Managing more than 20 sports and in excess of 55 other co-curricular activities is the responsibility of our new Director of Sport and Co-curricular Activities, Mr Luiz Ramalho.
Luiz grew up near Sao Paulo in a soccer-mad family and in a country, Brazil, which many would argue is obsessed with the sport, particularly at World Cup time. Luiz’s grandfather was a professional player and his father and brother were semi-professional while Luiz himself grew up playing it on the street with his friends, watching it on TV and occasionally skipping his own class to play with PE classes at school where he was one of 10,000 students.
His five-year degree in PDHPE qualified him both to teach and administrate all sports. He played football and volleyball at a high level for his university and managed the football program while also running holiday camps and community sport programs focused on football and tennis. His first career appointment was managing a program for his local council which facilitated sport for underprivileged communities and kept kids off the street and out of trouble.
Luiz has experience coaching all sports. And he has developed a passion for teaching Primary Years students who respond well to the lifelong benefits of playing sports and engaging in team activities outside the classroom.
Luiz’s Australian citizenship (in 2017) came about when he was sponsored as a specialist to coach soccer within a sports training company here. He has also taught Primary sports at Masada College (St Ives), taught at and managed sports and extracurricular activities at Kambala, where he discovered that competing against the mighty teams of Santa Sabina was a difficult challenge.
‘For two years I spent every Saturday here and I have memories of being made very welcome and treated well’, says Luiz.
Working at Santa Sabina thus became a long-held dream. ‘I’m very excited to be starting here,’ he says.
At Santa Sabina, Luiz is also teaching PE to Years 5 and 7 and is immensely impressed at the enthusiasm of our girls and boys in engaging with sport and other co-curriculars. He believes that engaging children in co-curriculars that speak to an individual passion brings benefits beyond that activity into classroom work – enhancing academic achievement more broadly – and strengthening wellbeing. Our co-curricular program as managed by Luiz extends across a vast array of interests from Arabic club to Debating, Dance and Musical Theatre. The Sports and Co-curricular team includes four other permanent staff and dozens of peripatetic casual coaches and specialists.
Outside of work (which includes Saturdays), Luiz is a busy husband and father of two sports-mad young boys who he regularly takes out on their bikes, to play football and basketball and for swimming at the beach. A return to playing football himself is also on the cards, but not until his sons are a little more independent.
Luiz’s warmth, enthusiasm and international experience are a gift to us at Santa Sabina and we encourage all of our students to get involved in our enviable co-curricular program and reap the benefits.