From Traineeship to Head of Sports

From Traineeship to Head of Sports

We spoke to Marty Viney, whose son, Liam Viney, joined our traineeship program last year. Liam wasn’t spoilt for choice after completing year 12, he got into university to study teaching and got selected to be a sports trainee within the PE department at Marist Regional College in Burnie. 

Liam chose the traineeship pathway to find out whether teaching was really his passion before committing to a university degree. He thrived in his traineeship completing two qualifications, a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation and Certificate IV in Sport Development and was a Finalist for the Skills Tasmania Trainee of the Year Award. 

At the end of the traineeship, he was offered ongoing employment with the school and works as the Head of Sports whilst completing his Business & Sport Management degree at university. 

Having not known much about traineeships, Marty, Liam’s father is now a strong advocate for the program and believes his son wouldn’t be where he is today without it. 

What did you think about the traineeship program? 

I didn’t know much about it but it looked really impressive and seemed like a great career pathway for Liam with lots of opportunities to progress whether that be in his career or down the road of university. 

What are your thoughts about his experience as a trainee? 

Liam gained an immense amount of experience at the cold face, even before jumping into the traineeship. The initial interview itself was great for him to experience. 

The traineeship was exceptionally valuable to Liam in all areas of his life. On a professional and personal level, he really grew on both avenues. I think being a trainee in an area where you have young students – there is not a great age gap between Liam and the students he works with – so he really had to show he needs to step up. Liam was incredibly committed through his traineeship because he loved his job and was a great experience. 

He is now working at the school full-time as their Head of Sports and he is only 20. 

So, do you think he found his calling? 

Definitely! It was an interesting process for Liam, when he was 16 and in year 10, he got the opportunity to do some building over the summer. He was a labourer and the company he worked for offered him an apprenticeship, it was an exceptional opportunity but halfway through doing the apprenticeship, he realised this is not what he wanted to do in life. Liam made the decision to go back to year 12. So, he went back and finished year 12 and got into uni to do a teaching degree and he also got accepted for the traineeship program. 

Liam chose to take on the traineeship because he felt that by having on-the-job experience in sports teaching would reaffirm if he wanted to do this as a career. 

He learnt in his traineeship that he loved the sport and rec side of things as well as teaching. So now he is studying for a Bachelor of Business & Sports Management at Deakin while working full-time at the school. 

Did you see a change in Liam? 

A huge change! At home, Liam is reserved especially being the youngest of four boys. Now, he is thriving and confident. I can really see massive growth in him personally and professionally. I think because he has that experience communicating with staff and students on a daily basis and also, he assisted in areas of management like finance, staff and business. So, you can see why Liam grew so rapidly. 

That confidence even allowed him to complete two qualifications, a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation and a Certificate IV in Sport Development. He is kicking goals! 

How was the support? 

The support within the school was exceptional. There is a fine line between trying to create independence without leaving someone stranded, the school was good at providing that supportive environment. 

What would you say to other parents considering this pathway for their teenager? 

I would say they really need to be open to other pathway options, not just uni. Do your research and have a chat with your teen. The good thing is, Liam likes to bounce ideas off us and gain an understanding of whether it is the right thing for him. So be open with your teen, have a look on the AFL SportsReady website, and look at the roles on offer and what career pathways can come from them. 

I really think traineeships should be considered as a post-high-school option. 

If you had your time again wouldn’t you like to be involved in a program that gives you experience in something you are passionate about? Even if their career path changes, the traineeship offers experience and skills that will benefit them for life. 

I am absolutely stoked that Liam chose this path. 

“I really think traineeships should be considered as a post-high-school option. If you had your time again, wouldn’t you like to be involved in a program that gives you experience in something you are passionate about?”


Traineeships are paid, employment and education training programs that give you a nationally recognised qualification. They are usually full-time, but can also be part-time or school-based. If you’d like to find out more and a place to submit an expression of interest at this link.

View current Traineeship availability and apply at the Jobs Board.
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This article is part of our partnership with the National Careers Institute (NCI) to highlight the real benefits of Vocational Education and Training (VET).