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Sport & Recreation careers

Sports Facilities & Duty Management

Why get involved in sports facilities & duty management?

You might have never seen the 90s sitcom, The Brittas Empire, but the shenanigans of Gordon Brittas are a prime example of how NOT to run a sports facility or leisure centre. The ways in which sports facilities are managed are incredibly important to the millions of people that use gyms, swimming pools and sports halls every single day.

People want to work out and play sports in establishments that are clean, friendly, modern and safe. Careers in sports facilities and duty management are therefore absolutely essential for keeping our gyms and leisure centres in top class working order.

What does sports facilities & duty management involve?

Absolutely tons of people use sporting facilities at least once every week for a wide variety of reasons – either to play five-a-side footy, to swim a few lengths, to get rid of their ‘muffin tops’ with a bit of treadmill jogging action, or to invite their gym buddies to watch the gun show!

Sporting facilities have to meet the needs of the sporting community. Therefore, they need to be well managed, maintained and supervised by professionally trained and friendly staff. This task is no mean feat. Most sporting facilities tend to be large, integrated centres which house a number of different amenities. These extensive sites require a range of different staff and all equipment, services and employees need to be managed effectively. 

Sports facilities and duty managers tend to be employed by local authorities, private companies, schools, colleges and universities. People can get into these careers through a number different routes: off the back of degree courses, apprenticeships, and vocational qualifications, or by joining the organisation straight from school at a junior level, and then working towards promotion.

People who work in these careers need to have good commercial awareness, a passion for sporting activity, and excellent decision making, problem solving and communication skills.

What options are available in this field?

Sports facilities managers tend to have a broad range of responsibilities. It’s important to remember that leisure centres and other sports facilities are run as businesses, and they need to make good profits to grow and improve.

Consequently, this lot are in charge of controlling budgets, setting business objectives and coordinating marketing activities. This marks the difference between the two gyms you see in the film Dodgeball – just compare the different business strategies of Average Joe’s and Globo-Gym!

Furthermore, these guys need to use their interpersonal skills to man-manage their staff, such as cleaners, groundsmen, fitness instructors, and lifeguards. They are also responsible for recruiting and training staff, maintaining customer service standards and ensuring that employees comply with health and safety regulations. Sports facilities managers are also integral to implementing new sports programmes, fitness activities and organising events.

Duty managers make sure that facilities are safe and secure for the customers and the staff. They are in charge of implementing health and safety policies and ensuring compliance with emergency procedures. Duty managers are also responsible for opening and closing the facility every day, as well as leading equipment and facility safety audits.

Are you an ‘Average Joe’, or a 'Blade', 'Laser' or 'Blazer'? If you’re genuinely interested in sports (one of us goes to a gym run by a husband and wife team of ex-bodybuilders!) and believe in providing a high quality and safe environment for others, this could be the right place for you!

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