Scores of teenagers and young adults with an enthusiasm for sport learnt about the sector’s wide range of career and education pathways in Oxfordshire at OxLEP’s annual Careers Fest.
The two-day event, held at the Kassam Stadium in Blackbird Leys, welcomed 4,000 students and 75 exhibitors who helped guests understand what the future could hold for them via information stands, talks and practical activities.
Among the exhibitors were our own teams representing Ignite Sport and Velocity Football who showcased the apprenticeship, BTEC and alternative provision programmes delivered onsite at the RAW Charging Stadium in Marston.
General Manager Hannah Bladen was joined by Velocity Football graduate turned Ignite Junior Administrator Tia Herbert to lead our presence. Coaches Josh Ashby, Aliyah Anthony, Jordan Piper, Ellen Hopkins, James Gilmore and Jack Tutton were also on hand to share their insights into coaching and why a career in sport works for them.
Hannah said Careers Fest presented the perfect opportunity for secondary school students and young adults to learn more about the careers and development pathways that interest them.
“There is so much for people leaving school to consider from choosing where to progress their development to deciding what careers they’re interested in learning more about,” said Hannah.
“At Ignite Sport and Velocity Football, we facilitate not only BTEC and alternative provision programmes but also apprenticeships covering coaching, teaching, marketing, content production and management.
“We’ve worked with many talented individuals since our formation in 1999, some of whom remained a key part of our team while others accepted exciting roles elsewhere. Events like Careers Fest are a great way to engage and meet the next generation of workers who may share our passion for making sport accessible to everyone.
“Our team enjoyed sharing their experiences of working in the sports industry and how their roles allow them to make a positive impact on participants they engage via our higher education programmes, work in schools and other community environments.”
Among visitors to the Ignite Sport and Velocity Football stand were students from Wheatley Park School, where one talented guest won a pair of Apple Air Pods for reaching 81 on our interactive ‘keepy uppy challenge’.
Tia added: “Having the knowledge of what education and employment opportunities are available when you leave school is what can shape your future.
“I read about Velocity Football online and enrolled immediately as I knew a career in sport would be something that would interest me. The knowledge and skills I developed on the course led to my full-time role today.
“We really enjoyed meeting students who visited our stand and hope they left with a better understanding of the varied roles and pathways we provide at Ignite Sport and Velocity Football.”
Further information about Velocity Football and its BTEC, apprenticeship and alternative provision programmes can be found via its website here.