Cardiff-based apprentice, Nooh Omar Ibrahim, wants to create a new inclusive rugby community in Wales after falling in love with the sport during his apprenticeship.

He wants to encourage other young people who are thinking about their next steps to seize any opportunity available and follow their passion.

Nooh, from Cardiff, has always relished sport, but unexpectedly landed in the field of rugby after struggling in college.

“When I was at school thinking about my next steps, I was encouraged to go for a job in IT, business or even science, like a lot of people. But when I went on to study these subjects at A-level, lockdown hit, and it really affected me. Two of my grandparents passed away at the same time, and I struggled to stay focused at college.

“I was a bit stumped and wasn’t sure what to do with my life; I needed a new focus. I took a gap year and it made me question what I was passionate about. That was when I found an opportunity with the Welsh Rugby Union as a Rugby Development Apprentice.”

The 12-month programme offers apprentices like Nooh a Level 3 Sports Development qualification as well as gaining new skills and on-the-job experience.

“As an apprentice, my role is to assist the wider team with extra-curricular rugby activities for young people in the community, in schools and in clubs. Our aim is to engage young people with the sport and mentor them so they can develop their skills.”

“It’s so rewarding – knowing I’ve introduced a sport they may grow to love. I didn’t get that opportunity growing up, so I want to introduce rugby to other diverse communities in Wales and make the sport as inclusive as possible.”

Since starting his apprenticeship, Nooh hasn’t looked back and reflects on how far he’s come over the past 12 months.

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

To explore what apprenticeship opportunities are currently available in Wales, visit the Apprenticeship Vacancy Service.