Meet Tom – The New Sports Development Apprentice

Tom Gamester (19) has joined SportsAble as a Sports Development Apprentice through the Coach Core apprenticeship scheme created by The Royal Foundation: the principal charitable and philanthropic vehicle of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Over the next 15 months, Tom will work alongside SportsAble’s sports development team, delivering a number of disability sports and gaining a wide range of skills.  At the end of the Coach Core scheme, Tom will qualify with a recognisable Level 2 apprenticeship and a minimum of one Level 2 coaching qualification too.

Since its launch in 2012, the Coach Core scheme has helped 463 apprentices previous, current or graduated and 91% have moved into full time employment or education on completion of the apprenticeship.

Before joining SportsAble, Tom worked as a food and beverage assistant at a hotel in Reading, and he had previously trained as a lifeguard.

Tom says, “The hospitality industry taught me to be more confident in social situations and to gain a greater understanding of communication cues. However, I was looking for a more fulfilling career and have always enjoyed sport. Growing-up I played a lot of football and I really enjoy watching rugby.

“I was delighted when I knew I had got the apprenticeship at SportsAble because it meant I would be helping people who may have difficulty getting active. SportsAble also encourages people to reach outside of their comfort zone and that inspires me to go that extra mile and help them.”

In the future, Tom would like to become a personal trainer with a wide range of clientele, including non-disabled people as well as those living with long-term conditions and disabilities.

Speaking about his first couple of weeks in the role, Tom says, “So far, I have really enjoyed working here. I like working with the members and staff team. I am learning more about disability sport and was amazed that the technology we have at SportsAble enables visually impaired members to enjoy shooting air weapons. I have also seen how confident and happy the members are that come here and enjoy sports.”

Tom says that Cristiano Ronaldo has been a great inspiration to him because of the football superstar’s drive to be the best version of himself both on and off the pitch. Something else that motivates Tom is the quote, ‘If you think you can’t change, then you won’t: if you think you can change, then you will – either way you are right.’

If you know anyone aged 16-24 years who is not in education or employment, Coach Core delivers an inclusive and impactful sports coaching apprenticeship that develops the talents of young people and provides them with a range of vital skills for sport, work and life. Visit the website