For Coach Core project manager, Gary Laybourne, it’s all about practising what you preach. “There is no point asking our apprentices to take every opportunity and treat learning as something that is an ongoing process if we don’t model that ourselves”. As a Level 3 coach who has worked in the industry for over 15 years, this is something that ensure most apprentices sit up and take notice. However, to ensure that Coach Core itself remains innovative and always improving, Gary called on a number of linked partners that have operations in New York to see how they operate and future ways of working.

“The sports coaching structure definitely does not mirror our own and their education system is so different in that there is so much focus on collegiate routes and no apprenticeships at all. However, sport for change is something that everyone shares and so it was inspiring to share learning and ideas with the teams I visited and I’d like to think I at least gave them a few nuggets in exchange for the tons they gave me!”

Highlight? “Seeing the DREAM Charter School that our partners have set up independently to educate and mentor young people in Harlem through baseball and quality, engaging teaching.”

Biggest learning? “So many organisations I met with aren’t afraid to shake up the system. There was a mutual respect that Coach Core had done the same thing but when you are talking about organisations who build an entire school in the toughest parts of New York just to provide safe havens through sport, I was totally blown away.”

Gary would like to thanks DREAM, Urban Dove, New York Yankees, Gleasons Gym, NYCFC, Up To Us, Row New York, Play Rugby NY and the NBA for their hospitality and access to their programmes.