Ignite Sport > News and Blogs > Ignite nominated at Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards

Two Ignite Sport UK employees have been nominated for three prizes at next month’s Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards.  

General Manager Hannah Bladen was selected as one of three finalists in the Apprenticeship Champion Award, a category that recognises people who have gone the extra mile to promote apprenticeships and allowed them to continue amid the pandemic.  

Apprentice George James was nominated for two awards. They are Intermediate Apprentice of the Year and the Special Recognition Award celebrating those who have overcome significant challenges or barriers to learning or work.  

The three nominations follow our success at last year’s ceremony where we proudly won the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (fewer than 50 employees) award.  

Justin Merritt, Director of Ignite Sport UK, said: “Congratulations to Hannah, George and all other nominees who have been shortlisted for this year’s Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards.  

“Since the 1990s, apprenticeships have developed to provide people of all ages with the opportunity to explore career paths across a range of sectors while receiving quality education and learning through on-the-job training.  

“Our passion for paid development is shared by many other businesses across the county and evenings like the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards deserve to be celebrated. Best of luck to everyone.”  

Hannah’s nomination in the Apprenticeship Champion Award comes three years after she joined our team to promote, recruit and support the development of all our apprentices across Oxfordshire and nationally.  

Louise Merritt, Director of Operations, said: “Hannah and George richly deserve the nominations and we’re so pleased for them both.  

“Hannah has overcome big challenges in the past year and had to change and adapt her usual processes.  

“Her approachable and friendly manner has helped our apprentices reach their full potential despite obvious limitations that have not stopped her in providing the best possible learning and development experiences.  

“I’d like to wish Hannah and George the best of luck.”  

George joined Ignite in September 2019 where he completed his first year Community Activator Apprenticeship.  

On completion he was successful in applying for a second-year apprenticeship at Oxford City FC in Customer Service where he currently works. 

The 17-year-old has Tourette’s syndrome, but that has not stopped him in pursuing his passion for helping young people overcome challenges via physical education, teamwork, and leadership activities.  

George said: “My time with Ignite Sport UK has been a real learning experience and to be nominated in two categories at the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards is amazing.  

“I’ve built new friendships and developed my confidence in physical education delivery with the support of my colleagues who have always been there to offer their guidance when I need it.  

“Despite the pandemic, my apprenticeship experience has been brilliant, and I would recommend anyone exploring the possibility of earning and learning to give it a go. An award would be the icing on the cake!”  

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards will be hosted virtually from 7pm on Thursday, May 6.  

The evening will celebrate the achievements of apprentices across Oxfordshire working in all sectors during the last year with viewers and nominees encouraged to get social by using the #OAAwards2021. 

Other awards that will be decided on the evening include: School Award, School Engagement Employer of the Year, Higher Apprentice of the Year, Advanced Apprentice of the Year, Large, Medium and Small Apprenticeship Employer awards, Shining Star Award and Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year.  

Further details about the ceremony are available by visiting Oxfordshire Apprenticeships.  

Best of luck to Hannah, George and all other nominees!   

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