Daniela grew up in Xalapa, the capital of the state of Veracruz. Her high school was located in a violent area and due to its bad reputation, some people were prejudiced against those who attended it. Nevertheless, Daniela didn’t let this affect her. She now works with RET International and is in charge of youth protection through sports, culture and arts.

My Story

“I grew up in Xapala and I have two older brothers and one older sister. In general, I had a very happy childhood, but the school which I attended had a bad reputation as it was located in a very violent area. Some people were prejudiced against those of us who went to school there, thinking that we also must be bad people. I didn’t let this affect me though and I finished my education.

In my opinion sport and football can help many people, especially refugees and asylum seekers, to integrate successfully in the local communities. Many of them played football already in their home countries. If they have the chance to play football again, it is the first step to get their old life back. In my opinion it is a good way to fight xenophobia and discrimination. The local population itself and the migrants are very poor and sometimes they can’t afford the necessary equipment for playing football, or even their daily food. This is also a limitation in the fight against discrimination.

That’s why I am now working for RET International. I am in charge of youth protection through sports, culture and arts. My main task in the different trainings of football, volleyball, or basketball is to implement some activities that convey certain life skills, like self-care and emotional skills. For every sport we have a specific coach. My mission is to show them how they can use their sport to teach different life skills, and to help them understand that in this way, they can achieve so much more than only sport results: They have the possibility to teach the children important knowledge for their whole life.  With the activities we have learnt in the Young Coach Education, I have got many ideas now how to link and combine sport and education.

Before module one, I had a lot of experience working with children and youth, but only in the area of social skills, I had none in sports. This has now changed. What I liked most was the fact that we were taught how to apply the skills on the field and that we had to organise a festival by ourselves. My hope now for my work back home and for my community is that discrimination will be reduced, and I am really convinced that sport is a way to avoid violence and the use of drugs.”

Quick Facts
  • Young Coach Education in Mexico (2019/2020)
  • RET International
  • Mexican
  • 2 Peer Young Coaches
  • 70 Benefitting Children