Meet Harry, Apprentice Sports Coach with Oxford United Community Trust

Jason Ho, in year 11 at Cherwell School, met Harry Symonds to find out all about his experience of being an Apprentice Sports Coach.

Harry Symonds, 18, is currently a Level 2 Apprentice Sports Coach with Oxford United Community Trust. It has been almost a year since Harry started doing the Apprenticeship.

Harry went to Marlborough School in Woodstock. He did GCSEs and a year of sixth form there. He thought of himself as not being ‘an academic person’ after the first year of sixth form and started to look at different Apprenticeships online.

At first, he found an Apprenticeship in bricklaying, thinking he may get paid well with it. However, it turned out he did not enjoy it and after a few months decided it wasn’t for him. He then went on the government’s website to look for other Apprenticeships. The offer from Oxford United Community Trust popped up and he was very interested so he applied for it. The interview lasted for a week, he get to learn about his working environment for most of his week and the formal interview was placed on Friday which made him feel more comfortable about it and he was offered a place.

Although his Apprenticeship does not pay as well as some others, Harry is absolutely enjoying his time there. As he has been interested in football since he was a child, he really enjoys working with Oxford United. As his daily routine, he has to contact coaches to tell them what school they are going to that day and make sure they have the registers. At half twelve, he is usually at Oxford Academy preparing for the OUFC development teams to come and train. He also has to go to different primary schools to do PE lessons with students. Travelling around is necessary for him as he has to go to several after school clubs. On matchdays he takes care of the mascots of OUFC and gives them a tour of the club. He also gets a free ticket!

Harry has a large responsibility as an Apprentice (taking care of children) and he finds his time being an Apprentice substantial. First of all, he is doing college work while getting paid, which he thinks benefits him a lot. Also, he gets a qualification from the Apprenticeship. This helps him with his future as he is hoping to get a full-time job at Oxford United Community Trust. Moreover, doing so brings him evidence of work experience and actual experience, which helps him to take a bigger leap forward than others on finding a job.

What advice would Harry give to those who are thinking of doing an Apprenticeship?

“In year 9 I would never have thought of myself doing an Apprenticeship in the future, but here I am, definitely not regretting becoming an Apprentice!” he said. He points out that in order to enjoy an Apprenticeship, ‘stepping out of your comfort zone’ is very crucial. “I used to be really shy, but I am much better at communicating with others now and I’m the loudest in the office!”  Looks like leaving his comfort zone really helped him with his life. “To be honest, do it for the money.” He added. Wise words Harry.