Due to the armed conflict that erupted in 2014, Oleksandr was forced to leave Donetsk. He is now coaching underprivileged children in Western Ukraine. In addition to coaching his own group of children, Oleksandr takes pride in training volunteers to use football as a means of teaching about Child Rights.


Oleksandr was nominated for the Young Coach Education Programme by FC Shakhtar Donetsk. Forced to flee his hometown due to the escalating conflict, Oleksandr was determined to continuing coaching, and to be a positive role model for children in Western Ukraine. He now runs social activities for a number of local and internally displaced children from low socio-economic backgrounds, orphans, children with single mums, and others who face parental neglect. Oleksander has demonstrated great leadership skills by passing on his knowledge to other people through train the trainer workshops, which enables them to have a huge impact across Ukraine.


Project: Ukraine, October 2016 – May 2017

Parent Organisation: FC Shakhtar Donetsk

Born: 1986

Nationality: Ukraine


Project Ukraine | Facts
Peer Young Coaches
Benefiting Children


“I am originally from Donetsk. I have two university degrees – in law and ecology, and now work as a lawyer for a civil rights organisation in Ivano Frankovsk, Western Ukraine.

In Donetsk, I ran my own business, and in my leisure time, I coached a football team for at risk youth. When the war started, I had to leave everything behind. There was about a week between the first and second shelling. It was after the second one that we left, and never returned. My mum and dad remained in Donetsk. In general, it’s the young people that leave, and the old ones stay behind. When we left Donetsk in 2014, my wife was pregnant, so my child was born in Western Ukraine.

FC Shakhtar Donetsk invited me to join the Young Coach Education Programme. I have already been working in grassroots football in Donetsk, and wish to improve the way I work with kids. I would like to learn how to offer more structured outdoor activities for children. For me it is important to not only focus on physical health, but also on mental health, education, as well as team spirit and the emotional needs of children. I believe it is crucial that children feel that they are individuals and that they are worthy.

When working with the kids we are not trying to address political issues or remind them of the war, as this is a sensitive and morbid topic. No conflict is worth losing your blood for.”


Young Coaches

Our Young Coaches are community leaders and role models in less privileged societies. They commit themselves to support the children of their communities by conveying important social topics (conflict resolution, inclusion, HIV prevention, etc.) through football. Each of the Young Coaches represents a unique personal story.