An Aberdeen recruitment specialist has recently returned from Albania after supporting Scotland’s under 16 men’s basketball team as team manager at the FIBA U16 European Championship.
Jamie Leese, 43, Senior Recruitment Specialist at Zenith Energy, netted the voluntary position with the support the well engineering and project management firm. A former player turned coach, he returned to the sport when his son started training with Panther Basketball Club, based in Portlethen.
Jamie said the team manager role is similar to recruitment ensuring that the candidates and clients have the right information: “Pre-tournament is mostly administration based, working with the basketballscotland logistics team to get information to the tournament organisers. It’s also my responsibility to ensure everyone knows the six-month training schedule and that we get the right consent forms and documents for each player.”
Communication skills are crucial in any job and with a strong set of skills gathered in various roles, Jamie was well experienced for the Scotland job.
“There is a lot of communication required between the team manager, parents/guardians and basketballscotland. Ensuring everyone knows where and when training is and that transportation is on time, arranging meal times and booking facilities for the coaching staff to deliver daily video reviews.
“My experience in recruitment, and coaching a similar age group at my local club, plus knowing the game well, helped me communicate with the young players more effectively.”
In a competitive recruitment market, it is hugely rewarding to find the ideal candidate for a client’s project requirements and supporting your national team also brings its rewards.
“Singing the national anthem whilst representing the country was pretty special and it was a real pleasure watching the players grow, not only as basketball players, but personally. The way the final squad bonded was fantastic, they came together as a team willing to fight for each other on and off the court and the Scottish warrior spirit shone through.”
Experience is essential for any good CV and Jamie’s work with the Scotland team has given him access to some of the best coaches in Scottish basketball, as well as knowledge on rest management and recovery, practice sessions and game management, which he has taken back to his local club.
Although it was challenging juggling the voluntary position with family life and his recruitment role, it was worthwhile.
“The team manager role was a learning curve and I learned lessons which will stay with me through life. Zenith Energy supported me and sponsored the coaching staff, and that support from the local business community is essential.
“I would encourage anyone to get involved in volunteering in sport as this is a lifeline for these clubs, the whole grassroots level of sports is bred on volunteering. It’s also important to work with young people to help them communicate and articulate well on the court and off it, as these key life skills can be taught through sport from a young age.”