A football fanatic is eying up a career in coaching after a dream apprenticeship with Bolton Wanderers Community Trust (BWCT) has enabled her to land a full time job.
Poppy Haslam, 19, from Bolton, has always had a passion for sport, particularly football, so when youth employment charity Rathbone Training and its partner HFE, who specialise in delivering personal trainer courses, helped her to gain an apprenticeship in Activity Leadership with BWCT she grabbed the chance to work with club she has supported all her life with both hands.
“During the full course of my apprenticeship I have had lots of opportunities and experiences. I had the opportunity to develop my coaching skills by getting the opportunity to complete my FA Level 1 and 2 Football qualifications and my Youth Award Module 1,” said Poppy.
“As well as being able to upskill myself, I have also had the chance to experience and visit places I have never been to before.”
Over the past 12 months Poppy’s apprenticeship has given her the opportunity to get involved in in some high profile football projects, including Premier League Girls, an initiative designed to help more girls get into football.
Her success in the role has now opened up the chance to gain a full time coaching role with BWCT.
Speaking about Poppy's achievements, Paul Makinson, Head of School Partnerships at BWCT, said: "During her time at BWCT Poppy has progressed from an apprentice into a full-time, employed member of staff. Throughout the apprenticeship, Poppy developed skills and qualifications with regards to leadership and sports-specific awards, confidently delivering aspects of sessions alongside a lead coach.
“Poppy now delivers regular sessions across numerous projects independently. Her attitude and work ethic have always been extremely positive and played an important role in securing her current position within the Trust."
During her apprenticeship Poppy was involved in numerous fundraising events for Bolton Wanderers Community Trust as they celebrated their 30th anniversary this year.
She has also dedicated a lot of time to developing her football coaching skills and gained a several key qualifications in the process and is now hoping to gain her UEFA B Licence, a path that could eventually lead her to coaching in the professional game.
Echoing the praise from BWCT is Poppy's NVQ Apprenticeship Tutor Gregg Travers, himself a lifelong Bolton Wanderers fan, he said: “Over the past 12 months Poppy has been a fantastic apprentice to work with. She always turned up to our visits on time; went above and beyond what I had asked her to complete and the work which she submitted was of a brilliant standard.
“Poppy has grown in confidence over the past 12 months which has been a pleasure to see; she has taken control of different projects; managing and coaching the girl’s football team at Bolton College being just one of them. Poppy has a bright future ahead of her and I have no doubt in saying that she will make a fantastic coach for BWCT. Well done Poppy.”
Rathbone Training is part of NCG, one of the UK’s leading education and training providers which aims to support its customers to unlock their potential through learning.
The charity has centres across England, Scotland and Wales and last year supported over 10,000 young people across the UK by providing employability training and apprenticeship opportunities to support their progression to further education, training and work.
“We are absolutely delighted that Poppy’s apprenticeship has been such as success and that she is now able to pursue her dream career in coaching. Both Rathbone Training and HFE are passionate about enabling every learner to fulfil their potential and this is just the latest example of how our partnership is making a real difference to young people’s lives,” said Mark Bennington, Skills and Employability Services Director for Rathbone Training.