League Football Education (LFE) hosted its third Alumni Player Voice forum on Wednesday 16th February, with nine participants attending the call to share feedback on an array of topics, from the evolvement of player care provisions to challenges they faced during their apprenticeship.
The forum, held over Zoom, initiated some interesting discussions, and provided LFE staff with valuable feedback on areas for improvement. The initiative was introduced in June 2021 to facilitate a safe and confidential space for past apprentices to talk about experiences, best practice, and areas for development regarding the transition support provided by clubs and wider organisations.
Questions that were discussed during Februarys forum were:
- What resources do you believe apprentices are most likely to use? (What format e.g., workshop/presentation/case study/video? LFE-driven, Club-driven?)
- What would you have liked your parent/guardian/host family to have known to support you on your apprenticeship?
Former LFE apprentices, who have now transitioned into other careers, constructively shared their opinions and helped identify common themes. Projects Officer Kelly Butterworth led the forum, with other LFE staff members contributing.
Also in attendance were Rob and Jazz from Switch The Play Foundation, who introduced the group to their new initiative – Switched On, which consists of four key areas: 1:1 mentor support, career pathway, a mental health and well-being service, and an online support library.
Their input follows on from Alumni Player Voice #2 discussions around a bespoke 1:1 career service becoming available to apprentices and alumni. During the first 35 minutes of the forum, Rob and Jazz explained the reasons for launching the platform, its aims and objectives, and gave a demonstration on how it could support athletes. A member of the group shared their own experiences of accessing the free support offered by ‘Switched On’ as a player.
Other areas for discussion were the environment for sharing experiences; educating parents/carers and the methods in doing so; helpful and unhelpful phrases a parent or carer uses; building trust as a parent/carer.
A date for our final Alumni Player Voice forum of the 2021/22 season will be announced in due course. In the meantime, if you are a second-year apprentice or ex-apprentice, and would like to contribute to our next session, please contact Kelly ([email protected]) or LFE Communications ([email protected]).