Sports development officers are responsible for generating interest and increasing participation in sports through effective promotion and marketing campaigns.
You will distribute information and organize sport-related projects, classes, programmes, coaching, club development and training. You will also need to target those who want to take part for fun, as well as those who are interested in competing at all levels, from local to national and international.
The central aim is to increase participation in sport of all kinds, but you will also address issues of health, crime and social inclusion as well, often working with organizations such as:
- regeneration initiatives;
- health authorities;
- sports councils;
- schools, colleges and universities.
- organizing, developing and delivering a varied range of sporting activities or programmes
- managing budgets
- producing promotional material and displays
- keeping statistical and financial records
- undertaking administrative tasks
- writing reports and press releases
- liaising and working with relevant organizations or agencies including youth services, schools, clubs, sports coaches and sports councils
- organizing and undertaking market research
- monitoring and assessing progress.
There are routes into this career for both university graduates and school leavers.
Degrees in sports science, travel, tourism, leisure, business studies, management or marketing are normally advantageous.
Relevant work experience is essential, and can be gained via seasonal vacation employment, or by working as a volunteer or paid assistant in a leisure or sports centre. Coaching qualifications and experience can also be helpful.
- initiative, self-motivation and the ability to motivate others;
- the ability to make decisions under pressure;
- excellent communication skills, both written and oral, to communicate effectively with all sections of the community;
- the ability to work with other individuals in a group setting;
- project management skills and the ability to manage people, including groups of volunteers;
- the capacity to work independently;
- negotiation skills and political awareness of current sports issues;
- excellent organization, administration and IT skills;
- a practical commitment to sport and an in-depth knowledge of a particular sport or a range of sports;
- the ability to build up good working relationships with client groups and partner bodies and the ability to work in a team.