Amy, Level 3 rugby development apprentice

Amy Rothero has completed a Level 3 rugby development apprenticeship at the Welsh Rugby Union. Following her experience, Amy decided to go on to study a degree in sport management at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Schools might not tell you about apprenticeships, so it’s worth doing some research for yourself

I did sport from a young age and always had a passion for it. At college, I studied a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport. I had no idea what I wanted to do - I just knew the sporting route was the path I wanted to go down.

I didn’t know what apprenticeships were. I didn’t see them as a proper job at first. Now I realise I needed the apprenticeship to discover what I wanted to do in life.

 

I found out about the apprenticeship through friends, so I researched it. It sounded perfect. I knew I wanted to pursue a career within rugby, and I knew the apprenticeship would give me so much experience.

The application process can be as tough as any game, but you’ll come out the other side with a team on your side

I filled out an application online. I went into detail about myself and my personal interpretation of the core values of the employer; WRU (Welsh Rugby Union).

Then the interview, which was a three-day process. The first day was in the Principality Stadium - going there was a massive thing in itself.

There were a lot of group tasks, and a lot of individual tasks and challenges that took you out of your comfort zone. They wanted to see how you reacted to different situations and how you got on with people.

I really enjoyed it. I didn’t have much confidence, but knowing that you want something so bad you have to express yourself and show you want the job.

There were about twenty of us on the first day, then every day people would get eliminated. On the last day we realised - we’re the twelve apprentices! That was amazing. I started less than a week later.

 

Apprenticeships can both challenge and inspire you

On a Monday we would work with the regional mentor. On Fridays, all twelve apprentices from across Wales would come and work together with all the mentors. Every 60 days we’d have a review to go through targets and see how we’re doing. It was nice to have my regional mentor if I needed someone.

I did two weeks filling in for a hub officer - a rugby coach - in a secondary school. Teaching boys when I’m not much older than them was very intimidating for me, but I had to prove women can do it just as well as men.

You have to adapt to whoever you’re coaching. It takes you out of your comfort zone.

There was also work with female rugby. That was nice as I was able to increase participation. I also loved working with disabled participants - that was very rewarding.

Alongside the apprenticeship I worked for the Scarlets professional rugby region in West Wales as a community coach, which was also beneficial for the apprenticeship.

What are the positives from your apprenticeship experience?

The apprenticeship was amazing. I loved it.

I loved everyone I worked with and have met people I can call friends for life. Meeting new people and making connections with people - not just friends but coaches - and working in the rugby industry, that will be beneficial for years to come.

The job required me to be independent and take responsibility. I was chucked in at the deep end - I’d have to react and adapt quickly. That boosts your confidence every single time. It improved my decision making too.

My family has been very supportive - they knew it was the route I wanted to go down.

There is nothing to stop you from building on an apprenticeship with additional qualifications

The apprenticeship made me realise my strengths and weaknesses. It narrowed it down to the one thing I love doing; planning and organising events. I love what goes on behind the scenes of rugby. Now I’m doing a Sport Management degree - the apprenticeship guided me down that route.

My ideal scenario would be working within Scarlets or the Welsh Rugby Union. I want to stay in contact with the rugby industry. You never know what’s going to happen in the future.

Application tips from the WRU

Amy was known to us before she applied as she reached out to us to ask what it was about and what she needed to do to apply. Employers like potential candidates going above and beyond to show their interest and ‘can do’ attitude.

Her experiences and the confidence she has gained means she will be an asset for any employer.

I would encourage anyone, and parents of potential candidates, to explore apprenticeships closely - they offer a huge amount. Plus, the network they’re exposed to (particularly with us) cannot be underestimated with regards to future employment and experiences.

- Carl Scales, WRU Rugby Development Apprenticeship Manager