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 in final 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 going it alone from the club, after his two team mates had to pull out of the ride.

Project Manager Kev Sanders said “We as a Foundation are delighted to be supporting Men United and Prostate Cancer.  Fans have seen a number of events around matchdays 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.  This will be a massive challenge for Zac and we are fully behind him.”

Donations can be made via the fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/vale2amsterdam