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What Experience Do You Need For A Career In Sports & recreation

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All you need to know about the Sports & recreation industry

A career in sports does not have to mean that you have to be a star athlete. There are plenty of avenues you can take to turn your passion for sports into a rewarding job. Similarly, the recreation industry relies on a strong workforce to ensure that people can enjoy their leisure time however they so please.

All gyms, schools, and physiotherapy centres need someone who is specialised in sport. For some of these roles you may have to have a professional qualification, or even a degree, but many also offer routes in through apprenticeships or work placements.

Within recreation you could be working in theme parks, spas, cinema, casinos or anything else that people choose to do for fun in their spare time. A lot of this work can be seasonal, especially if you would like to work with children as a lot of their activities will take place throughout school holidays.

There are plenty of opportunities for self-employment within this industry and it is also one that responds quickly to cultural trends. In the past couple of years the wellness industry has boomed, which has opened up opportunities for influencers and micro-influencers on social media. Those who manage to accrue a following in these industries can be very well paid – especially if you learn how to market yourself properly.

Skills & interests needed for Sports & recreation

Of course, you should be passionate about sport or the recreation industry. Usually for sports this is quite easy to demonstrate – any teams that you have played for, or even just going to the gym, shows that you are interested in the industry.

You will also need to have good customer service skills as a lot of the roles in this industry require face-to-face interaction with customers. Similarly, if you decide to work for yourself you will need to have the people skills to build a rapport with your clients and ensure repeat business.

Other skills that will benefit you within the sports and recreation industry are:

- Motivation
- Problem Solving
- Time Management

What work experience do you need for a career in Sports & recreation

There are numerous opportunities for work experience within the sports and recreation industries. You could assist at your local health centre, or help in summer activity programmes that are aimed at children during their school break. If you’re at university, your university gym may also have some work experience available.

You could also get a summer job in a theme park, or work in a casino in a customer service role. Lots of roles within sports and recreation will require an element of customer service, so take advantage of any chance you get to practice!

If you are interested in something quite specialised, like being a sports masseuse, then you should consider taking a part-time course to get a qualification.

As mentioned in the industry overview, the social media boom means that there are numerous online platforms that allow you to showcase yourself within the sports and recreation industry and potentially build a following as an influencer. This shows your dedication to the industry as a career choice and will look impressive on your CV – or you could turn it into a career itself!

Useful resources

Sport + Recreation Alliance
Sports and Play Construction Association
Sport Structures
Sport England
Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity
UK Sport
Scottish Sports Association
Welsh Sports Association
NI Sports Forum
Federation of Sports and Play Associations
British Association of Sports and Exercise Sciences
British Association of Sports Rehabilitators and Trainers