From education to employment

Apprentice makes immediate impact for ed-tech innovator Sporting Age

A young digital marketing apprentice has proved a match winner just weeks after joining leading activity-based Yorkshire educational technology company Sporting Age.

Huddersfield-based Sporting Age, which provides solutions to improve movement skills among young people, took on Leah Skotnicki, aged 20, in September as their first apprentice digital marketer with the aim of growing engagement online.

Sporting Age are working with schools and activity providers to implement Smart Motion, a new programme which shapes bespoke plans to improve individual school groups based on data.

As part of this, Sporting Age have launched a regional campaign to line up quality assured partners to implement the online software system, which first assesses movement skills among pupils before creating a series of lesson plans to bring measured improvement within the group.

To help raise awareness, Leah has created an innovative digital social media marketing campaign, including video and eye-catching photos, all aimed at increasing engagement with potential partners and end users in education.

Leah, who is doing a Level 3 apprenticeship in digital marketing, filmed and edited a briefing on Sporting Age, featuring CEO Shaun Fox and senior colleagues, all filmed in the style of a professional sports press conference.

Leah recorded Shaun answering questions on the company’s product and services before editing it into a light-hearted spoof of sports journalist briefings, using computer generated images to feature reporters in the background. The video will be used in different settings, including presentations to prospective partners and for audiences at education conferences.

To promote Sporting Age’s campaign to reach partners across Yorkshire, Leah photographed key team members at landmarks across the region during a promotional “road trip”. After clocking up the miles to visit well-known spots, to save time she took images of key team members and superimposed them on photos of landmarks such as the lighthouse at Flamborough Head.

CEO Shaun Fox said the Sporting Age team had been impressed by the impact Leah had made since she joined in September. He said: “In a short space of time Leah has made a big difference with her creativity and innovation around our social media activity, which is being appreciated by everyone in the Sporting Age team.

“As our first digital marketing apprentice, bringing in Leah was a first for our business but we are already seeing the benefit of her fresh approach. She has brought a light-hearted, fun style to our activity which will stand out with our target audiences of people in education and sports activity.”

Leah Skotnicki said: “I have enjoyed being part of the Sporting Age team and having the opportunity to take on projects where I can learn new skills, such as video editing and CGI, while contributing to the business.

“Working for a smaller company appealed to me as I hoped I would be able to get involved. The people here are lovely and have made me feel very welcome. After doing A-levels at college I was nervous about starting work but doing a digital marketing apprenticeship with a company like Sporting Age has allowed me to experiment and learn.”

Sporting Age solution Smart Motion tracks movement levels among young people at Key Stage 2 aged 7 to 11, allowing users to create differentiated activity programmes for each cohort, with additional recommended support for those with specific needs.

Sporting Age have also launched physical learning programme Smart Prism, for younger children in  Reception and school years 1 and 2, which uses evidence-based research to raise physical development and movement levels. The Sporting Age team, who have their HQ at The John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield, believe their solutions can play their part in the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw child physical activity levels drop and movement skills deteriorate during lockdown.

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