- Name: Truong
- Gender: Male
- Role: Coach
- Location: Vietnam
Truong is a 25-year-old coach from Kim Boi District. He graduated with a degree in mathematics from Northwestern University of Education. Currently, he is both a farmer and an assistant coach with ChildFund Pass It Back.
“I have only coached players for four months, but there are already so many memories that I have; their way of thinking and their stories are very funny and lovely.”
ChildFund Pass It Back provides specialized training for coaches, and Truong in particular has found himself learning new skills when it comes to communicating effectively with children. Truong explains: “I think that the work of teachers and coaches has some similarities, both vocations require planning, preparation and the delivery of instructional activities that facilitate learning.
“However, in my opinion, I think that the teacher-student relationship in Vietnam is typically not a very close relationship; there is not much communication outside of the classroom. But, as a ChildFund Pass It Back assistant coach, I want to act as a friend, a big brother, with my players.
“I want to remove all the boundaries between us, and be a person willing to listen and support them. In particular, because all of my male players are in their teenage years, so fighting, arguing or teasing sometimes happens among them.”
During the life skill sessions, Truong always shares his own experiences with his team to encourage the players to share their stories. “ChildFund Pass It Back has created an open and comfortable space for players to share and seek support when they are experiencing personal issues. Some of them find it very difficult to speak out, even with their parents, about their difficulties, such as being bullied, academic pressures, sexual harassment or family problems.
“However, during ChildFund Pass It Back life skills sessions, the players can share their thoughts or feelings with their teammates, and talk to their coaches in confidence. The players always get the support they need.”
The child safeguarding skills learned through ChildFund Pass It Back have also been invaluable to Truong. “After the training, I feel that am well equipped with the skills to give players appropriate advice. Also, knowing about the child protection reporting system is very useful.”
Truong is clearly aware of his responsibility as a role model for his players. Parents often encourage their children to learn from Truong: he does not smoke, drink or gamble, and he is a gentle and thoughtful man.
“I am pleased and proud of being recognized by my community, and I will try to improve myself further. I think that people who work and interact with children should be aware of their actions because, for example, the methods of communication that we use on the pitch and in daily life will be observed and learnt by the players.
“So, if we want to create a positive influence on children, we need to be role models first.”
Quan, a member of Truong’s team, is very happy to have him as a coach. “Truong is very gentle, and he often encourages me to be more confident and emotionally stronger.
“I love to train with the team every week, playing tag rugby, especially when we can participate in the tournaments. The feeling of scoring a try is so wonderful!”