Working in Sport
Getting into Sport is near enough impossible. As a player, a coach or an official you have to be at the very elite to make it, but that isn’t a reason why you should not work in the industry. As with all industries it isn’t specific to a couple of job roles, iCould bring you a range of jobs and their functions that might have you name on it!
Supporting the stars
Aside from the competitors themselves, a vast support team is involved in preparing Athletes for competition, from youth training schemes which help identify and develop potential stars, through to Professional Trainers and Coaches.
Medical professionals who have specialised in sports-related medicine play a key part in helping Athletes compete. Roles include Physiotherapists who restore Athletes’ movement and function, Injury Specialists who treat musculo-skeletal problems, such those in the muscles, bones and joints, and Sports Psychologists who teach mental techniques to help maximise performance, aid concentration, and manage nerves.
Sitting behind a desk may not immediately spring to mind when thinking of sports-related jobs, but there are a number of opportunities in sports administration.
Sport England is focused on helping people and communities across the country create a sporting habit for life.
UK Sport is the nation’s high performance sports agency responsible for investing over £100 million per year in Britain’s best Olympic and Paralympic Athletes. As well as listing organisational vacancies, UK Sport’s job section carries details of sports jobs across the UK, from Receptionists to Performance Analysts.
UK Anti-Doping is responsible for protecting sport from the threat of doping in the UK.
A sports federation is the independent governing body for a particular sport, perhaps the most well-known of which is The Football Association (the FA). Employment opportunities within sporting federations vary, some federations offer paid positions, whilst other rely more heavily on volunteer roles. Sports federations can advise on becoming a Referee or Sports Official.
Sports development is about encouraging participation in sport, in people at all ages and abilities. Work can include supporting organised sports teams to helping people get active through more gentle exercise such as walking or Pilates.
Sports equipment design, manufacture and retail
Nets, goalposts, artificial turf, gymnastic apparatus, cricket bats, parts for Formula One cars…the list goes on in terms of sports equipment and supplies which are manufactured in the UK, not to mention the range of technical engineering and design-based roles essential to the world of sport. Find out more from Racing Car Designer Steven Halsall.
Working in sports retail is another popular option – from jobs in high street chains through to specialist independent shops, there’s a wide variety of sports and roles to choose from.
Stadiums, race courses, football grounds, running tracks, swimming pools…every sports venue requires a team of people to keep it running. Jobs are available in areas such as marketing, ticketing, catering and hospitality. Ensuring sports facilities are kept in optimum condition requires a number of more specialist roles including Professional Groundsmen, who are responsible for ensuring appropriate playing surfaces.
Major sporting events
Annual sporting events such as the London Marathon or The Wimbledon Championships employ people year-round to work on planning, development and delivery. Similarly, one-off fixtures such as the London 2012 Olympic Games or the Glasgow Commonweath Games in 2014 require large teams of people to set up, organise and manage their events. Major sporting events can provide a good opportunity to get work experience – look out for temporary or voluntary opportunities where extra staff are required for a short period of time.
Sponsorship plays a large role in sports funding, and also employs a number of people in sponsorship roles. Large companies often have their own sponsorship team whose job it is to identify potential Athletes or sports to sponsor, and then to liaise with the relevant sports bodies, teams or venues to work out how they can achieve appropriate brand exposure. In the same way sports venues and teams often have dedicated staff who approach potential sponsors and then work out an suitable benefits package – such as branded hoardings, naming rights or VIP tickets – that a sponsor will get in return for their investment.
Going for Gold
Not all Athletes have the option of being full-time professionals, and many Athletes combine their training with other work. Jenny Davis is a Customer Services Representative and Semi-Professional Cyclist, whilst James Wright juggles being an Athlete with his job as General Assistant at Lee Valley Athletics Centre.
Would you like to make it in the Sport industry? As shown above, you can make it in the industry without