«To me, a sound education is very important!»
Jan Reist has been playing ice hockey since he was six. Ten years later, he had made it to the elite junior team of EHC Basel and received a «Swiss Olympic Talent Card», which is given to talented players considered to merit special support. Last summer he started an apprenticeship in IT at Bell. In the interview, he and Andreas Begré, Head of Vocational Training at Bell Switzerland, explain how an apprenticeship can be compatible with competitive sport.
Mr. Begré, how did you come to take on Mr. Reist,a young competitive athlete, as a trainee?
We have been nurturing the idea of supporting talented athletes with educational opportunities for quite some time. For us, being a large company, this is part of our social responsibility toward society. This wish has come true with Jan Reist, although rather unexpectedly, for at the job interview he didn't tell us anything about the extent of his commitment to sport.
What kept you from doing that, Mr. Reist?
First of all, it was important for me to receive proper vocational training. Sports came second. That's why I didn't mention it in my application. We agreed after I was accepted that I can continue to play and practise.
Mr. Begré, did you have to make any special arrangements for Mr. Reist's recruitment?
We talked to his parents, his coach and the sports department in advance to establish the key points. After that we made a supplementary agreement in addition to the apprenticeship contract. This stipulates, for example, that Jan is free to go to training on Tuesday mornings.
How do you deal with the dual burden of education and competitive sport, Mr. Reist?
It can be very strenuous. There are times when I feel like going home after work to spend time with my friends. But it's also a lot of fun. What's great above all is that all my colleagues are very kind and helpful when I’m under pressure for time. Right from the start I felt I was in good hands - even though I'm the youngest member of the team at 16.