TheĀ Growth Blog

Director Of Dundee Social Enterprise Aiming To Break Down Barriers For Kids In Football

challenges dundee football growth mindset unlocking success Oct 08, 2023
Dundee Football Academy

Jamie McBrearty is the director of The Dundee Academy CIC, a new social enterprise aiming to break down barriers that stand in the way of kids entering the football pathway. He shares some insights with Gayle Ritchie.

Why is it important to encourage young people to take part in sport?

Sport can have huge benefits for children and young people on several levels, impacting on physical, mental, and emotional health. It builds many transferable skills while provide a sense of belonging and ability to create, maintain and develop relationships.

In what ways have you seen performance sport benefitting young people?

In 25 years as a coach, I have witnessed many individuals go on to succeed, not just in sport, but in life. Performance sport exposes players and athletes to situations that demand individuals to adapt to a range of environments, perceived pressures, being accountable to others, deal with adversity and success, and enhance skills such as self-reflection, communication, perseverance, and humility.

How would you advise families who would like to get their children involved in sport?

Allow children to experience as many activities as possible to find the one that THEY enjoy. Some children thrive on committing to a range of activities, whilst others may be more reluctant. If they are reluctant to take part in organised activities, play with your children as often as possible if you are able to, not only making sporting activities fun, but pro-socially role modelling and behaving in a way you would like your child too.

Highlights of your job?

Too many to list, but one of the most rewarding parts is seeing young people grow into confident, well-rounded, responsible, and driven individuals who at some point in their journey, have suffered from self-doubt, lack of belief and various setbacks.

What job would you do if you weren’t doing this?

Anything relating to coaching in some capacity to help individuals and/or organisations fulfil their potential.

Where in the world are you happiest?

With my family, travelling, creating memories. My Why is my family. Watching my children grow into confident, loving, caring, and funny individuals is just wonderful. Spending times abroad, family gatherings, weddings, parties, birthdays, and ad hoc, impromptu get togethers is my favourite!

Favourite part of Scotland to explore?

Anywhere in nature – our country is amazing!!

Who inspires you?

My mum! She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in her 30s, underwent surgery for two hip replacements, two knee replacements, two ankle fusions, two shoulder operations, an elbow operation and dislocated a new hip twice – yet she still keeps a positive attitude.

Your house is on fire – what one item do you save?

My dog. I am assuming that all my family have made it out. Most other things can be replaced.

What makes you happy?

Life. Every day I am grateful for my health, my life, my family, and me. An attitude of gratitude makes me happy instantaneously.

What makes you sad?

When good things come to an end.

What is the best advice you have ever received, and who from?

Supply PE Teacher 1996, Higher PE, had never met before in my life, said: ‘You would make a good sports coach’. Changed my life!

How do you unwind?

Study, read, listen, and walk. I take my dog out most days, and it completely makes me wind down. I run most days too.

If you could turn back the clock what one thing would you change?

Take more photos. You cannot beat looking back at moments in time.

What advice would you give your younger self?

It will be fine. I have always been a worrier about getting things done, making sure everyone is ok, and probably a perfectionist at times, but regardless, everything always works out the way it’s meant too.

Could you save someone’s life if they were dying in the street?

Depends. I am first aid trained, I would absolutely attempt to.

What’s your motto?

Say Yes and worry about it later. Well maybe not worry, but deal and work out how to do something once a committed decision has been made.

Jamie is a mindset coach with over 20 years of experience within education, business and sport as a manager, leader and coach.


Ritchie, G. (2023) Director of Dundee Social Enterprise aiming to break down barriers for kids in football, advises: ‘say yes and worry later’, The Courier. Available at: (Accessed: 08 October 2023).


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Jamie Mcbrearty Coaching

Welcome to Jamie McBrearty Coaching, where you can discover experiences that will help you or your organisation achieve your goals.

Affinity Business Centre, Harrison Rd, Dundee, DD2 3SN

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