Trainee soars on the West Coast

Trainee soars on the West Coast

Trainee soars on the West Coast

It’s been a long and exciting ride for our former trainee Ben Wilson as his traineeship has taken him places he never thought possible.

Ben’s AFL SportsReady journey began at the end of high school. With no idea what to do or where to go after he finished school, all he wanted was some direction. He attended an introduction night for the AFL SportsReady traineeship program and had no doubt in his mind that this was the road he was going to take.

“It’s an inspiring program because before I started the traineeship I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and I’m sure many students find themselves in the same boat.”

Growing up in Echuca Moama, Ben knocked back a potential traineeship at the Richmond Football Club as he was keen to stay on country soil with his family and his local footy club. AFL SportsReady and the Echuca Football Netball Club decided to design a program to suit Ben’s needs, allowing him to still complete the traineeship in his country hometown.

“The role they made for me was looking after sponsorship and marketing as well as keeping with my love for footy. I did a certificate III and IV in Sport and Recreation and I worked at the football club in Echuca.”

“The club had limited facilities but with the AFL SportsReady traineeship program there, it put the club on the map. Other clubs started to notice and also looked into implementing a trainee for their club.” |

From there, Ben’s role then merged with the YMCA and after two years he graduated with two qualifications and was offered full time employment at the Echuca Football Netball Club as Operations Manager. At the tender age of 19 Ben was in charge of all the sponsorship and marketing.

“It was a challenging yet amazing experience and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity if it wasn’t for AFL SportsReady. They specifically designed a traineeship just to suit me and the club, proving how much they really care about their students.”

After two years working full time Ben decided it was time to embark on a new journey and moved to Western Australia to start a new life and career. He found a job in recruitment consulting and then transitioned into sales in the building industry.

“Every job I’ve had from marketing, to recruitment, to sales, I’ve used the skills and experience I was taught when I was a trainee. The traineeship gave me the confidence and ability to get into roles I would have only dreamed about doing. Being able to implement my study whilst on the job is truly unique.”

Five years later, Ben is now a Corporate Sales Executive at West Coast Eagles combining his love for footy and marketing.

“I went through a daunting process requiring four interviews. Although it was difficult, my employer was impressed that I had my AFL SportsReady traineeship behind me.”

Ben has been working with the West Coast Eagles for over a year, looking after 150 clients, working with big names in the sporting and business industry and loving every minute of it calling the experience “truly mind-blowing.”

“Don’t just think the course you have done is something you have to stick with. I was constantly reminded that my traineeship with AFL SportsReady prepared me for future roles. It was a choice between hoping I find what I want to do through four years of study at a university or learn a craft whilst on the job. The decision was simple. If it wasn’t for doing a traineeship then I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

DATE: 5 June 2015
ARTICLE: Marissa Pagliarello
IMAGE: Ben Wilson