The Royal couple with the year 3 apprentices

Active Essex is proud to support Interfaith Week having signed up to the Essex Faith Covenant group this summer alongside others including Colchester United Football in the Community and Essex Cricket Club. All organisations involved share the Essex Faith Covenant’s vision of using sport to tackle loneliness, isolation and disadvantage felt within some of Essex’s minority communities.

Football is a great way of bringing young people together and here three apprentices share their personal stories.


Ramis Ibrahim, 16

Ramis, 16, is an apprentice of the Coach Core programme in Essex. Coach Core aims to harness the power of sport, and its ability to change lives and empower young people. The programme has just had a visit from the Duke and Duchess which allowed the royal couple to see the great things that are happening here in Essex. This is what Ramis says about his journey into sport and the Coach Core programme.

“My family were never much into football or sport for that matter, so I only found football at the age of 13. The first proper game I watched was Chelsea vs Manchester United and from that moment I was hooked.

I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a professional football coach but also just as importantly I wanted to help inspire the younger generation within the BAME community, to get more involved in football, particularly to help encourage more individuals within these communities to get to the very top level.

The ultimate goal for me is to be a Premier League manager, it is a lofty ambition but one I think I can reach through the Coach Core apprenticeship. I want to encourage more Asian participation in the sport by acting as a role model for younger Asians as a manager at the top level.”

Azeem Akhtar, commented on the role the Coach Core programme plays within our community in Essex, and said, “the apprenticeship programme not only equips young people with the skills and leadership qualities to work in different areas of the growing sports and leisure industry locally, but it also opens the door for some fantastic and unique experiences in which they can become strong models and mentors in their communities.”


Sam Beavis

Sam Beavis was himself an apprentice of the Coach Core programme and has gone on to realise his dream and become a coach at Colchester United Football in the Community. Sam explains the importance of supporting the Interfaith week.

“I got into Coach Core because I wanted to make a difference to others. Coaching has always been a passion of mine. I started when I was 14 at my younger brothers football team and since then I have been on a coaching journey. I wanted to become a coach because of the coaches I have had in the past and wanted to have a positive effect on others.

Inspiring and engaging with kids is something that I am passionate about and wanted to help them develop into better people. Since joining Coach Core, I have worked with a wide variety of target audiences from knife crime work to senior citizen work.

After my apprenticeship with Coach Core I was offered a full-time job at Colchester United FITC as Sport and Education Coordinator.

Coach Core was the start of my journey and is a great organisation for the community, as it allows us to develop passionate young coaches within all areas of Essex. Subsequently, improving the quality of delivery within our area.”


Charlotte Read

Charlotte was a Coach Core apprentice and now works with Essex Cricket Club. Charlotte spoke to us about the experience she had and why she believes it is such an important programme that brings the community together.

“Over the year in the apprenticeship, I gained a lot of confidence and have gained a greater understanding of the importance of coaching in sport. Coach Core gives a range of people the chance to try something new.  Our group consisted of individuals who had just finished school to people who were struggling to find full time employment. It brought a group together that could use their wide range of skills to help children around the county take part in sport and enjoy it!

With our group split over the county, there were many events that helped bring communities together. We also had apprentices who brought sports to the table that kids are now buzzing about like Cycling, BMXing, Gymnastics, Cricket and many more. Our aim was to make everyone feel included, even if they had never tried that sport before. Coach Core allowed us to gain the skills to reach this aim and bring confidence to those who, at the beginning, did not have it. Taking part in Coach Core has been an important step for me and I would greatly encourage anyone to embark on this journey, as it’s a journey worth taking!”