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Career profile: Sports development officer

sports development officerWant to share your love of sport with others and keep them healthy too? Then a career as a sports development officer could be the one for you. Read on to find out more.

A what?

Sports development officers organise and promote sports events in the community. They might be employed by local councils or the National Governing Bodies for specific sports, and often work alongside other organisations like the NHS, charities or schools.

On the job

Whether they’re a sports-specific officer promoting one particular sport or a generic development officer who promotes a range of different events, the main part of a sports development officer’s job is to get people involved in sport. The role will involve a lot of meetings to establish partnerships, inspect facilities and venues and train volunteers. This means that sports development officers have to be passionate and knowledgeable about sport, and also need good motivational and team-building skills to work with others well. Sports development officers also need to be familiar with the wider issues surrounding sport, such as how it can be used to improve public health or rehabilitate young offenders.

Although a sports development officer will regularly be out and about organising and attending events they will spend a lot of time in the office too, drawing up budgets, writing evaluation reports and working on marketing strategies amongst other things.

Sports development officers are likely to perform more management duties as their careers progress and their salaries increase. A sports development officer is likely to start on around £20,000 depending on their employer, but this could rise to over £30,000 for senior management positions.

What does the training involve?

Many sports development officers have a qualification in a sports-related subject such as a HND or bachelor's degree in sports science or leisure management. Business studies could also be useful for the more administrative side of the job. However, a proven interest in sport is more important than any specific qualification, so you’ll need to have played on a team or worked as a coach to stand a chance of getting a job.

Sports development officers can also receive additional training from organisations like Sport England and Skills Active, and might want to study courses in marketing and human resources provided by organisations like the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

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