Since he moved to Birmingham from Portugal in 2018, Ricardo has made a huge impact on the City of Birmingham Rockets Basketball Club.
Unable to make a living in Portugal from playing basketball, Ricardo initially settled into a new life in the UK. A chance encounter at the club’s base in Nechells started Ricardo on a path that would not only change his life, but the lives of the hundreds of young people who shoot hoops there.
He started as a volunteer coach before progressing to working for the club both as a coach and by helping with marketing and communications. The impact he’s had with the young players, from beginners to elite, in that time has been described as “staggering”.
He works upwards of 65 hours a week, giving up many of his evenings and weekends to coach the children. He does it because he loves to help people, but more than that, he’s encouraged the young people he works with to focus on something positive and grow as people.
More than 800 young people attend coaching sessions at Nechells Wellbeing Centre every week and Ricardo ensures that everyone who comes through the door is treated equally, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or socio-economic background.
He is extremely grateful for the support the club has given him to fulfil his dream, and he is now repaying that with his own time.
Basketball changed Ricardo’s life and now he is changing other people’s lives.