Realising university was not for her, Maia Smith sought an apprenticeship after deciding she wanted to be a sports coach.
Upon completion of her A-levels at sixth form, Maia tried the university pathway, but cut time short on her studies to pursue an apprenticeship, which she feels has been more beneficial as she continues to work towards being a coach.
Currently undertaking a level 2 teaching assistant qualification, Maia, who plays cricket in her spare time for Brodsworth Main, fancied doing something more practical to help her develop. She said: “I always wanted to get into coaching from a young age, having completed my level 1 cricket coach assistant in 2015.
“In 2016 I went on to attain my level 2 which made me a qualified cricket coach which I really enjoyed doing. So to get back into coaching is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now.”
Having started her apprenticeship in October of last year, Maia already feels like this pathway is the right one for her. She said: “In the short space of time that I’ve been at the Foundation, my confidence has grown and I feel at home here.
“The staff are really supportive and make you feel like part of the team. I hope to gain an even better understanding of coaching and the impact it has on all types of people.”
Alongside her apprenticeship at Club Doncaster Foundation, Maia regularly volunteers on the health and wellbeing projects, including the award-winning Fit Rovers project.
With only six months of her apprenticeship to go, the 20-year-old has her sights firmly set on a coaching role. When asked what the plan is for the future, Maia already knows what she wants to do. She said: “The aim right now is to complete my apprenticeship and gain a full-time job coaching.
“Being able to see the impact you have on people when delivering sessions is amazing. It’s what motivates me to be a coach.”
With more and more opportunities becoming available, the apprentices at the Foundation can gain valuable experience in coaching and teaching.