Apprentice Finalists: Community Sport & Health Officer – Coach Core Awards 2024

This award celebrates a Coach Core apprentice who has surpassed expectations on their Community Sport & Health Officer (L3) programme.

By James Burbidge · 23rd January 2024

Our apprentices come from a huge range of backgrounds and experiences and work for some very different employers. What brings them together is a commitment to self-improvement and a desire to bring positive change to their communities. The Level 3 qualification is a new part of the Coach Core programme and the apprentices on it deserve recognition separate from their Level 2 counterparts. These finalists are just the tip of the iceberg and their accomplishments a small reflection of the whole year’s cohort. Nevertheless, the work they have done, the attitudes they have shown, the development they have gone through have made their accomplishments worth highlighting.


James Kilobo

England Boxing (National)
James came to the UK as a refugee at the age of 9, facing the challenges of adapting to a new environment and building a new life. At the age of 17, James found himself in trouble and ended up in prison. It was during this time that he discovered boxing programmes and realised the transformative power they held. Witnessing firsthand how boxing could positively impact individuals, James felt a strong desire to give back to his community and support young people who were on a similar path to his own troubled past. He discovered the apprenticeship at England Boxing through his involvement in a Clink to Club programme to help prisoners integrate into communities after release. On the apprenticeship he has set up activator courses to enable others to deliver boxing in their communities as well as running a large community event of his own. He repeatedly volunteers to help when others need it, and has supported staff, clubs, communities and fellow apprentices. Outside the apprenticeship he has volunteered at the Black Prince Trust (a charity in Kennington) and contributes to prison radio.

“James’ resilience, passion, and commitment to personal growth make him a remarkable individual on a mission to create positive change in the lives others.”


Michael Pentland

Newcastle Falcons (Northumberland, Tyne & Wear)
Michael dropped out of school following mental health issues he’d been dealing with since deaths in his close family. He found support through the Newcastle Falcons HITZ programme and as he came to the end of that he was able to become an apprentice with the same organisation. He started as a Level 2 apprentice and has moved on to a Level 3 programme. He credits this progression through the Falcons with rescuing him and says it was a place to go when he had nowhere else. Michael uses his experience to connect with the young people on the programmes he is delivering, helping them not only to stay active but to improve their mental health, social and employability skills.

“Michael has overcome some huge challenges in his early life and has done extremely well to get to where he is now. This is a testament to his perseverance and application, wanting to strive for the best version of himself even when he isn’t at full confidence.”


Gabrielle Reid

England Boxing (National)
Gabi has thrived on this apprenticeship, demonstrating exceptional dedication, initiative, and a genuine commitment to making a positive impact within the boxing community and beyond. She has organised and co-delivered Boxing Activator courses, as well as creating and delivering a large community project that was participant-led, accessible and engaging. Outside of her work Gabi has spoken in school assemblies and fundraises for Cerebral Palsy Sport charity as she has right hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects her muscle control and movement. She is a keen competitive boxer and aspires to compete at the Paralympic Games. Her work on the apprenticeship was recently recognised when she won UK Coaching’s Young Coach of the Year award, one of the most prestigious in the sector. Gabi gained a distinction in her Level 3 apprenticeship and has now moved on to a Level 4 one with England Boxing.

“Gabrielle’s apprenticeship journey has been a remarkable and transformative experience, filled with significant achievements, milestones, and personal growth.”

Our Sponsors

Lifetime Training and Amazing Apprenticeships are proud sponsors of Coach Core Awards.

Lifetime Training provides cutting edge skills training, designed to help people exceed their potential and give businesses the ultimate competitive advantage. They will be sponsoring the Mentor of the Year and Employer of the Year categories.

Amazing Apprenticeships are a leading organisation in the education sector, working with schools, colleges and employers, tackling misconceptions and promoting the benefits of apprenticeships and technical education. They will be sponsoring the post-event reception.




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