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How to become a Sports Development Officer

What is a sports development officer?

A sports development officer is an extremely broad role which can be a community position or a more specific one working in a school or college. They are usually tasked with the organisation and awareness of sport in the community and continually work to improve participation in sport and develop the provision of a wide range of recreational activities.

A sports development officer can expect to attend a range of meetings, seminars and community groups and co-ordinate ideas and strategies with local clubs and schools. This is a position ideal for someone with excellent leadership and management skills, with a particular interest and background in sport and who enjoys working with people to benefit the community.

What qualifications do I need to become a sports development officer?

There are no set qualifications you need to become a sports development officer. Some people who move into this area have a degree in a sport-related subject but that’s not necessarily a must.

What skills/experience will an employer look for?

Although there are no set qualifications required, these sorts of roles are extremely competitive so a demonstrable interest in sport and experience of working within it is very important. Often those with a background in coaching are ideal candidates, although a proven track record of leadership and management can prove your worth as well. Even if you don’t have the relevant experience now, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer with sport in the community and work towards becoming a strong potential candidate.

Who might employ a sports development officer?

Sports development officers can be employed by a wide range of community groups. They can range from a position in a school, presenting a much more specific brief of operations around sport and recreation in that one institution, to a regional or even national one, where the role is far more overarching.

What salary can I expect?

As sports development roles can vary in their scope, so can the earning potential. Generally candidates can expect to earn between £25,000 and £35,000, while higher level management roles can see salaries reaching £50,000.

What is my career progression?

Experience as a sports development officer can set you up for a senior regional or national management role in the same field. The nature of the job means it provides a great opportunity to network and develop leadership skills which would be beneficial in applying for any management position.

What are the best things about being a sports development officer?

Becoming a sports development officer offers the chance to get out into the real world and make a difference. It involves working in an industry you have real passion for, can be incredibly rewarding and presents the chance to genuinely improve the lives of local people.

This role is a fantastic opportunity to really take on a position of responsibility and start to shape the world around you. The skills and experience you gain from a role like this will also stand you in great stead should you decide to continue to further your career in a different field afterwards.

Are there any drawbacks?

It can be an all-consuming job and in particular there can be a lot of travelling around to deal with a variety of different local interest groups. Their differing ideas and aspirations could end up coming into conflict and there can be a lot of pressure involved.

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More information:

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