Most of us have dreamt about becoming a professional sportsperson, and yet despite possibly not being good enough to make it, we try convincing ourselves otherwise. Well all is not lost If your've still got that burning desire to have a career in sport- without actually professionally taking part in it.
Starting a sports apprenticeship could put you on track for a speedy shoot up the sports and fitness industry ladder; or should I say gym rope.
What's a sports apprenticeship about?
Sport is about more than just teams and competition ; it's all forms of physical activity that improve physical fitness and mental wellbeing. Sport can even help people form social relationships.
Millions of people enjoy sports at community leisure centres, private health clubs, outward bound centres, and after-school clubs; and all of these need keen and motivated staff to make sure things run smoothly and safely, as well as to instruct, inspire, and keep an eye on people. If you like working with people, then an apprenticeship as a fitness instructor, coach or activity leader could prove rewarding.
If football is your passion, there are always plenty of opportunities for youth coaching abroad, or you could help manage club facilities or work as an event marshal during matches. And for those who prefer to work quietly behind the scenes, operational services are needed to support every business and organisation in the sector.
Who is it for?
It goes without saying you need to be physically fit and active, and love all aspects of sport (A GCSE or A-Level in P.E would certainly be of use). You need to be able to motivate and inspire and do so by being a good motivator as well as demonstrating with your own actions.
Understanding the importance of nutrition and how to conduct a warm up and exercise without straining muscles is vital. So Science and Maths skills will definitely come in hand here. You need to be dedicated to work in sports, as you will be seen as a role-model to many, so working long hours is a standard trait of the job.
But don't worry, you're not expected to be bursting with muscles by the end of it!
What do I get out of it?
Apprenticeships are on offer throughout the UK. There are different levels of the apprenticeship available, but they all lead to a National Vocational Qualification (NVQs), Key Skill qualifications and a range of Technical Certificates which give the underpinning knowledge necessary to achieve the NVQ and allow for broader learning and development opportunities.
After completion of a sports apprenticeship, there are a number of potential job roles available to delve into, including activity leadership, coaching, teaching and instructing, instructing exercise and fitness, leisure management, operational services and spectator safety.
With London 2012 on the horizon, investment is being poured into promoting sports and fitness and improving facilities from community to professional level. In fact, there's never been a better time to start a career in the industry! What vacancies are there? Check out our sports and fitness apprenticeship vacancies section to find the right opportunity for you!