Careers in Sport and the Leisure Industry
Below is some guidance if you are considering a career in sport with various resources to help you research your sports career in more depth and to know what to expect. In some cases having a relevant degree would be necessary, such as Sports and Exercise Science (SES) or Sport and Social Science (SaSS).
You may also want to check out the range of Sporting Opportunities sports coaching trips, sports internships and sports work experience on this website to gain further knowledge in the industry. Our sports trips overseas combine a unique opportunity to see how sport is being developed and played in countries stretching right across the globe and could give you that extra edge in getting that perfect sports job.
Another useful resource to research jobs in the sports industry is the Careers in Sport website.
So, what next?
Start researching you career in sport.
If you would like to enter a sports related career then it is important to start finding out, as soon as possible, what jobs in sport involve, what routes people normally take to get into them and what skills and experience you might need before you can get into them.
Read as much as you can about the sports jobs that people do using the resources in this guide. The more you know about the day to day work of people the easier it will be for you to decide if it is right for you.
Many of the websites below have case studies and profiles for you to read.
British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences
The biggest professional body in the UK, almost 50% student membership, advertising a wide range of sports science opportunities including sponsorships.
Website of the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning.
Careers in Sport
www.careers-in-sport.co.uk ; @careerinsport
From Sport IQ, the web site that aims to help anyone who has an interest in developing both their own and others’ sporting intelligence.
Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity
A guide to careers in sport from the Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity which is the new single professional body for the sector in the UK.
Leisure, sport and tourism profiles include, Fitness centre manager, Lifestyle consultant, Outdoor pursuits manager, Recreation assistant, Sports administrator, Sports coach/instructor, Sports development officer, Sports psychologist, Sportsperson.
Healthcare job profiles include, Exercise physiologist, Health promotion specialist, Physiotherapist and Sports therapist.
Look at jobs on offer
Even the rich resources of the sites above will not reveal all the job possibilities in the sports career sector. You should also do some general searches and browse for interesting sports job opportunities to discover unique or different sports jobs, such as some on this website, which you are unlikely to discover elsewhere.
Below are some sites which could help you. The list comprises sites whose main focus is to advertise jobs. Jobs may also be found on other sites such as those of professional bodies.
www.uksport.gov.uk/jobs ; @uk_sport
UK Sport is responsible for investing public funds from both the National Lottery and the Exchequer in high performance sport. It has a good jobs section.
Official recruitment magazine of a number of key professional bodies in the leisure industry.
Global sports jobs
Wide range of jobs across all sports and levels, and with a global reach so a wide variety of countries too.
Sport and leisure jobs in local government.
www.jobs.ac.uk ; @jobsacuk
Research vacancies at universities.
Sports recruitment agencies
www.leisurejobs.com – recruitment agency.
www.sportsrecruitment.com – has useful advice and information about getting into the field.
www.jobswithballs.com – often mentioned for sport and leisure jobs; carries a limited range of jobs plus some useful advice.
www.adventurework.co.uk – online directory of employment opportunities for anyone seeking
paid or voluntary employment in the adventure, activity, water sports and ski industry.
Know about the sports business
If you plan on making your career in sport it is no good just being a spectator or player. You need to be finding out about the news, the challenges and the issues facing the industry. Make sure you read a good quality newspaper and take an interest in the broad range of sports related news items.
As the sports industry was an early adopter of social media, following organisations you are interested in (ours are www.facebook.com/sportingopportunities, and https://twitter.com/sportingopps) and relevant national bodies is a really good way to keep up to date with what is going on.
Check out the digital version of the magazine Leisure opportunities as it carries news as well as jobs – www.leisureopportunities.co.uk.
SportBusiness.com – www.sportbusiness.com
This site provides a range of sports news, details of sports events, sports job vacancies, directories of people and organisations. You can subscribe to free e-newsletters and updates.
Sportcal.com is a leading website for the global sports market providing up-to-date information services so full of news! www.sportcal.com
www.sportindustry.biz – Useful site to find out what’s happening in the industry.
Another good site is UK Sport, www.uksport.gov.uk which has a newsletter you can subscribe to.
There are also individual sports sites like fcbusiness www.fcbusiness.co.uk/industry which
give a business insight into a particular sport.
Gain experience and talk to contacts in the sector
Building up a network of useful contacts could be the key to building up your sports work experience and finding sports jobs that are right for you.
If you are a sports player talk with your coach and representatives from your club or governing body.
There are very few graduate training schemes in the industry so you may well need to take stepping stone jobs to help you achieve your sports career goals.
These sites could contain jobs and news to help you in your research as well as information on development strategies or focuses on specific sports. These bodies control the funding for and development of sports at all levels, from grassroots to elite athletes.
www.sportengland.org ; @sport_england
Information services from Sport England including jobs.
www.sportscotland.org.uk ; @sportscotland
Sports Northern Ireland
www.sportni.net ; @SportNINet
www.sport.wales ; @sport_wales
www.uksport.gov.uk ; @uk_sport
Agency which oversees the spending of public money on sport. Contains a list of National Governing Bodies, with links, and a good sports jobs section.
English Institute of Sport
www.eis2win.co.uk ; @eis2win
Scottish Institute of Sport
www.sportscotland.org.uk/sisport ; @sportscotland
Here are some other websites which might be useful to those seeking more information about the diverse field of sports careers.
British Psychological Society
Information on Sports Psychology
British Activity Providers Association
Trade association for private sector providers of activity holidays and courses in the UK.
Health and Fitness Education (HFE)
HFE is an award-winning training provider to the exercise and fitness profession. They deliver a broad range of fitness industry qualifications, including personal trainer courses, Pilates, yoga and exercise specialist qualifications, to name but a few. For more information on HFE’s internationally recognised qualifications, visit: www.hfe.co.uk
Institute of Outdoor Learning
Promotes best practice in outdoor careers ranging from sports instructor to countryside ranger. The information covers areas such as sports careers, accreditation, conferences and sports publications and there is also a sports job vacancy section.
Register of Personal Trainers (RPT)
The Register of Personal Trainers is the only UK register of personal trainers that independently verifies the qualification status of its subscribed trainers before they are permitted to advertise their services. The RPT serves to connect ‘registered’ personal trainers with clients who want to find a personal trainer in their area. For more information visit: www.rpt.co.uk
National Register of Personal Trainers
Sports Dieticians UK
Sports Coach UK, the National Coaching Foundation
www.sportscoachuk.org ; @sportscoachUK
Sports goods manufacturing
The Sporting Goods Industry Association (SGIA) represents manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of sporting goods in the UK.
Federation of Sports and Play Associations
Sports & Physical Education (PE) Association UK
Keynote Market Research
Site has many sports-related market research reports
European Sponsorship Association
Members include key sports sponsorship organisations.
Sales and marketing, market research for sports and leisure sector, they do advertise work experience.
Leading provider of corporate hospitality at premier sporting events
www.sportsmarketingsurveysinc.com – Consultancy specialising in market research and feasibility studies.
So after all this information to help you find the perfect career in sport, do make sure you take a look around the Sporting Opportunities website to discover the range of interesting sports opportunities we have around the world.