Sports development officers organise projects, activities and training courses to encourage people to take part in sport and lead a healthier lifestyle. They may focus on sport in general or on a specific sport.
You could be:
working with sports bodies, politicians and local authorities to help develop policies and strategies to encourage more people to take part in sport
targeting specific groups such as young people with disabilities or those from disadvantaged communities, to encourage them to play sport
attending meetings to plan sports projects and allocate funds
setting up links between schools and sports clubs, and between local authorities and the governing bodies of various sports
organising and running training courses for teachers, promoting sport
organising activities for children, youth organisations or adults
keeping records and helping write reports for government organisations
sometimes coaching or supervising your own particular sport.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates vary, depending on:
where you work
the level of skill which you are offering
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
As an assistant sports development officer in Scotland your salary might be around £20,000 a year. Sports development officers earn £25,000 to £30,000 a year. Sports development managers may earn up to £40,000 a year or more.
As an Active Schools Co-ordinator, you would earn around £25,000 to over £30,000 a year.
You might work unsocial hours, including evenings and weekends.
You will usually be based in an office, but will travel widely around your area, possibly around Scotland.
As an active schools co-ordinator you would travel to different schools, usually within a local authority.
You may also have to spend time outdoors in all weathers, overseeing the smooth running of activities.
Some jobs are with fixed term projects, so you may have to look for a new job every few years.
There are no set entry routes into this profession. Employers consider a range of educational qualifications.
An HNC (SCQF Level 7), HND (SCQF Level 8) or degree (SCQF Levels 9-10) in a subject such as sports studies, sports science, sport and recreation management, coaching and developing sport or physical education.
A degree in another subject, plus a postgraduate (SCQF Level 11) qualification in a sports subject.
For entry to an HNC or HND you normally need 1-2 Highers, for entry to a degree, 4-5 Highers.
It would help to get some experience, such as volunteering at a local club.
A first aid certificate may be required.
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.
Employers also consider applicants with a particularly impressive record in sports performance. Most jobs are with local authorities, schools, sports councils or the governing bodies of individual sports.
What Does it Take?
You should be:
enthusiastic about sport
a good organiser to manage projects
confident, with initiative to think up new ideas
able to influence and motivate others
able to communicate clearly, with people of all ages and from all backgrounds
flexible and adaptable.
Training is on the job.
You may take coaching and officiating qualifications for your own sport, if you do not already hold them.