Meet Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Ryan Treacher-Collins

The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards recognised the best talent in the county with a special presentation evening on Tuesday 24th April 2018 in the beautiful setting of The Orangery at Blenheim Palace.

The Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award was won by Ryan Treacher-Collins, who has recently completed an Activity Leadership Apprenticeship with Can Do Martial Arts, where he works as a coach. Ryan was chosen as the winner by sponsor Barclays because of his determination, enthusiasm and the significant impact he has had on those he works with, both fellow coaches and students.


As a student at the Can Do Martial Arts academy, Ryan was always eager to help the instructors and support others in the group who were struggling with certain techniques. Can Do Martial Arts Chief Instructor and owner Ben Richardson was impressed by Ryan’s attitude, ability and way with people and offered him the opportunity to join the team as an Apprentice coach as soon as he left school.

During the course of his Apprenticeship, Ryan progressed from supporting other coaches with classes to running his own classes for people of all ages and abilities, both at the Dojo and at local schools.

Ben said: “Ryan soon moved from a support coach role into a lead coach. He now runs sessions specialising in karate for all different age groups ranging from young toddlers to fully grown adults. Ryan always comes into work in a positive mood and enjoys his job.”

“A parent recently asked me if their child, who suffers from autism, could have some one-to-one support. I immediately thought of Ryan as his patience, manner and professionalism in coaching meant he would be the most suitable person for the role. Ryan immediately offered up his time and was keen to help, which reflects in his passion for helping others to enjoy karate as much as himself.”

Alongside his Apprenticeship, Ryan also completed a fitness instructor qualification, which means that he is now able to help clients in the onsite mini gym and ensure that they are carrying out exercises safely and correctly. Always keen to learn and develop, Ryan’s next aim is to complete a level 3 personal training award so that he can work one-to-one with clients and offer more support specifically to fitness for martial arts.

Ryan said: “I couldn’t recommend the Apprenticeship pathway highly enough. The training and experience was all relevant to my specific job role and completed at my place of work. I didn’t realise it was possible to gain qualifications whilst doing something I love, instructing martial arts. Not only did I learn how to lead sessions but I also developed skills in communication, time management and problem solving.”

“I enjoyed the Apprenticeship experience and now want to continue with my learning and development. If we get another Apprentice in the workplace, I would like to use my experience to help mentor and support them, so they can gain as much from the experience as I did.”

Trevor French, Head of Mid Corporate at Barclays Thames Valley said: “Those around Ryan have seen him grow in confidence. His communication skills have developed considerably and he communicates effectively with adult students, parents, teachers and other coaches. He has learned to take initiative and is not afraid to speak to people for support and advice. He has really enjoyed the Apprenticeship experience and is an ambassador for the pathway and looking forward to the opportunity of mentoring others.”

Ryan’s course tutor and assessor at ICON Training, Robin Faulkes, said: “Throughout the year I could see Ryan’s confidence develop. I observed Ryan deliver a variety of classes and witnessed him develop from a shy, introvert character to become a confident and passionate instructor.”

“Ryan always wants to learn and achieve more and this is evident in him completing an additional qualification in fitness instructing during his Apprenticeship. This was an additional qualification that Ryan really wanted to complete to enable him to assist more within the gym. Ryan has always looked to challenge himself and now, upon completing his level 2 qualification he is very keen to progress onto a level 3 which I am extremely looking forward to supporting Ryan to achieve.”