Shaun Bradshaw, from the Strawberry Fields Steps To Work programme, is on an eight-week work experience placement with Kids Planet Greenbank as a sports coach.
Last year, the Kids Planet Training Academy launched a bespoke sports coach traineeship, which allows people with an interest in sports to gain experience in early years with a sports focus, before embarking on an apprenticeship.
As Kids Planet has an ongoing collaboration with Strawberry Fields in Liverpool, the nursery group was matched with Shaun, who was part of the Steps To Work programme (which provides the opportunity for people to develop their employability and prepare themselves to look for paid employment).
Shaun was looking to build up his confidence, and pursue a career in coaching which is a personal interest of his. Having begun his placement, Shaun is at the Greenbank nursery Monday to Friday, supported by Nathan Cook, experienced Sports Coach.
Gill Mason, Head of Training and Development, said:
“At the Kids Planet Training Academy, we are always keen to support and encourage young people thinking about a career in early years, continually communicating the many and varied roles in the sector.
Thus it was with great enthusiasm that we welcomed Shaun from the Strawberry Fields Steps to Work programme, who has a background and love of sports coaching, to try out the unique role of early years sports coach at Greenbank.
I visited the nursery on Friday to watch a football skills session and I am delighted to see how much his confidence has grown in such a short space of time. The children were so engaged in the session and truly enjoyed the programme as do the team at Greenbank.”
Nathan Cook, Senior Sports Development Officer, said:
“I have been supporting Shaun and it is great to see him growing in confidence, and interacting with the children around the garden and in the classroom. It’s an introduction that will enable Shaun to gain experience in his coaching, which he’s really interested in.
The coaching is proving to be a fantastic opportunity for the children to embrace sports and learn new skills, and if they show interest in sports they can continue that outside of nursery. I’m glad that the Kids Planet nurseries are able to offer sports, as it’s something that not all men and women in nurseries get to do.
Shaun has been taking the lead in sports sessions and is doing so well. Children see sports coaches as role models and it’s important that men get more involved as some children may not have a father figure. We spend time with the children Monday to Friday and grow fantastic connections.”
Shaun Bradshaw, undergoing the work placement at Kids Planet, said:
“My journey here began when I was at Strawberry Fields doing an eight-week course there, and they thought it would be best for me to do an apprenticeship, so got me in touch with Kids Planet.
I’ve always wanted to get into sports; it’s my passion and the only thing I felt good at in school. One of the main things that has prevented me from pursuing sports has been my anxiety and lack of confidence and experience. Kids Planet has allowed me to gain new skills and I’ve learnt a lot, meaning my confidence is growing every day.
I’d not thought about working in the early years sector before, although I do have some experience with 7 to 11-year-olds and I try to coach my son but he doesn’t listen!
It’s been such a great experience for me and you get to make a big impact on children’s lives and be a positive role model – especially as it’s so female-dominated, it’s good to be a male in this field and make a difference. I would so recommend anyone to get involved with Kids Planet and make an impact on young people’s lives.”
For more information about working with Kids Planet, visit the Training Academy website.