A Stoke on Trent College student is proving that apprenticeships don’t only educate him in work skills but life skills too!
18-year-old Zach Siwiec, from Leek is training for the gruelling 148-mile Football to Amsterdam Challenge this June. Football to Amsterdam is Prostate Cancer UK and the EFL’s annual pedal-pilgrimage, leaving Barnsley’s Oakwell Stadium for two days cycling on June 9th.
“It’s something I have never thought of doing before, in fact I hadn’t ridden a bike for a few years. Not only will I be riding alongside footballing legends, I will be helping to raise much needed awareness for prostate cancer and raising money for a great cause”.
Zach also feels the opportunities he is receiving through his apprenticeship, such as this, are invaluable in developing his life skills. “I started studying “A” levels at my local school, but it wasn’t the route for me and I was becoming disengaged with education. I saw the apprenticeship vacancy at Port Vale FC through Stoke on Trent College and couldn’t believe it when I was successful. As well as learning coaching skills, I feel a huge sense of achievement from encouraging youngsters to get the best out of the sport they love. This apprenticeship has certainly been an eye opener for me and I would advise anyone who doesn’t feel that A Level’s is for them, to explore this route”
Zach will be joined on his ride by two other members of the club, Project Manager Kev Sanders and Community lead coach Callum Rollings.
Kev Sanders added: “We as a Foundation are delighted to be supporting Men United and Prostate Cancer and over the next few weeks’ fans will see a number of events around match days, the stadium and our programmes aimed at raising awareness and supporting this great cause. For the first time in a number of years Port Vale will be represented on the F2A challenge and although it will be a massive challenge for the 3 of us, some of us haven’t been on a bike in years, we are really looking forward getting into the training and raising some money.”
The trio have been personally affected by the disease and have put down the junk food, cut out any drinking and are bearing the saddle sores to raise their target of £3,000. Donations can be made via their fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/vale2amsterdam
The team are being sponsored on their ride by Ayudante Bicycles from Fenton, who will be working with the foundation throughout the journey.
Stoke on Trent College offering the widest range of apprenticeship provision in Staffordshire with over 1000 apprentices studying at any one time.