Jack’s story: Developing a career in sport via Velocity Football’s full-time educational academy

A career in sports coaching was always on Jack Tutton’s radar since he developed a passion for football as a child.

The 22-year-old has been part of Velocity Football’s experienced team of coaching staff and tutors since the programme was successfully revamped in summer 2020. He works to inspire the next generation of sports coaches in an active, outdoor, environment both in schools and at Oxford City Football Club.

But behind every career is a back story. And Jack’s story is particularly relevant to current and future Velocity Football students aspiring towards a career in sport.

To mark the 10th anniversary of National Careers Week, we caught up with Jack to learn more about his whirlwind six years that has seen him develop from pupil to tutor via Velocity Football’s sister company Ignite Sport UK.

Rapid development

A former student at Wheatley Park School, Jack quickly developed a passion for physical education and initially aspired to becoming a PE teacher.

During Key Stage Four, Jack who lives in Sandhills, Oxford, landed a work experience placement at Oxford City Football Club. From there, Jack enrolled with the club’s educational academy and completed a two-year BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport programme.

“Aged 16, football was – and remains – my passion. I watch it, I play it, I read about it,” said Jack. “The Velocity programme was an excellent fit for me and helped me understand what I wanted from my future.”

Nurturing environment

Upon completing the BTEC programme, Jack became an apprentice with Ignite Sport UK where on-the-job training helped him develop the key skills required to deliver a sports-based session.

Jack’s apprenticeship led to a full-time role with the registered training provider who he continues to work for today by delivering the Velocity Football programme to current students and working in schools across Oxfordshire.

He said: “I shadowed coaches during my apprenticeship and worked in sports delivery, after school clubs and holiday camps. My time as an apprentice with Ignite Sport UK helped me establish the confidence you need to speak to 30 children or students at once.

“If you told the 16-year-old me that in six years’ time you’d be delivering sessions to hundreds of young people each week I would have never believed you.”

In addition to Jack’s apprenticeship, Oxford City FC’s education programme also facilitated his move to Southern League Division One side Thame United FC – a club he continues to play for today.  

Full-time coaching

A successful apprenticeship led to Jack’s first full-time job as a newly qualified coach with Ignite Sport UK.

He has since been promoted and now holds more responsibility as a sports coach where he works closely with local schools to deliver sports-based sessions in addition to his practical work on the Velocity Football programme.

He added: “The skills I developed all started when I enrolled with the Velocity Football programme under its former model. Because of this, I feel like I have a strong understanding of what all Velocity students want from their future career.

“It’s a rewarding and active job which is exactly what I wanted from my career and I hope to lead students by example. If I can work as a sports coach, then so can they.”

Different career paths

Of course, not all students studying one of Velocity Football’s higher education programmes delivered in partnership with Virtual Learning UK aspire to become a sports coach.

Careers in sports psychology, sports analysis and nutrition plus many other job roles have interested current students.

“Primarily I work on the practical side of the Velocity programme, but I know students have already developed interests in careers outside of sports coaching,” said Jack.

“Velocity Football provided me with a platform to do what I wanted to do. And the same applies to our current students who have a great opportunity to learn more about the different job titles in the sports sector through practical learning and work experience.”

Professional setup

Before its launch last summer, Velocity Football built an experienced and highly qualified team of coaches and tutors to deliver its BTEC, Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes.

Being part of a 13-strong team of tutors and coaches means Jack feels he is continuing to add to his skillset even today.

“Velocity Football is delivered as close as possible to a professional academy setup, which is how it should be run,” said Jack. “A typical day for me would involve helping with practical sessions in the morning before working in schools in the afternoon.

“The beauty of my role is I’m not restricted to just football. I am experienced in delivering a range of sports from cricket to basketball too. All coaches bounce off each other and we have a great team spirit which I love.”

Find out for yourself

If Jack’s story has inspired you to consider enrolling with Velocity Football for the 2021-22 academic year, why not contact our friendly team to learn more about the opportunities Velocity Football provides.

You can email courses@ignitesport.co.uk or call 0300 303 0890 to get in touch.

Alternatively, you can watch our showcase video which demonstrates all aspects of the Velocity Football programme. You can watch it here.

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