a passion for coaching and progressed onto a Foundation Degree in Community Football Coaching and Development, in conjunction with the EFL Trust and University of South Wales.
Having showcased hard work and dedication throughout the three-year course, Eesa has now secured full-time employment with the Blues as a Community Coach, giving him the opportunity to develop and nurture the next generation.
“I am thrilled to now be a full-time member of staff and inspire children in the way I was inspired,” he confesses. “To be able to deliver in schools which are on our doorstep and at the heart of our local community is great.
“I like to build relationships with the children. It’s a very satisfying part of the job to see them enjoy the sessions and develop their resilience and confidence.”
Eesa’s experience in higher education has allowed him to gain an insight into all level of sports coaching, ranging from school delivery to grassroots football, as well as access to observing elite coaches within Birmingham’s Academy.
After being encouraged and inspired by his hometown Club, the Primary Stars and Schools Sports Coach now shares his expertise and experiences in primary schools, talking to young schoolchildren about the importance of having a career goal and a backup plan cemented by education.
He adds: “Coaching is the perfect way to stay in the game if you’re not playing and having the support of the lecturers and the Trust team has kept me on track.
“I have become more experienced and extroverted due to my journey through the Trust’s programmes. It has given me confidence to see and do my job through different experiences.”
Eesa’s journey has been one of continuous progression – he is now delivering his first cohort of EFL Trust ‘FIT FANS’, aimed at helping BCFC fans to improve their lifestyles. He has also become a mentor to a member of the FIT FANS cohort, who will run their own groups in the near future.
With such passion for the game, and as an individual who has grown up in the local community just a stone’s throw from St Andrews, Eesa’s story acts as one of inspiration to the youngsters that he influences.