Loughborough College was joined by MP Nicky Morgan and student and Rio double medal winner Sophie Hahn MBE – fresh from receiving her honour for services to athletics from Prince William at Buckingham Palace - to celebrate apprenticeship excellence at a major launch.
Amongst a host of events marking the tenth anniversary National Apprenticeship Week the College Executive and Governors were set to turn apprentice themselves to test a jet engine, fire up the bunsens in a lab, get hands on in hair and beauty, tackle electrical installation and customer service and face perhaps the toughest challenge of all, working as a childcare assistant in the nursery.
The Loughborough MP and the 19 year old Paralympian, who studies sport at the College, joined guests for a circuit designed to spot talent in athletic skills before hearing from a range of elite sport apprentices.
Loughborough College works with more than 800 employers across the region and offers apprenticeships in more than 30 areas, including the unique Space Engineering and leading Advanced Apprenticeships in Sporting Excellence.
Women’s RFU AASE programme players included Lauren Rigby, Amy Relf , Amelia Harper, Zoe Warrington, Ellen Ramsbottom and Leah Bartlett- who has been selected for England U20’s and scored on her recent international debut.
Iman Mohammadi, Maria Brown, Hannah Driver and Maria Radoja were joined by fellow Volleyball England AASE students Francesca Britten and Sophie Pongpiryiaporn, who have both been selected for the England squad.
There was an insight into the award winning Coaching in Schools programme, which has seen more than 80 schools host an apprentice since its launch. Margot Chawner, Evie Crane and Ben Taylor all work in local primary schools and talked about the rewards of having an impact on children’s lives. “I have helped one girl go from being scared to even get into the water to swimming backstroke with only one float in the space of six weeks. And she now tells me, Miss Crane I can’t wait for swimming this week.” Will meanwhile described his work with Big Moves. “It’s a physical intervention programme for foundation stage children which, when you hear recent research has revealed kids can be three years less developed than their chronological age due to lack of activity, you realise how vital it is and what an important part you are playing in children’s wellbeing.”
Sophie Hahn, who made her Paralympic debut in Rio and not only won gold in the 100m T38 but also scooped a record-breaking silver with the women’s 4x100m relay squad, revealed that Prince William had presented her MBE and it had been “an incredible day.” Sophie talked about how Loughborough College helps her combine her studies with training and competition and how this is crucial – especially as she prepares for the World Para Athletics Championships this summer. “They are expecting around 90,000 people to be watching in the crowd in London alone.”
Nicky Morgan paid tribute to the sport apprentices: “The stories we have heard today prove that balancing work, training and education can be done and hopefully National Apprenticeship Week at the College and beyond will help even more people see just how much apprenticeships offer the opportunity to change lives and open doors.”
Pictured: (left to right) Loughborough College launch National Apprenticeship Week 2017 with WRFU AASE programme player and student Lauren Relf, Nicky Morgan MP, double Rio medalist and student Sophie Hahn MBE and Chief Executive Heather Macdonald
Elizabeth Udall, Communications Consultant:
Tel: 07515 852690