Life’s been a blast for Akorede Adesina since he walked through the gates of the AHOY Centre Charity on the banks of the Thames.
‘’It’s been the best fun I have had in so long! The staff, everyone have been really fantastic. It has been amazing — very, very welcoming and supportive all through my journey. It’s been so fun!’’
When Akorede first came to the UK from Nigeria, on his own four years ago, things weren’t quite so sweet:
’’It was actually a scary time. I couldn’t work. I hadn’t got the right papers.’’
Once he got permission to work and stay indefinitely, he was introduced to AHOY by Coach Core – which helps young people not in education or employment with sports’ apprenticeships.
The six apprentices enrolled on the 15 month pathway to employment have got on really well together: ’’It’s been so much fun,’’ says Akorede. ‘’We’ve had some amazing times.’’
With his 15 month apprenticeship successfully completed, Akorede’s horizons are definitely focused on the water. He’s now looking to get his Boat Master’s licence with a reputable maritime firm, City Cruises. “I want to become a captain,’’ he says.
AHOY’s lead apprenticeship tutor, Zak Riat, describes Akorede as an ‘’inspirational’’ character: ’’When he sets his mind to something, it is getting done — regardless of how long or hard it is. I would like to see Akorede continue coaching, both in the water sports and land-based world!’’
So, what is Akorede’s advice to anyone considering an AHOY apprenticeship?
‘’Go for it! Make sure you have all the fun you can have at AHOY. Don’t think of it as a job, or as work, think of it as a family you want to develop in.’’