National Apprenticeship Week: “To be able to engage girls to play football for a living is a dream”
AoC Sport is pleased to be supporting National Apprenticeship Week from 4 to 8 March 2019. This year’s theme is ‘Blaze a Trail’, which aims to showcase and celebrate how apprentices bring new energy and passion into organisations.
The aim is to shine the spotlight on apprenticeships as a great path for people at any stage of their career. In partnership with The FA, AoC Sport runs the FA Women’s Football Apprentice programme
So we spoke to one of the apprentices – Rosie May
- What is your current role and what does it entail?
I am an FA Women’s Football Apprentice at Bridgwater and Taunton College. My job is to increase the participation of 16 to 19-year-old girls within football for longer than 10 weeks.
The idea is that if they participate for more than 10 weeks there is a higher chance of retaining these participants in similar activities or even going into football clubs.
Also, I go into schools coaching years 10 and 11 with the hope that they enjoy my coaching and come to Bridgwater College. At the college, we offer a unique player pathway for girls with a link with Women’s Super League 1 club Yeovil Town Ladies.
Moreover, I work alongside the Team BTC office to provide key opportunities for all students, making it easier for them to access sport in all areas they wish to. For example, my activators take photos of the games, some do the social media side and two of them help with the kit.
- Which level of apprenticeship are you on currently?
I am currently doing a level 3 Sports Development apprenticeship. In this apprenticeship I have units around managing sports volunteers. This is a positive because I help run our Activator programme. I have 30 student volunteers who all help with coaching hours and big events.
My apprenticeship allows me to learn more about my college and how they do things. Also, it is giving me a better understanding of what a sports development manager does which is what I want to do in the future.
- Are you a school leaver, or did you complete any other education before taking up an apprenticeship?
Before my apprenticeship I completed a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science and finished with a triple distinction star, which is equivalent to three A*.
- How long will your apprenticeship be? And which level are you planning on reaching (2-7)
My apprenticeship is a year long. After I have finished my level 3 I am hoping to go onto a level 4/5. After doing a level 4/5, I would hopefully like to gain a full-time position at the college.
- What attracted you to taking up an apprenticeship?
Bridgwater and Taunton College had an apprentice before me – Leah Burridge was the first one at the Bridgwater campus. Watching Leah’s journey and all of the opportunities she had gained really influenced me to apply for the position. I have always been keen about getting girls into football.
From a young age I never felt comfortable surrounded by so many male footballers, so to be able to engage girls to play football for a living was just the dream. Now, AoC Sport has made it a reality for me.
- Has being an apprentice been what you expected?
Being a women’s football apprentice has been even better than I imagined. The biggest thing has been my personal development, which has excelled in the last four months.
Before my apprenticeship, I couldn’t ever imagine doing the things I am doing now and I owe that to my job and what the staff have taught me.
I expected it to have an impact on my life, but not to give me a completely different outlook. I am so grateful for my job and what I get to achieve on a daily basis. I wouldn’t change it for anything.
- What has, for you, been the most positive aspect of being an apprentice?
The most positive aspect of being an apprentice is giving what I like to call ‘a little bit of magic’ to the girls I coach. Some of my girls barely leave the house apart from college, so to watch them interact with friends whilst playing football is my motivation.
I like everything that revolves around my job. If I don’t do one thing right then the rest of it falls apart, so everything is a needs-must to succeed.
- Are you hoping to secure a permanent job at your current company?
I would like to gain more experience within this industry before moving onto my bigger aspirations. My dream is to work for AoC Sport or the ECFA, however, I am aware that I need a good amount of experience before trying to apply for any jobs within those organisations.
- Would you recommend an apprenticeship to others?
Definitely, it is a great way to network with key organisations in the sporting industry. Also, if you have dreams of working within a college then it gives you a way in the door even if you haven’t gone to university. Moreover, it gives you important experience.
My argument is, you can go to university, sit in front of a lecturer and gain a degree. However, if you are working 9-5 every day in an establishment then you gain experiences others haven’t got, which gives you a leg up in interviews and CV’s.
Women’s Football Week 4-8 March
We are also supporting Women’s Football Week this week, so look out for more content and use the hashtag #womensfootballweek across social media