Keen sportsman Dan had always dreamt of a career in sports. However, instead of following his passion, he ‘fell into a job’ to pay the bills, working at a petrol station.
He knew qualifications and experience would be key to achieving his goal of developing a career in sports: ‘I wasn’t the best student at school, so I needed to bring my English grade up.’ He enrolled on an evening GCSE English class at City of Oxford College, part of Activate Learning. Having achieved his desired grade, he then enrolled on a Level 2 Fitness instructor and a Level 3 Personal trainer programme.
Dan was able to combine these flexible, evening programmes with paid employment. Now, Dan is well on his way to achieve his career dream. He is undertaking a two-year Foundation Degree in Sports programme, which he plans to convert into a degree with a top up year.
Dan credits his learning experience at Activate Learning with having changed his career prospects and helped transform his life: ‘Being at college has given me direction, a progression route that matched my interests.’
The Foundation Degree in Sports combines theory and practice – from anatomy to mechanics, equipping Dan and other students with the knowledge to help clients exercise safely. Dan was part of the first cohort of apprentices working in the newly launched Oxford Lifestyle Centre, an incredible opportunity and a steep learning curve: ‘Being thrust into it was amazing. You have to learn skills to support customers because they have paid for it.’
Dan has set his sights firmly in a future in the sports industry: ‘After college, I will be starting a BsC in Sports at Oxford Brookes University in September. Then I am planning to do some work experience with Northampton Town FC, a football team. I will be working with their physio and rehab team. I have enjoyed working with athletes because you can push them to achieve their best, and that gives me a great sense of achievement.
‘I would say to anyone who is considering applying for the course to go for it, and to really immerse themselves. The more you put in, the more you get out. ‘