Vanessa and Nikola get along very well. Nikola is a Young Coach and Vanessa is her Tandem Partner. They were both nominated by the OSC Bremerhaven, a partner of SV Werder Bremen. When talking to the girls, one can already note how much they enjoy each other’s company. They are constantly laughing and teasing each other.


The Tandem Education was established to promote equal opportunities for youth and young adults with a disability to move into football coaching. During the education programme one participant with a disability (Young Coach) will link up with one participant without a disability (Tandem Partner) to form a ‘Tandem’.

Vanessa and Nikola participated in the 2017 edition of the FCSA Tandem Education in Leverkusen and the Special Youth Camp in Basel. Take a moment to read their story and discover more about their journey into football coaching.


Project: Central Europe, April – August 2017

Club: SV Werder Bremen

Project Central Europe | Facts
Peer Young Coaches
Benefiting Children


VANESSA (Tandem Partner): I had previously never had any contact with people with a disability.

NIKOLA (Young Coach): I had no training experience at all. The education in Leverkusen has taught me everything I now know. Everything one needs to know to be a coach. Like how to take notes and give clear instructions.

VANESSA: Nikola is a pure and honest soul. Working alongside her, I learned that the training with disabled players is not very different to a “normal” training. For example, what I would do with my girls [a non-disabled group] at the beginning would perhaps be the third step with my disabled group. But actually, the content does not differ.

NIKOLA: I have learned to laugh a lot with Vanessa. I am also a lot calmer and can explain things better now. Besides, in Leverkusen I was still drinking a whole lot of energy drinks. But now I know it is not good, I barely drink them anymore.

VANESSA: Even Nikola’s parents have thanked me for that.

I will start studying sports and special education at university in October. To be honest, it was the Young Coach Education that made me consider this area of study. Let’s hope that I get accepted. Since the education, I work as a voluntary coach for SV Werder Bremen’s disability football group – each Monday.

Football is my passion. Actually, it is my life. That might sound a bit exaggerated, but yes, I cannot imagine a life without football. As a profession, I would love to do something with football and children.

NIKOLA: Since the education in Leverkusen, I have trained the “bigger ones” at the OSC. These are people with a disability aged 15-20. I train them every Wednesday. I will soon be moving to Bremen to begin a course about office administration. When I am there, I am planning to help Michi [an instructor from SV Werder Bremen] train the disability football group. Maybe I will also help Vanessa out with her group on Mondays.

VANESSA: Oh yes, that would be so awesome!


Gallery Vanessa and Nikola

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.