Apprentices past and present celebrate as MA Mia wins inaugural Pippa Jones Award

A presentation lunch celebrating this year’s graduating Modern Apprentices (MAs) took place at the Alan Higgs Centre this week.

But as well as acknowledging the new, it was also an occasion to celebrate the original, with apprentices past and present in attendance – including the organisation’s original inductees going back to 1987.

Founder, Trustee and Coventry sporting legend Dave Moorcroft oversaw the event, presiding over the inaugural Pippa Jones Modern Apprentice Award, named for Dave’s late friend and Coventry Sport Foundation co-founder.

The Modern Apprentice of the year was Mia Redmond, who sailed through her course earning a Distinction.

CV Life’s Nicola George leads on the organisation’s Modern Apprentice programme.

She said: “We’re really proud of the effort and hard work put in by all of our MAs this year, so it’s brilliant to be able to celebrate them in such esteemed company.

“Mia has been an absolute star – having grown so much, taken up so many different roles and always leading by example.

“So I’m thrilled we are able to bestow the first Pippa Jones Modern Apprentice Award to such a worthy individual.

“We can’t wait to see what the future holds for her – she is always showing the company values of Pride, Passion and Performance in everything she does.”

Mia with Pippa’s partner Denry Leighton

Speaking about the awards, Dave Moorcroft said: “Pippa and I started what is now CV Life in 1981. We soon realised there were opportunities to train young people into the leisure and recreation industry and that’s what Pippa started to do.

“There was high levels of unemployment in the city in the 1980s particularly among school leavers and the younger generation. So we did youth opportunity programmes and youth training schemes in sport – two year programmes which Pippa ran.

“She herself was an outstanding swimmer and international water polo player, so she had great empathy with young people training to get a job in sport but also allowing them to continue their own sporting interests.

“We sadly lost Pippa six months ago so it’s lovely this award that has gone to Mia recognises Pippa’s life as well as the importance in, and our passion for, training young people.

“In the room we had people who went through the system, people like Kath Healion, Rich Parker and Wendy Jackson that have worked here for decades. I’m very proud to have played a part in seeing so many people train and build careers for themselves.”

Brenda Grace was Pippa’s best friend and the third person after Dave and Pippa to be employed by the organisation.

Brenda said: “I Known Pippa since we trained together at Warwick University and through doing our degree in physical education. She was such a big part of my life and I was so proud of everything she achieved – I’m delighted this award has been named in her honour.”