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Sports apprenticeship is a hit with football clubs
Nearly every football club in the country is now running a apprenticeship scheme that aims to give talented young athletes a career in sport long after their playing days are over.
The Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme was launched in 2004 and has been rolled out across a number of sports including football, rugby union and golf,
82 of the 92 Premiership and Football League clubs in England and Wales have taken it up and about 1,200 people are now doing the two-year course.
Chris Powell, Charlton Athletic player and Chairman of The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), said: "This scheme is a major breakthrough for the football industry. I'm coming towards the end of my career as a professional player so I'm considering future options. I welcome and commend any programme that provides the skillset to maintain a career in football and then enable smooth transition out of it."
The AASE programme was devised by SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for active leisure and learning, together with a number of governing bodies of sport and other partnership organisations and individuals.
Russell Grocott, education and welfare officer at Leicester City FC, said: "Employers in the sporting world are really taking responsibility for what happens to our talented young sportspeople and making a long-term investment in training. The education programme helps talented athletes to achieve their career goals in the sport they love, or generally."
John Thorpe of SkillsActive, said: "The AASE was originally trialled in the football industry, and proved so successful that it is now being rolled out to a range of sports, including tennis, rugby union, swimming, golf and cricket."
Alan Sykes of League Football Education, said: "AASE really does show what can be achieved when we work to develop people's skills. The athletes that benefit have a range of skills, all of which can be developed to make the most of their talent and to help them realise their fullest career potential."
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