A Telford teenager has switched his focus from farming to fitness – and is now setting his sights on a lifelong career in sports education.
Tom Holmes, 18, from Wellington, began his education studying agriculture with a view to working on a farm.
But he has now decided on a change of direction, and enrolled at Telford College to turn his love of sport and exercise into a different kind of career.
“I’m now doing a level two course in sport studies, which goes into some depth about anatomy, coaching, nutrition, physiology and injury in sport,” said Tom, a keen rugby player and regular at the gym.
“The reason I chose this course after my year of agriculture was because farming was taking a lot of time away from what I loved doing the most, which was sport and keeping fit.
“So after a hard decision I chose to do sport – the hobby that I love – and develop it into a lifelong career.”
Tom has already experienced the world of work with a six-week placement at Embrace PE in Shrewsbury, which goes into schools to help young people develop sporting skills and teamwork.
“I had an amazing time teaching and learning lot of things from the company owner Simon Evitts, and the children at the schools I visited. I assisted Simon in coaching the sessions, and sometimes got chance to lead sessions of my own too.”
Simon added: “I was massively pleased with how Tom fitted in. He was always eager to learn, and it was a pleasure to see how his confidence grew throughout the weeks. He built up a terrific rapport with the youngsters.”
Tom has since been sharing his experience with young people from his former school, Charlton School in Wellington, by giving a talk to a group of year 10 students.
“I’ve been emphasising the importance of working work hard on GCSEs to allow for a better chance to do what you want at college.
“I also told them to do what they want to do, and not what their friends are doing, because everyone has different interests.”
When Tom finishes his Telford College studies, he has his sights set on a teaching apprenticeship . . . and a career on the other side of the world.
“I am hoping to go to Australia for a year with a teaching qualification, and allow more doors to open up,” he said.
Carol Taylor, work placement co-ordinator at Telford College, said: “Tom learned a great deal from his placement at Embrace PE and led a session here at the college in sport, using knowledge he had gained.
“This was well received by his peers, and tutor Jenni Hood who supervised the session was impressed with his delivery and knowledge.
“When he met the Charlton School students, Tom talked about the importance of work experience, which employers value just as much as qualifications.
“Tom also showed his professionalism when he took the group on a tour of our Haybridge campus, explaining how we link each part of the college to careers and skills.”
He is also involved in a new project in partnership with the Football Association, after Telford College was officially recognised as a ‘Grassroots Hub’ for coaching and training the next generation of footballers.