From the start of this season FC SGM has a new international player. Tiago Antonio Príncipe Ferreira da Fonseca Ramos is a Portuguese player who will play the most of time in the new SHM-team. Let’s start with an interview.
In my outlook address book, I saw that you have a very long name. What is your full name?
Portuguese names can be very long! My full name is Tiago António Príncipe Ferreira da Fonseca Ramos. First two are my birth names, next two from my mother side and the two last from my father’s side. Of course in Portugal even most of my friends don’t know my full name and I always sign Tiago Príncipe (to make it more confusing I don’t use my last family name). But this has brought a few laughs here in the Netherlands, as my full name always seems to have to make its special appearance. After signing a contract with the Hanze I was given this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (!) I asked my team leader if this could be changed, and he answered that he was looking forward to seeing my business card… now luckily it’s email@example.com , which I guess is more decent.
You are now living in the city of Groningen, but where are you from?
I am from Porto, in Portugal. It’s the second city of the country, after Lisbon (I also lived there for a few years). Porto is a very beautiful city that in the last years has been trending as one of the top European tourism destinations. So now there is a more cosmopolitan flavor that combines perfectly with the well rooted culture, gastronomy and a very honest and welcoming people. You are all invited to visit and enjoy a Port Wine with a view to the Douro river!
What do you think of the city of Groningen and the Hanze University?
I find the city of Groningen very friendly and a comfortable place to live in. Finding housing was a bit of a challenge, but once that was solved I could appreciate a lively and very young atmosphere, that makes wondering around town a pleasant experience. I think Groningers have a strong identity, and respect their city. The other dutch cities I know seem more crowded and maybe more stressed, while here I feel more a sense of belonging from its inhabitants. I also appreciate the fact that you can cycle everywhere, and that people have a strong passion for sports. After moving in, and influenced by this lifestyle, I decided to go back to the tennis courts (I had been away for years).
The Hanze fits this image I have from the city. It’s dynamic and looking to the future, caring about lifestyle and sustainability. From what I have seen so far, it’s a very open institution, with a (very) strong relationship with the community. I also identify with the effort of internationalization that is now being engaged, I’ve always been very active in that and understand it’s potential, so I’m happy to, in a way, be a symbol of that policy in my department.
What are your major tasks at Hanze University?
My major tasks are teaching and developing curriculum in the international bachelor courses of Sports and Health Management and Physical Activity and Lifestyle. I’ve been focused on subjects like Public and Global Health, Multicultural Work, Health Psychology (my academic background is Clinical Psychology) and mostly Behavioral Change. I have been trying to develop curriculum that, parallel to providing updated knowledge, allows students to focus on their personal and professional identity, attitudes and sense of mission within the future professional field. In the recent years we have realized that more knowledge and more information alone are not enough to provoke a decisive behavioral change towards healthy lifestyles in our communities. The human factor is still the most influential in supporting change. So in my classes I try to facilitate students engagement in the complex contemporary landscape, by introducing several behavioral change models that they need to be critical about, while exploring subjects like professional identity, and interpersonal attitudes that can allow them to engage people and communities in a non-judgmental, empathic and cultural sensitive way. I am also collaborating in the development of international networks within these subjects, as well as European projects in the areas of social rehabilitation and healthy ageing.
We have realized that more knowledge and more information alone are not enough to provoke a decisive behavioral change towards healthy lifestyles in our communities
What are your plans for the upcoming years, how long have you planned to stay in the Netherlands?
It is still a bit difficult to have a clear plan about how long I will be in the Netherlands, because during these last moths I have been mainly busy in adapting and settling in. I already feel very engaged in the professional project, so that is something that definitely requires continuity. I am also considering my options and areas of interest for developing a phd project, but it’s not a simple decision to make, as I’m involved in different activities and subjects within the fields of Education , Psychology and Psychotherapy. Of course that the personal and social level also play an important role when you move to another country, and in the last years I’ve been moving a lot, the backpack was somehow always near me. So for now it’s more about enjoying a bit more stability and develop some roots in this city, keeping an open mind about the future.
Do you have special goals for 2016?
Professionally I would like to get more acquainted and learn from the work developed in the area of sports psychology in the Netherlands and specially in Groningen. My background is coming more from the field of health, but sport is equally important for lifestyle and allows a more positive and active approach to the challenges we have ahead and the need to change into more healthy lives and communities.
On a personal level, my goal is to successfully adapt to life in the Netherlands and Groningen, and add more interesting people to the list of very good friends I already made here.