Year ten pupils from four Barnsley schools kicked off the school holidays by getting stuck into finding out what it takes to make a career in the world of sport, after spending a day at Barnsley FC’s Oakwell stadium in preparation for building their future careers outside of the classroom.
Organised by the Made in Barnsley programme, the students from Dearne ALC, Dearne Valley, Horizon and Carlton were given an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Oakwell Stadium as well as taking part in a range of games and activities aimed at developing skills vital to succeeding in the workplace, including building confidence, resilience and planning abilities.
As part of their day finding out how football club is run, the pupils were given the opportunity to speak to professionals employed by Reds in the Community, ranging from coaches to social media experts.
Communication, problem-solving and teamwork games were also on the agenda, after an introductory talk from the Reds ambassadors, who work for the charitable organisation as part of Barnsley FC’s community outreach initiative. The Reds work with young people in the community to deliver sporting activities and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Students taking part in the Made in Barnsley programme work towards building a ‘skills passport’ which enables them to build and develop crucial abilities needed to succeed in the workplace. The passport helps them to get ahead of the competition when it comes to developing their future careers.
At Barnsley FC students also tackled team-building activities which focused on these skills, testing their problem-solving and teamwork abilities through ‘human knot’ exercises, where they were challenged to communicate effectively and form a game plan to untangle themselves from one-another.
During the extra time at the end of the afternoon, the student ambassadors were given valuable advice on how to break into the industry, for those who are passionate about sport. They were advised to stay on the ball by keeping a lookout for work experience opportunities, volunteering and reaching out to professionals to build contacts and gain advice. The value of their soft skills was also highlighted, as students were encouraged to make the most out of their Made in Barnsley skills passport.
Sharon Swift, Programme Manager, Made in Barnsley, said:
“The afternoon at Barnsley FC was an excellent opportunity for students to learn about how important it is to develop soft skills, and to build up their skills passport so it can take them further after they leave school. Getting them engaged in thinking about their futures through doing something football-focused meant the session was fun as well as informative.
“When our students are looking into the future and starting to form career ideas, they often see sport as quite a limited career path where becoming a player is the only option. They don’t consider that sports teams need accountants and publicists and people who promote social inclusion in the wider community, too. We hope that this has given them a broader flavour of what a career connected to sport can really be like.”