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Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence. (Sharing excellent practice in Europe)
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) mobility project in Tenerife has been running for 3 years with great success and is managed by a well established partnership between South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS) and the FU international language academy Tenerife (FU).We aim to improve on this success and build on professional relationships and contacts made. In 2011 it was a new, exciting, large scale, and truly innovative proposal that proved ground breaking in what it offered. It was the first project of its kind and required an open mindedness and flexibility from all partners and the national funding agency.AASE is an advanced level 3 national apprenticeship programme funded by the national apprenticeship service, established by the sector skills council for sport and owned by national governing bodies (NGB's) SGS manage the quality and delivery of the apprenticeship for the NGB's and currently work with 6 sports, and 600 AASE learners based all around England.AASE is the only apprenticeship that has been given a government exemption of the 30 hours a week work based placement requirement. This was given in recognition of the time elite athletes need to dedicate to sport training. The exemption is necessary for sporting success, however it does mean young people with exceptional sporting talent hoping to represent their country do not have the opportunity to experience a realistic work environment and learn the life skills required to succeed in the work place. This is essential for any young person to enhance future employment opportunities and career longevity. Traditionally talented young sports people have ignored their education to focus on their sporting goal. AASE has been designed to prepare athletes for sporting success but also for employment outside of their sport. The main objectives of the mobility project are to give 150 AASE participants a year the opportunity to learn from European experts in their field, gain valuable life skills, train in a different environment at altitude and on different terrain, experience a different culture, learn a new language, build European relationships, share good practice with European peers, and collect valuable evidence towards units of the AASE qualification that will accelerate learning and improve success rates. The ultimate aim is to prepare the apprentices for the world of work. The participants are from a variety of ethnic, cultural, social and economic backgrounds. Many will not have travelled outside of the UK or experienced flying, however their elite level of sporting success may require them to move away from home to Europe and further afield for extended periods of time at the end of their course!The main work based activity for AASE participants is coaching local Spanish children in schools, camps and club environments. Participants are required to plan, manage, deliver and evaluate engaging, inclusive, fun and informative coaching sessions for all ages and abilities ensuring aims and objectives of each session are met. This helps local participation in sport, introduces new sports to the limited Spanish curriculum and allows sharing of high level expertise and techniques with those local children who are already participating but wish to further their skills. Coaching young children of different ages, gender, backgrounds, cultures, learning needs, interests and communication levels hits a tremendous amount of the learning outcomes for AASE coaching and communication units. Learning is accelerated in this environment beyond anything that could be offered in the UK or within a simulated environment. It is life changing for our AASE participants in the experience, confidence and joy it gives them. Accompanying AASE staff observe and assess participant’s performance against the specific AASE qualification criteria so no learning or assessment opportunities are missed. This is included in the Learning agreement.A meticulously detailed timetable includes; An AASE specific education programme delivered by the FU, Spanish lessons, local cultural activities, sport training, altitude training and some free time. It has to be structured to ensure high level sport training with coaches and AASE study continue throughout. The timetable is planned in consultation with participants, coaches, parents, NGB's, placement providers, the FU and SGS to ensure all activities are directly relevant to achieving the project objectives and the AASE units. Each project is continually evaluated.The main impact is to enhance participant’s education and giving them a European placement which will empower them to actively participate in society, teach important life and social skills to open their eyes to a life outside of sport and the UK, strengthen their employability and help facilitate their transition to the labour market.
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