Sports or leisure centre managers are responsible for the day to day running of a centre. It might be a sports centre, a gym, a centre specialising in a specific sport, a leisure centre, an activity holiday centre or a theme park.
You could be:
- planning how best to spend the annual budget
- deciding what staff are needed and what equipment to buy or replace and planning the best use of space
- arranging for equipment to be maintained and insured
- interviewing, employing, training and supervising staff including making up staff rotas
- arranging catering services
- marketing the centre, organising and advertising sporting activities, events and competitions
- ensuring health and safety procedures are being followed
- dealing with problems such as complaints, troublemakers, minor accidents and damaged property
- dealing with paperwork and writing reports.
You would be responsible for the safety of all staff and clients taking part in activities.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of the company or organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
As assistant manager of a sports or leisure centre your starting salary could be in the range of £19,000 to around £23,000 a year. As manager you could earn around £25,000 to £30,000 a year. With experience, particularly of managing a larger centre, this could rise to £35,000 a year or more.
- You will work shifts including early mornings, evenings, weekends and public holidays.
- You would be based in an office in the centre, but you might spend a lot of time in the sporting or leisure area, or outside, depending on the sport or activity.
Workforce Employment Status
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There is no single entry route. The following qualifications would be helpful.
- An NQ or NC in sports and recreation, sport and fitness or a similar subject – you may need some subjects at National 4 or 5 for entry.
- An HNC or HND in sport and recreation management, sport coaching or the development of sport or a similar subject – for entry you usually need 1-2 Highers.
- A degree in sports or recreation management, or a sports related degree – for entry you usually need 4-5 Highers.
- A degree in any subject – a business-related subject is useful – plus a postgraduate qualification in sport and recreation management.
- Coaching and officiating qualifications awarded by the national governing body for your own sport.
- Previous experience, either paid or on a volunteer basis would be beneficial.
- You will require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
Depending on the job, you may also need:
- a first aid qualification
- RLSS National Pool Management qualification
- RLSS National Pool Lifeguard Qualification
- a Register of Exercise Professionals (REP) Level 3 qualification.
You could work for a local authority, a university or college, a private leisure centre or gym, hotel or a health club. Alternatively you could be working in a theme or holiday park.
Workforce Education Levels (UK)
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What Does it Take?
You should be:
- outgoing and enthusiastic
- well organised and able to manage your time
- good at solving problems
- flexible and adaptable
- a good team worker and leader, able to motivate and manage staff.
You should have:
- good business sense and the ability to manage budgets
- a strong interest in sport and fitness
- good communication and marketing skills
- IT and numeracy skills
- ideas for developing your centre.
- You could take a part time course while you are working, such as an SVQ in Management.
- You could take professional courses and qualifications through the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).
- If you are responsible for maintaining the water quality, you can complete the RLSS National Pool Management Qualification. This 4-day course is a technical qualification for staff operating pool plant each day.
- You may take coaching and officiating qualifications in your own sport, if you do not already hold them.
- You would probably start as an assistant manager.
- After gaining experience, you might become a deputy manager and then a manager.
- You could move from managing a smaller centre to managing a larger one.
- You might become manager of a group of centres.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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