Skip to content

Personal triumphs beyond the numbers

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, Coach Core's director of people and learning tells us about the initiatives improving people's lives and communities, and how we can all be part of these positive plans.

7th February 2024

by Paul Thompson
Director of people and learning, Coach Core

Coach Core is a UK charity and Sport England's System Partner that uses the long-term power of sport and apprenticeships to truly change the lives of young adults across the UK who've traditionally experienced barriers, discrimination and lack of opportunities.

According to Coach Core’s Annual Impact Report, in 2023 the charity provided support to 214 apprentices across 100 employers, contributing to a cumulative total of 939 apprentices and 230 employers since 2012.

This diverse group included 33% females, 18% with learning support needs and 18% from minority ethnic groups.

The impact also reverberates beyond the apprentices, as more than 2.3 million individuals experienced coaching by Coach Core in 2023.

A triumph for all

But while numbers clearly give us an indication of our programmes’ success, it’s by listening to personal stories that we can truly understand the life-changing scope to this initiative.

A clear example is Chauncey, from Coach Core Surrey.

After leaving prison, Chauncey became a volunteer at Re N-Gage - using his own experiences to help keep other young people on a positive pathway, away from crime and antisocial behaviour.

His journey from volunteer to apprentice, and then to full-time youth development lead, is a powerful example of positive change.

For him, it is all about striving to be a positive role model and to inspire the participants of the programme to make better choices and embrace their potential.

A woman is boxing with Prince William on an indoors sports centre

And in the middle of it all, Chauncey has made significant personal achievements. All while contributing to the organisation's success.

Chauncey shares a common mission with Sport England's long term strategy Uniting the Movement, leveraging the power of sport and physical activity to connect communities, fostering better places to live and bringing people together.

Overcoming challenges

Then there’s Gabrielle, who’s part of the England Boxing National Coach Core Programme and who admits that, without boxing, she wouldn’t know what to do.

Gabrielle faces the challenge of right hemiplegia – a form of cerebral palsy that affects her muscle control and movement – but she sees this challenge as an opportunity to inspire others.

While numbers clearly give us an indication of our programmes’ success, it’s by listening to personal stories that we can truly understand the life-changing scope to this initiative.

The Coach Core apprenticeship gave Gabrielle the confidence to pursue her dream of working in the sport she loved, and the organisations around her supported Gabrielle to find ways to overcome her challenges.

Her hard work and determination led to her completing her apprenticeship with a distinction and securing a job with England Boxing, where she has progressed onto a Level 4 Project Associate apprenticeship position.

Gabrielle continues to use her story to inspire others, speaking in school assemblies about overcoming her challenges.

Opportunities for everybody

We also have Madi from Coach Core Leicester.

Her story reflects Coach Core and Sport England's goal to engage more women and girls from diverse backgrounds, showing how apprenticeships can spark broader societal change.

Madi works on the Women's Active projects delivering sessions for women of all ages in ethnically diverse and underserved areas of Leicester.

She also works to empower unaccompanied asylum-seeking children with their self-development, giving them the tools, skills and knowledge needed to understand the opportunities that the project can provide for them.

Madi has continued her work with Leicester City in the community after completing her apprenticeship and has moved into a full-time role where she now mentors future apprentices.

Support apprenticeships, support change

While we celebrate these victories from our initiative, we really can't ignore a concerning trend - apprenticeship numbers are declining, especially among the most disadvantaged.

The number of entry-level apprenticeships has fallen by 74% since 2015/16, and those in deprived areas have seen an 18% drop in apprenticeship stars, compared to just 2% in affluent areas.

We, at Coach Core, believe in the transformative power of apprenticeships and estimates from the Social Mobility Commission show that disadvantaged female learners with an entry-level apprenticeship qualification earn 11.6% more at age 28, compared to individuals holding a different qualification at the same level.

Apprenticeships are a powerful way to empower young people and create a more diverse workforce in the sport and physical activity sector.

And that is why Coach Core is issuing a call to action to our sector, urging the incorporation of apprenticeships – especially at entry level – into their future recruitment strategies.

So why not join our movement and shape the future? There are different ways in which you can contribute:

  • Advocate for apprenticeships – spread awareness about the impact of apprenticeships and their pivotal role in empowering young people.
  • Connect with Coach Core – explore how we can actively support you or the initiatives of your organisation.
  • Share success stories – amplify the narratives of individuals like Chauncey, Gabrielle and Madi to inspire others.

There’s so much you can do to help others release their full potential!

Help us change the lives of those facing the most difficulties to achieve everything they can.

You’ll be helping them, the sector and everyone in the community.

Sign up to our newsletter

You can find out exactly how we'll look after your personal data, but rest assured we’ll only use it to make sure you receive our newsletter, to understand how you interact with our newsletter, and to provide administrative information about our newsletter.