The Moray Council

Why Jack Whyte’s education benefitted from volunteering

Are you a pupil that isn’t sure what to do with your life yet? Do you have a child that would benefit from an increase in confidence and social skills? Do you know anyone that loves sports or enjoys making people smile? This interview will give you an insight of why volunteering for Active Schools can be a life changing experience.


Jack Whyte at Glasgow CollegeThis is an interview with Jack Whyte who was an Active Schools volunteer in Milne’s ASG. Jack has now moved to Glasgow College to study sports coaching. We look at his journey as a volunteer and how it has led him to progress on the education pathway.

1) How did you get involved in coaching?

A. It properly started when I was 16. I was away to go into 5th year of high school and nearly dropped out to study accounting of all things! One night I just had a total freak out because I realised I definitely didn’t want to do it. So the next morning I went to see my guidance teacher and he put me back into PE and also signed me up to do sports leadership. This was where I agreed to help out with the junior high school football team and where I attempted coaching for the first time.

2) What was your biggest challenge and how did you stay motivated?

A. My biggest challenge was definitely the year out of college between my HNC and HND. Working for a year and the commitments that I took on meant I was less active in my own sports but it meant I could make time for as much coaching experience as possible. Due to this I think I put on around 2 stone from 12 stone to 14 so realising that I had to stop eating tasty foods was hard! Eventually I just started making time for myself though and gradually it started shredding again so that’s always nice lol. The way I kept motivated was just to keep coaching. Even when things got tough with the under 17s at football, I just kept reminding myself that even negative experiences can be useful to learn from.

3) What advice do you have for others wanting to get involved in coaching?

A. Do it as soon as you can. Speak with your PE teacher if you’re still in school or if you are considering leaving, definitely go to college and study it! Even speak to the council about voluntarily work as working with people who are more experienced than yourself is the best way to learn.

4) If you could change one thing along your journey so far what would it be?

A. I don’t think there is much I would change except that I would have gotten into coaching sooner. I’d definitely not even of considered another career if I had started even a year earlier.

5) Who is your coaching inspiration? What do you admire about them and why?

A. My inspiration was mainly my football coach David “Parro” Finlay from Buckie Thistle youth development, when I first met Parro I was low in confidence having been released from Elgin City a few months prior so the way he boosted my confidence and took me and all the lads under his wing will always stand out. He was always positive and making sure we left every match with something positive to take from it. He could also make you laugh even in your worst of moods so that’s something that I’ll always remember. My parents helped a lot as well and have always encouraged me to take on new things.

6) Where do you see yourself in your future coaching career?

A. I would really like to get a career in football coaching although I’ve sort of been taking it a year at a time. I know I definitely want to work with children and definitely doing something active, not being stuck in an office all day! As long as I am working with the kids and they are enjoying it I’m happy enough to be honest, everything else is a massive bonus!


Would volunteering for active schools benefit you? This isn’t a trap to tie you down!! You don’t need to volunteer hundreds of hours. Even if you would like to assist a coach for a few sessions or fancy leading a few sessions with an adult helper please feel free to contact us. We will support you with any training and there will be an experienced adult to help you. We value every moment that someone can spare to get children active. You have the chance to make a difference for the children in your area and lead the charge to get people more physically active.

To sign up to volunteer for Active Schools in Milne’s ASG please contact