Wigan Athletic Community Trust has 'enhanced my life', says club worker
For Jack Brooker, Wigan Athletic Community Trust has played a huge role in his life.
Having first become involved with the club’s official charity in 2014 as a learner on the Football and Education programme, the 24-year-old has recently progressed into the role of Football Officer.
“My role involves building on the strong relationship between the Community Trust and Wigan Youth Zone,” he said. “It involves managing the pitches at the Youth Zone and ensuring there is an offer every day for young people in the local area, including football activities through the Premier League Kicks and the Pathway 2 Participation programmes.”
Jack began his journey with Latics seven years ago, as a learner on the Level 2 Football and Education before moving onto the apprenticeship and then in a full-time role as School Sports and Cohesion Coach.
The 12-month programme provides 16 to 19-year-olds with the opportunity to gain sports industry recognised qualifications through classroom learning and work placement opportunities with Community Trust coaches.
Now looking back, Jack is grateful for the opportunity he was given to start a career as a sports coach and involve himself in something he had a keen interest in.
“I first became involved with the Community Trust when I was 18 through the Football and Education programme.
“My friends were going to university and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but this offered me a hands on approach with learning which really interested me,” he said.
“It was ideal as it combined learning with a practical element and it gave me the chance to learn about becoming a coach which helped me then progress onto the apprenticeship.”
He added: “The apprenticeship was even more hands on and allowed me to develop myself even further and it provided me with the opportunity to work four days a week with head coaches in schools and on other community programmes.”
His transition through the Trust’s Training and Skills offer eventually provided Jack with a full-time job as a School Sports and Cohesion Coach and the perfect stepping stones to begin a career in the industry.
He said: “Since working with the Trust, I feel it has enhanced my life massively both personally and with my work.
“I’ve been able to progress from starting as an apprentice to go on and work as a School Sports Coach and now onto my current role.
“It’s helped me learn new skills in the work environment like confidence and being able to stand in front and talk to big groups at sessions.
“That’s something I never thought I’d be able to do.”
Jack’s passion to improve and develop has continued in his recent roles having recently completing a two-year Foundation Degree in Football Coaching, Development and Administration with the University of South Wales.
Delivered in partnership with the university, the degree provides students who are passionate about a career in the sports industry with long distance learning and qualifications to help them take the next step.
“Through completing the degree it’s helped me develop both my delivery in sessions and also the young people I’m working with. The things I’ve learnt I’ve been able to put into practice and I’ve also been able to pass on my knowledge to younger coaches who are in the same position I once was.”
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