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Football coach joins Telegraph team to help boost apprenticeship drive

At TWSports.Org we always look to support young coaches & offer opportunities of on the job experience.  We also have internal training along with club visits across Europe.  Below you can read our feature in the Belfast Telegraph.

Feature in the Belfast Telegraph

On-the-job training…an open goal if you want to get ahead

There’s nothing better than getting on-the-job training & real life experience.

That’s the view of Tim Wareing of TW Sports, whose business has become the latest to back the Belfast Telegraph’s campaign to create 100 apprenticeships in 100 days.

The ethos of learning & training on the job is one which applies to the sports field as well as more every day workplaces.

Indeed Mr Wareing (33) started his career training to be a travel agent, which he combined with NVQ II & III classes at then Castlereagh College.

But his business, which has become his life’s work, is training football coaches & providing soccer programmes for young kids, including toddlers.

He is also the author of Toddler Soccer, The Essential Guide To A Toddlers First Steps In Soccer.

Mr Wareing, who has been recognised by Invest NI for his entrepreneurial achievements said he had been impressed by the commitment to sport & learning shown by the young people who have been trained by him.

That led him to be a firm believer in apprenticeships.

“I’d definitely back the Belfast Telegraph’s campaign to create 100 apprenticeships in 100 days, because I’m a big advocate of learning on the job.  To take someone & give them experience on the job as well as getting them the teaching is wonderful.

“When you combine the passion people have for football with learning, it’s a great combination.”

Mr Wareing coached at Lisburn Distillery between the ages of 24 & 30 & also became the club’s academy director.  He achieved his UEFA European A coaching licence at 24, but his career began differently.

“My background when I left school was in travel, but when I was made redundant at the age of 26 I set up TW Sports.”

Yet working at Globetrotter Travel hasn’t been wasted in his present business environment.

“It was this position in an independent agency that offered me the experience of how to operate a business – dealing with the public, making reservations, customer care, marketing & all the other jobs that operating a small to medium-sized business.”

Now he is happy to ensure other people can get equally valuable training working alongside with him.

Prevention better than cure

I watched Sky Sports with interest today on their report about sport in school.  The Government have said they will cut £162 million from school sports…although surely prevention is better than cure?  The money that will be cut from sport will end up being spent on treatment and health clinics to try and cure preventable illnesses in children later in life.  In a day and age that the Government recommend children receive at least an hour activity per day they cut funding in sport!

My own award winning community programme has received plenty of interest but unfortunately not all Council’s welcome it. More pressure will be on independent, skilled coaches but what support & recognition do they receive?  I travelled to Holland last year and listened to a very interesting presentation by the Mayor of Oss.  I compare how the Dutch Council’s compare to our Council’s in Northern Ireland…

Oss is a city with 9 villages and small towns.  With 77,000 inhabitants & 125 nationalities, the Council insures plenty of activity for all.  The facilities on offer and sporting opportunities on offer is too much to mention in this report.  Although one fact which I will mention is that they spend €256 million (£233m) on sports funding each year.  On average they will spend €69 (£63) per person per year on sport!

How refreshing to see a Council wanting to provide for the community and work with sporting business’, sports clubs and organisations.

The Dutch Council was shocked that my local Council, the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast, does not promote my sports development programme.  I have touched on the subject before but Belfast City Council and a number of ‘our’ Councils will not support private run organisations – even my own award winning business.

Even if I do manage to get past the bookings officer and they accept a booking from me, in one of Belfast’s 11 Leisure Centres, they will charge £100 per 45 minute slot per week.  Yes you did read that right…..£100 per week!  If that is not enough to hinder me thinking about starting a programme for children that will develop their football skills along with their social skills and improve their health they charge a further £2 per child attending!

So for me to take a group of 20 children I would have to pay Belfast City Council £140 per week.  Or, if you like, £840 per 6 week term.  That would result in charging each child £7 per 45 minute class!  But how do I pay my coaches, insurance, equipment, petrol & support my family?  Well I would have to charge more!

Honestly, drug dealers get more freedom to operate in Belfast than my youth development programme that is open to all.  This country will never change; it will always remain a culture of, ‘who you know’ and ‘who you are’.  Although the lack of support and hatred I receive from Councils and Sports ‘Development’ officers is a compliment.  They are jealous of a successful programme that is run by a talented group of coaches – its competition!

I can’t find any information on what Belfast City Council spends on sport and leisure.  Although some interesting and confirmed facts that I found on their website (Belfast City Council) and from the Belfast Telegraph include the following;

  • 11 Leisure Centres operated by Belfast City Council.
  • £41 million loss in last 5 years, despite more than £50 million of rate payer’s money invested.
  • Not one Leisure Centre made profit or came close to breaking even.
  • Between 2002-2007 £53 million of public money was put into keeping the 11 facilities open.

Belfast City Council also claims the following;

  • Giving young people a sound start in sport.
  • Encouraging and supporting good relations.
  • Promoting physical activity and leisure.

Personally I can’t agree with any of the statements above.  They will argue back that I’m a business & I’m out to make money?  Well of course I need to make money; I have a family including 3 children to support!  Maybe Belfast City Council want higher poverty rates throughout the province.  Maybe they just want private ventures like my own to help recoup the millions that they are throwing away through poor management.

I could offer a long list of benefits what TWSports.Org offers through their inclusive and innovative products that are open to all.  That introduces toddlers from the age of 2 to sport.  Educating the importance of a healthy lifestyle; children and parents mixing socially; giving children more responsibility & freedom to be creative and develop their technical skills – oh, and developing young coaches and offering employment in the middle of a recession.  But that sounds too good to be true.

I am realistic that my programme is successful due to the hard work that my staff and I put in but more importantly the continued support we receive from parents, children, schools and other Councils and organisations in Northern Ireland.

As you can see from my headline; Northern Ireland are getting stuffed by a well managed country like Holland but there is a late surge of activity from Northern Ireland.  The fight back is on with the following starring…

  • Standard of health in general is lower than the UK average.
  • Numbers dying from heart disease in Northern Ireland are amongst the highest in Europe.

So two great facts to finish on over Holland…where did I gain this information?  Well, that again would be from the Belfast City Council website!  So those that are reading this report in Northern Ireland, maybe you should think twice about what our Politian’s are really doing.  Is this the way you want our children brought up?

I would love to hear what you think, please add your comments by clicking on the comment feed at the top of my story!

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