The chance discovery of an internship opportunity at his graduation ceremony kick started Sports Development and Physical Education Graduate, Aaron Lee’s, career.
Donning a cap and gown on one of the hottest days of last summer, little did Aaron know that his career was about get a boost at his graduation ceremony.
Aaron signed up to the Time2Grow Graduate Internship programme, which matches local business with skilled graduates from the University of Northampton, for paid internship to hone their skills in the workplace.
After a competitive recruitment process, Aaron bagged a top sporting internship with Northampton Leisure Trust. Aaron had just ten weeks to make his mark and enhance the way the leisure trust delivers its free Streets Sports sessions. These sessions aim to get children and young people, aged 8 to18 years-old, involved in sport, and is targeted to support 11 of the most deprived communities of Northampton.
Through the Time2Grow Graduate Internship programme, the University employs the graduates and funds 60% of the cost of their employment with the organisation, making it the perfect scheme for local organisations to sign up to, enabling them to access the skills of our graduates.
Chris Serbyn, Health and Wellbeing Development Manager at the Northampton Leisure Trust, said: “The Time2Grow Graduate Internship programme was excellent for the Northampton Leisure Trust, we knew the kind of Graduate we were looking for and we were an active part of the recruitment process. Aaron stood out from the crowd, as he had excellent experience and a detailed understanding of sports and sports development, we felt he would be able to hit the ground running, he did. Aaron has made such a difference to our Street Sports initiative, supporting over 500 children to get involved in these sessions and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with him.”
Talking about the internship, Aaron said: “Working with Northampton Leisure Trust has been a valuable experience, the Streets Sports project is growing in popularity, and shows the power sport has to bring together communities. All the sessions are held in public spaces, and are completely free, to make it accessible for everyone. It’s been great seeing the faces of the young people as their confidence and skills develop from week to week while they’re playing sport.
“Working with the staff at Northampton Leisure Trust has been beneficial for me too, I’ve been able to shadow people within the trust and develop my personal skills in project and time management while getting valuable work experience.
After just ten weeks working with the Northampton Leisure Trust, Aaron has been offered an 18-month contract, to continue the Street Sports programme and develop another project, ‘The Friday Night Youth Club’, at Lings Forum Leisure Centre, which will kick off in April.