Sport & recreation misconceptions
You might think that the only way to work in sport and recreation is to be a professional footballer, racing driver, dancer or poker player. Basically, you love your sport, but you’re not Sergio Agüero, Lewis Hamilton, Darcy Bussell or Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow, and therefore you’re never going to be able work in the exciting world of sport and recreation.
Alternatively, you might think that the only other way to realistically get a job in sport and recreation is to be a P.E. teacher, work in a leisure centre, or be the coach of a Sunday league football team.
A hugely diverse range of careers in sport and recreation is available to you. A genuine interest in sport is absolutely essential for you to get into this highly-competitive industry, but you don’t need to be an international sporting superstar to have a chance.
So before you make the decision to get into sport & recreation, you should firstly discover what it’s really all about.
Sport & recreation realities
For every sport in the world, there’s a vast array of relevant and essential careers available, from football, fencing and Formula 1 to dancing, dressage and downhill skiing.
Sport really is big business! Since the London 2012 Olympics, the UK’s interest in sport has been rejuvenated and more job opportunities are becoming available. There has also been a major boost in the popularity of gaming and gambling (especially online poker), and consequently there has been a noticeable growth in the amount of jobs available in this industry.
Many different skills are needed for the many different kinds of sport and recreation careers, but the one thing you really need is a true sporting passion. If you really want to work in this sector, you will need to be able to demonstrate your enthusiasm.
Sport & recreation options
Understandably, every sport in the world depends on the sportsmen and sportswomen who actually compete. However, these athletes would not be able to do their job without the complex support infrastructure that makes it all happen. Every single area of sport and recreation requires a wealth of behind-the-scenes staff, including coaches, physical trainers, medical staff, sports agents and referees.
Every event or training session needs a venue, and these venues need staff. From local rugby tournaments to major international events, ground staff, stewards and ticket vendors are needed to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Sport and recreation is a major part of cultural identity and development. Sport is integral to a child’s education and can also be used as an important way to develop community involvement and regeneration; because of this, careers within sports development and teaching can make a huge difference to people’s lives across the UK and throughout the globe.
The sport industry is also all about the fans and spectators. If you think about it, most sports are forms of entertainment. They are played in front of an audience and provide people with joy and excitement. Like any other form of entertainment the fans need a way to watch and interact with the sports they love. This is where sports broadcasting and journalism really comes off the bench and makes an impact!
Of course, even if you don’t become the next Haye, Federer or Wiggins, there’s still the opportunity for you to become a big player in the sport and recreation industry.