Brazilian educator coaches American football team in China

Paulo Pillar, a PUCRS alumnus, coaches athletes aged 3-12

14/11/2018 - 09h03
Photo: GSG Sport

Photo: GSG Sport

A 2009 graduate of the School of Health Sciences’ Physical Education program of PUCRS, Paulo de Tarso Pillar began his international career as he was invited to be the coach of an American football team in China. The opportunity knocked in 2016, as he was working with a friend in Shanghai. At first, Pillar declined it but accepted the second invitation in Jan 2018. He took many things in consideration as he was about to change his life, but decided that it was the right moment for it. He believes he made the right choice.

He arrived in Beijing in Jun 2018 and stayed there for about a month for training sessions. He was then transferred to Shanghai to coach the athletes aged 3-12 of T-Rex’s U12 (under 12), of GSG/ Future League. The team is in the Future League, a youth league that holds games every Friday, in an effort to make the sport popular in China. “Today I coach U4, U6, U9 and U12 teams. The idea is that kids go through every category and end up in the Future League, category U12. Their development will be monitored in every stage of the sport in view of their ages and specific traits”, explains he.

The adaptation of Pillar to the country, language and culture has been smooth and he has been learning a little bit of Mandarim every day. “The food was the most difficult thing, but now I’m getting used to it. The culture is very different and so are the traditions, but they’re all manageable. The language is not as difficult as many people think. We use the internet and apps to keep contact with people we miss the most. The only problem is the time zone, but we can handle it”, says he.

In his view, PUCRS played a very important role in his professional career. He encourages his Chinese students to continue looking for development. “I make use of everything the university taught me in terms of pedagogy. The levels excellence that an institution such as PUCRS requires from a Physical Education major has brought me here. I intend to honor my professors every day for everything they taught me and continue replicating all of that”, acknowledges Pillar, who is one of the exponents of American football in Brazil.


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