Careers and Routes into the Sporting Industry
For many of us, the idea of a life spent in sport means a high-profile career as a professional athlete but the sporting industry is much broader than that and there are many different routes into a career in sport.
Careers in sport range across the spectrum, from involvement with the administrative running of a sporting organization to a more hands-on role in fitness, health promotion and development. You could leverage your enthusiasm for health and fitness into a career as a personal trainer or a health promotion specialist within the wider field of healthcare, working in a hospital setting. Many third-level institutions run courses aimed at developing careers in the health and fitness sector, affording students the opportunity to go on to become leisure centre managers or fitness instructors.
The increasing complexity of the business side of sport means athletes need full-time, professional representation, making talent management an option for those interested in helping athletes with that aspect of their career.
An increasingly important aspect of athletic development is sports psychology, which would make a great career for someone interested in what motivates athletes and how to get the maximum out of performance in terms of motivation and mental well-being. Keeping athletes in optimum health physically is also critical, and whether it is working as a massage therapist or a physiotherapist, or even as a sports injury doctor, there is no shortage of career options for those students interested in the physical wellbeing of sportspeople.
In recent years, extreme sports have become increasingly popular, giving those with an interest and background in such pastimes as rock climbing, kite surfing and skydiving the opportunity to forge a career that combines their passion for helping others with the thrill of something they themselves love.
Experience counts for a lot when it comes to a career in sport, so a good piece of advice is to start volunteering with a sporting organization or team in your area. Enthusiasm is another thing that potential employers look for, so be involved. Take up a sport and make it your passion. You do not have to become the world’s best footballer or the fastest runner on the track. Showing an interest in a sport from a young age teaches you the importance of teamwork and commitment and opens up a wealth of opportunities later in life.
Interest in sport needs to start early and students looking to forge a career in sport need the type of educational institute that will help nurture that interest and combine it with a level of academic excellence that will help the student achieve the necessary qualifications. Take the example of Kingsdale Foundation School. The Kingsdale Foundation School map gives you an idea of just how central sports are to this school. This is the type of institution dedicated to independent learning, with personalized curricula that combine academic learning with extracurricular activities, sports included.
The idea that a career in sports is limited to the athletes themselves is a very outdated one and if you want to combine your interest in sport with a long-term career, there is no shortage of options available.