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 which you can visit at the following link and also read a bit more on our football coaching projects abroad through Sporting Opportunities: http://www.careers-in-sport.co.uk/profile/coach-sports-abroad
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. Start your sports adventure now.
"Playing at the hockey club was just what I needed to improve my game to a level where I could feel confident in trialing for the 1st team university hockey squad."James Harvey , Hockey, South Africa
"The experience of playing with the other team members from across the world was fantastic."Jonathon Hancock , Cricket, South Africa
"Top quality experience and brilliant to take my love of thai boxing to it's origin and train with some truly great masters."Tom Chalmers , Boxing, Thailand
"Already miss my fave boys and the kids from volunteering. Making plans to return already! Thanks to everyone that helped. I've literally had the greatest two weeks of my life despite how contrasting they were to normal life here."Vanessa Turner , Netball, St Lucia
"This was a great trip to just get me set up in Australia and have the support of the team. The surf camp was also totally awesome and great fun."James Scott , Surfing, Australia
"I made so many great friends on the surf camp that I stayed in contact with throughout my 12 months in Australia."Nikki Denton , Surfing, Australia
"Having the scuba diving course off the back of the job support and friends I made was such a useful start to my career break in Australia."Emily Lamb , Scuba Diving, Australia
"I loved everything about my time in Australia, made that much better by the Sporting Opportunities team helping me settle into Aussie life that more easily."Ed Dench , Scuba Diving, Australia
''It was an ideal opportunity for me to combine travelling with my passion for sport.''James Hairsine , Athletics, Ghana
“This was a fantastic opportunity to gain some experience in sports psychology, which has really helped with the psychology element of my sports studies degree.”Anthony Gibson , Athletics, Ghana
"First class training and facilities. Just what I needed to keep up with my high performance training and fitness conditioning."David Burgess , Rugby Union, Australia
"This training experience in Australia was such a great way to spend part of my gap year and has got me focussed to continue my Rugby back home."Rory Leadbetter , Rugby Union, Australia
"The sports tour that Sporting Opportunities arranged for us was perfect. South Africa was a great country and having the mix of playing against locals as well as coaching sport to kids in the townships was a nice balance. Doing two weeks in South Africa has made a number of us want to come back for a longer stint on one of your 5 week volunteer coaching projects so look out for us. Thanks to all involved".Dan Long , Volleyball, South Africa
"Taking the girls on this two week hockey tour was excellent. It was the first time that any of us had been to South Africa and the team made us feel extremely welcome and comfortable. You pack so much into such a short period which totally tired us out but apart from being great fun will be a fond memory for years to come. We'll certainly be looking at coming away with you again".Sarah Jackson: PE Teacher , Volleyball, South Africa
"A well organised trip with a difference. Combining playing and coaching as well as all the cultural things you put on for us was a great idea. To even get to a Springboks Rugby game was a special treat for the lads on this tour so thanks for going the extra mile to make this happen for us".Geoff Fagence: Rugby Coach , Volleyball, South Africa
"Teaching netball and volleyball to the girls was great fun. I've totally loved Thailand and can't wait to see more of it."Lucinda Redfern , Netball, Thailand
"To be part of a sports project that can have real impact on children's lives was an awesome experience to be part of. Thailand and it's culture has so much to offer and the people are so friendly. Thanks."Bernhard Gessler , Netball, Thailand
"I had an amazing time working in Kenya with these kids. They show such dedication and there is some serious talent. I can't wait to go back."Will Ferguson , Rugby Union, Kenya
"Kenya is a fantastic country and being part of rugby development in this great place with these great kids will always remain a fond memory."Edoardo De Paoli , Rugby Union, Kenya
"I spent 8 weeks on this internship which was a great amount of time to get behind the organisation and really make an impact. An amazing experience."Marnie Gontovnick , Football, Thailand