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Former Sports College student sees personal skills soar through Club Doncaster Foundation apprenticeship

09 February 2024

Sitting down with Matthew Thompson, 6 months after starting his apprenticeship, you can see straight away how his confidence has progressed. 

After applying for the role of ‘Apprentice Coach’ within the Foundation, Matty has spent time with a range of delivery staff at numerous sessions, getting to experience the role of a community coach while coaching a variety of participants.

Matty first came in the know of the apprenticeship programme within the Foundation, following his time with the Club Doncaster Sports College. He spent 2 years with the Sports College, studying BTEC level 3 extended diploma in sports, where he gained knowledge within coaching through modules within his course and on an international level, during the 2 week European Sports Tour to Holland, where he coached and refereed with mini soccer schools. 

The apprenticeship programme gives those who want a career in coaching, to gain valuable experience in coaching within local partner schools and community sessions, all while completing their Level 2 Community Activator qualification. 

Speaking of why he decided to apply for the apprenticeship, he said: “I started enjoying coaching while I was at the Sports College and I heard about the apprenticeship through the tutors, which made me think it might be something I’d be interested in.

“I did a couple of voluntary days on the pitch when they had school and Premier League Kicks tournaments, which I really enjoyed, so I thought the apprenticeship was a natural move for me. 

“Multiple people recommended me apply and I’m glad I did. I’m loving it so far.

“I learnt and improved many skills in the past few months, but the one I’ve seen the biggest improvement on is my confidence. In delivering sessions, being able to engage with participants of different ages.

“The sessions I’ve delivered on have been a variety of ages, abilities and have challenged me, which is helping me massively.

“This has showed me that it’s definitely what I want to do and progress further with.”

Numerous staff members and lecturers from the Sport College praised Matty as a student during his time on his course. 

Emma Harrison, assistant principal (head of FE & quality) at the Sports College worked regularly with Matty: “He was a fantastic learner during his time at college.

“We saw great progression over his time on the BTEC level 3 extended diploma in sport, and he excelled in the practical units including sports coaching, showcasing his fantastic leadership skills. 

“We're glad to see him doing so well on his apprenticeship with the Foundation.”

Mason Fairclough, who heads up the schools department has also seen the positive impact the apprenticeship has had on Matty in just six months: "I first met Matty through our Future Coaches programme, which we ran in late 2022 whilst he was still at our Sports College. 

“He had raised his interest early on, while completing the course, about joining our team, because he had prior coaching experience through the College's trip to Utrecht and with his college course. 

“After helping volunteer on many projects and impressing in his interview, Matty was offered an apprenticeship with The Foundation, where he has gone from strength to strength and has especially impressed in his work with our SEND groups."

Interested in an apprenticeship at the Foundation or want to find out more information? Contact 

Former Sports College student sees personal skills soar through Club Doncaster Foundation apprenticeship