In recognition of his progress and effort over the last term, our Level in 3 Sport student Tom recently attended a Gillingham FC match at Priestfield Stadium as the team’s ‘12th man’. Tom tells us how he got on…

“I found out a few days beforehand that I had been nominated for the 12th man by my tutor Steve. He was really pleased with my work this term, and proud of the fact that I’d completed 200 hours of industry placement this year with Little Kickers, where I’ve been coaching children and helping them build their teamwork skills.

It was a bit of a shock that I got the 12th man award as someone had it previously in the year and I didn’t think it would happen again so I was really happy when I got the email.

My preferred sport is football and while I used to play a lot of 5-a-side, now I’m working I don’t get to play as much. I get asked a lot which team I support and it’s definitely Gillingham. When I was younger I used to wait outside the car park to meet the players - a proper little fan! As I’ve got older I’ve met a few of the players too.

I took a fellow Gills supporter with me, Jay who is in my class. When we arrived at Priestfield we went into reception and met a man who showed us around the stadium. It was great to see behind-the-scenes - I really didn’t expect to see classrooms and lounges. We went to the changing room and saw all the kits hanging up and the tactics written on the board. After the tour I was given a shirt and had my photo taking with an ex-pro. After that we went to the Factory and had a free drink and then watched the game. They played Charlton but they lost 2 – 0 which was a shame.”

Tom hopes to join the Royal Marines when he finishes his Sport programme, and has just completed a round of psychometric assessments as part of the recruitment process. Good luck Tom, and we’re glad you enjoyed your experience at Gillingham FC.

To find out more about our Sports Courses, and to apply for a place starting this September.