Sports Development Officer

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Sports development officers promote participation in sport amongst all members of the community.

They work with sporting clubs, local councils and the wider community to ensure that people of allFuture Growth Very Strong ages and ability can access sporting facilities so they can increase their physical activity and lead healthier lives.

Sports development officers may also work with teams and individuals to improve their performance.

A sports development officer works for clubs, associations or state or territory sporting bodies promoting their sport or their club. They may visit schools, address pupils on the benefits of playing a particular sport or for a particular club and organise demonstrations and activities relating to the skills of the sport.

With kids
(Source: Careers in Sport: Disability Sports Development Officer)

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Sports development officers need:

  • to be physically fit

  • good communication skills

  • to have a passionate interest in sport

  • good organisational skills

  • good interpersonal skills and be able to interact with a diverse range of people

  • problem-solving and negotiation skills

Duties and Tasks

  • Coaches, trains and instructs sportspersons by analysing performances and developing abilities.

  • Plans and directs game strategies, develops play patterns and analyses game progress.

  • Motivates Sportspersons and supervises practice sessions.

  • Recruits players and other coaching staff.

  • Arranges entries into sporting competitions.

  • Promotes sports and skills development as well as overseeing the participation of young people in sport.

  • Officiates at sporting events to enforce rules and regulations, liaising with other officials when necessary.

  • Co-ordinates and directs swimming activities.

Working conditions

Sports development officers work both indoors and outdoors, in a variety of weather conditions.

Working hours can vary from week to week and may include weekends and evenings, when most people are participating in sport or other fitness activities.

They have a high degree of contact with people of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds. Sports development officers work with sporting clubs and local councils throughout Australia.

Tools and technologies

Sports development officers will often be required to drive between various sporting clubs and venues. While they may not have to be experts in all the sports that they are promoting, it is advantageous to be familiar with a wide range of sports and the different equipment that each uses. They also use computers to keep a record of the promotions and programs they have running, and how effective they are.

Sarah McGlashan of the White Ferns cricket team in NZ encouraging girls to take up cricket.

(Source: Teara Govt NZ)

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a sports development officer you usually need to complete a qualification in sport development, sports science or a related field.

VET courses in sport development are available from TAFE Colleges and registered training organisations throughout Australia.

You can also complete a degree majoring in sports science or a related field.

Did You Know?

Kate Palmer the CEO of the Australian Sports Commission was once a Sports Development Officer

The Australian
(Source: The Australian 28 January 2017)

Kate grew up in Shepparton in regional Victoria in a sports-­loving family and went on to play netball for Victoria and the Northern Territory.

She initially studied fashion design after she left school, then switched to an accounting course, travelled, worked in London and returned home in her mid-20s where she reignited her interest in sport by doing an honours degree in sports science.

She reached a fork in the road soon after when she was offered two jobs in one day.

One was as a junior development officer for Netball Victoria and the other was in the biomechanics department at RMIT. She took the netball job.

“And the rest is history,’’ she said.
(Source: The Australian 28 January 2017)


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