Trainee footballer Gerard Duarte Dos Santos has kicked-off his apprenticeship with a reconditioned bike and cycling accessories from West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Travel2Train scheme.
Dos Santos is a winger for Brighouse’s Expro Academy. He has played in friendly games against Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United. He travels to the town’s Dual Seal Stadium for training four times a week from his home near Huddersfield’s Greenhead Park. He also cycles home after late finishes at the Huddersfield restaurant in which he works at weekends.
After finding out about Travel2Train from one of WYCA’s roadside displays, Dos Santos applied to the scheme, which provided him with a reconditioned bike, helmet, lights, and lock.
Dos Santos who now cycles 80 miles per week to and from his workplaces.
“Cycling has been brilliant for my overall fitness on and off the pitch. It’s low cost, so means I can use my wage for other things.”
Travel2Train helps apprentices in West Yorkshire with travel to their apprenticeship. People who can travel by bus or train can apply for a free Student Plus Monthly MetroCard, valid on buses and trains in West Yorkshire, for their first month of travel.
Those unable to use public transport or who prefer to cycle can apply for a free reconditioned bike and equipment. Travel2Train works with cycle recyclers that give life to old bikes.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee Chair, Cllr Keith Wakefield said:
“Improving young people’s access to apprenticeships, training and good quality jobs is one of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s key ambitions.”
Polly Webber from Cycle:recycle, the community bike provider for the Calderdale District, said:
“We think this is a really great scheme. People seem to be grateful for their bikes and it is good to see how it has such a positive effect on people’s lives”
Cllr Peter McBride, Kirklees Cabinet Member for Investment and Regeneration said:
“Apprenticeships are vital as we aim to match people’s skills to the needs of the local economy. It is great that Gerard is now able to get to his place of work, but the real message here is that we will do all we can to make a difference to the lives of young people as they take their first steps on the career ladder.”