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LIBBY PARKINSON: "THE APPRENTICESHIP WITH WIGAN ATHLETIC IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I’VE EVER DONE."

7 March 2019

Libby (pictured right) visited Parliament earlier this week as Latics picked up the EFL North West Community Club of the Year award.

  • Libby shares her story as part of National Apprenticeship Week.
  • The 17-year-old helps to deliver PE lessons at schools across Wigan.
  • She has previously studied the Train with Latics and NCS programmes. 

“When I was in school I had a really good relationship with my PE teacher which made me want to go into coaching, so the relationship I now have with some of the pupils I coach is kind of mirroring that bond I had with my teacher and I just want to inspire children to achieve as much as possible.”

The words of 17-year-old Wigan Athletic Community Trust apprentice Libby Parkinson, who has been involved with the charity for more than two years having studied the Train with Latics and NCS programmes before gaining a place on the apprenticeship scheme in September 2018.

For Libby, who struggled with her confidence prior to joining Latics, the apprenticeship has aided her personal development and enabled her to pursue her passion for coaching.

And as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2019 (4th-8th March), an event that brings together employers and apprentices from across England to highlight the success of apprenticeships, we spoke to Libby to find out more about her story with the Community Trust.

She said: “The apprenticeship with Wigan Athletic is one of the best things I’ve ever done. You don’t really realise that you’re getting an education as part of it all because you’re enjoying it so much and learning and picking up so many different skills that will benefit you in both the short and long term.

“I can’t speak highly enough about it all because it’s just amazing and working in schools and different community settings is great fun. I’ve got the bug for it and can’t get enough of coaching.”

The Community Trust have 12 first and second year apprentices, with students completing courses such as an NVQ Level 3 Diploma in PE & School Sport, Level 3 Award in Employment Awareness, FA Level 1 and 2 coaching qualifications as well as emergency first aid and safeguarding.

“There’s a real progression with it all and you can see yourself developing as a person. I had no confidence at all when I started but now I can stand in front of 25-30 children and deliver a PE lesson confidently without doubting myself or worrying about anything.

“Confidence is obviously the biggest skill I’ve picked up, but things like communication, time-management and teamwork have been big ones for me too. There’s loads more that I could mention and like I said you don’t realise you’re actually learning until you look back and think on it.”

Asked about her favourite thing as life as an apprentice and what working with Latics is like, Libby replied: “Being able to walk into a lesson and seeing the children all excited about learning PE with you is one of the best feelings ever. It gives you such a buzz to help them to do well and succeed.

“It’s great to be involved with Wigan Athletic because when I walk down the street sometimes people look at my badge and they want to ask questions about what I do and they’re interested straight away because of it.”

Wigan Athletic Community Trust are currently looking to appoint a number of first year apprentices to help provide high quality PE and sports coaching across Wigan from September 2019.

For more information about the apprenticeship, please email the Community Trust’s Training and Skills Manager Adam Sherratt via a.sherratt@wiganathletic.com or call 01942 318090. 


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