Neil, who has represented England in breaststroke, was presented with the trophy by the Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Charles Choudhary, at the culmination of the fifth annual Chairman’s Apprentice Awards in the Great Hall, Winchester. Councillor Choudhary said:
“Neil is a real asset to the County Council, an exemplar employee and team player and is also a popular role model for others.”
Neil works as a project officer in a team that oversees the governance, finances, resourcing and performance monitoring of multiple capital and commercial programmes for the County Council.
However, most of Neil’s County Council colleagues are unaware that he is also a current record holder – he broke the British Masters record* for 100m breaststroke in 2016 – a record which still stands.
Despite already having his Master’s degree, Neil was attracted to the County Council apprenticeship programme for the opportunity it offered to gain an additional vocational qualification, directly relevant to his work at the Authority.
Although his Level 4 Associate Project Manager apprenticeship is far removed from his days as an elite swimmer, Neil believes that his drive and self-discipline comes from his pool training. He said:
“What I’ve applied from the pool into my work and apprenticeship at Hampshire County Council is the determination to tackle new challenges, motivation to strive for excellence and to work to multiple objectives.”
“I was honoured just to be nominated, let alone win the Chairman’s Award, so the announcement, at the end of the awards ceremony, came as a complete shock to me. My apprenticeship journey has been very flexible and has been developed and tailored to suit the demands of my job. I am grateful for the support of my line manager and for being involved in a number of important and interesting projects.”