February/March 2013 ISSUE 2
SKY SPORTS NEWS HD's HAYLEY McQUEEN ON A CAREER IN TV FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
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TOP TIPS TO GET THE ULTIMATE SPORTS CV
WANT TO TEACH FUTURE STARS?
Alan Watkinson, Mo Farah's PE teacher and the man who kickstarted his career, on how to nurture talent and the importance of teaching
LUCKY FOR SOME?
HOW TO WRITE FOR THE NATIONAL PRESS WORK ABROAD OR UTILISE A GAP YEAR CAREERS IN THE DANCE INDUSTRY
We find the opportunities to help you launch a career in the sport, leisure and exercise industry this year
KING OF THE HILL BECOME A SKIING INSTRUCTOR
Issue 2 February/March 2013
MAKE IT HAPPEN IN 2013
We identify the opportunities and openings to look out for this year
STAND OUT IN THE CROWD
Expert advice and ten tips on how to become instantly more employable
TIME TO SHINE
Make 2013 the year you kickstart your career!
The most successful sports stars all share something in common, and it's not just being blessed with a natural athletic gift. Of course, whether it's speed, skill, strength or determination there are some things you can't teach or coach. However, behind every successful sports person is a team. And as we discovered in 2012, particularly at the Olympic Games but across a wide number of sporting events at all levels, those teams are growing all the time. From the coaches, psychologists and sports scientists that inspired Team Sky to greater heights in cycling to the growing presence in the backroom teams at football, rugby and cricket clubs across the land, the sport, leisure and exercise industry is constantly evolving and with that comes more opportunities. And it's not just mainstream sports. As you'll ﬁnd out as you ﬂick through these pages, cycling isn't the only sport to beneﬁt from an increase in participation and popularity thanks to the London Games. From the more widespread use of sports science and everything that entails at elite level to enticing young participants to new sports at grassroots level – not to mention everyone in between simply trying to stay ﬁt and healthy – the industry is a great place to work. From an inspirational and hard-working PE teacher to successful media ﬁgures, burgeoning coaches to self-employed personal trainers, in this issue we're hoping some of the advice and experiences outlined will help inspire you regardless of the path you're keen to follow. We've highlighted some of the opportunities available in 2013 and provided top tips from the professionals we hope will help you reach your goals, whatever they may be . And if not, visiting one of our National Sports Roadshows (p10) later in the year are essential!
BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT
Use the experience of our industry experts to get ahead of the game
There's more to the dance industry than just rehearsals and stages...
PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE!
Make the most of a gap year or ﬁnd work opportunities abroad
20 KING OF THE HILL
There are deﬁnitely worse ways to make a living than hitting the slopes...
Four personal trainers explain their stories and how you can follow suit
COACHING ZONE 26
Harvey Grout & Nick Judd
THE BIG PICTURE
Never underestimate the importance of a backroom team. Whatever the sport, they play a huge part, as our snap of Team GB's cycling staﬀ shows...
THE MAN BEHIND MO
Meet Mo Farah's PE teacher, Alan Watkinson, the man who launched the double gold medallist's career
GET INTO COACHING
From holidays camps to junior clubs, there are many ways to coach kids
28 CV ND EMPLOYA MENT TIPS, PLU EXPERTSS 17 INSIDE! Magazine produced by envee media Ltd for Careers in Sport. Account Director Harvey Grout (email@example.com) Editor Nick Judd (firstname.lastname@example.org) Art Editor Sandra Marques Sub Editor Louis Massarella Repro Manager Darren Jones Advertising Executive Rachael Murray Contributors Nicola Joyce, Kristoph Thompson, Professor John Brewer, Snowskool, Peta Bee, Emily Young, Rob Cook Images Getty Images, PA Photos, Shutterstock & www.kurnikoﬀ.com Views expressed are not necessarily shared by envee media or Careers in Sport. All rights reserved. www.careers-in-sport.co.uk
HIT THE ROAD
Our National Sports Roadshows are essential for sports enthusiasts who want to live, work and play sport
CREAM OF THE CROP
Who works at St George's Park and how did they get there? Read on...
GIVE ME STRENGTH
Work hard, be passionate says Leicester Tigers' Strength and Conditioning Coach Dave Cripps
MEDIA ZONE 41
HOW TO WRITE FOR NATIONAL PRESS
Fitness and exercise writer Peta Bee reveals what editors really want
The Sky Sports' presenter on how to land your dream job on the screen February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 3
FOCUS ON FITNESS
According to the Active People Survey conducted by Sport England, 19 sports have shown a recent upsurge in participation. For example, participation in cycling rose from 200,800 (2010-2011) to 1,962,000 (2011-2012). More sports crossover into fitness than ever before, and 11 of the top 20 sports listed in the Active People Survey are now delivered in leisure centres: great news for those of you who work in fitness facilities, gyms and leisure centres. So let's delve a little deeper into three specific sports to see how growth in participation could affect you...
THE YEAR TO GET INV Nicola Joyce asked the experts to look into their crystal balls and tell us why 2013 is set to be a
fter a vintage year for sport in Britain, we’re all heading into 2013 more motivated than ever about ﬁtness and competitive sport. The London Olympic legacy has already had a noticeable impact on participation in sport. Figures released by Sport England showed the number of adults playing sport at least once a week had risen by 750,000 in the past year, "a really substantial increase," according to Sport England Chief Executive, Jennie Price. Combine this with increasing opportunities for training and we have a great foundation for the industry in 2013. But how will the mood amongst the general population aﬀect those of us working in the industry? And how will the opportunities presented by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games translate into jobs moving forward?
4 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
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Job opportunities in 2013
Focus on volleyball
Since the launch of Volleyball England’s Go Spike campaign (www.gospike.net) in July 2011, the number of opportunities to play has increased significantly, helping over 30,000 people get into the sport (with 5,000 playing regularly). And the Olympics had a huge impact, with affiliated clubs reporting around 7,300 new enquiries. Some clubs were so overwhelmed by the response they created new recreational sessions to cater for demand. Lisa Wainwright, Chief Executive at Volleyball England says, “The support of our volunteers, clubs and links to external partners have been invaluable in making the campaign a success.” If you want to capitalise on the upsurge in interest, try www.volleyballengland.org/ about_us/about_us_/job_vacancies.
Where are the jobs? The future really does look bright for those of you interested in jobs in sport, leisure and fitness. Not only is there a range of apprenticeship and entry-level positions across the sector, we’re also seeing an increasingly entrepreneurial culture. The 2011 Working in Fitness Survey found that 20% of people working in the sector were working across two different roles (ie group exercise instructor and a sports coach); 49% of people working across the sector are self-employed or freelance and people are developing their own businesses and careers based upon several roles. David Stalker, CEO of ukactive, says, "The sport and fitness sector offers plenty of opportunities for young workers – 30% of the workforce is under 24 years old, compared with the national average of 13%. Management in the sector also has an encouragingly young profile, with four in ten senior managers aged between 25 and 34." Where to go next? If you want to delve a little deeper into the job market, try these websites: ■ Leisurejobs ■ Leisure Opportunities ■ UK Sport ■ Sport England or the NGB of your chosen sport.
olved year full of opportunities
Focus on rowing
UK rowing clubs were receiving applications for ‘learn to row’ courses within ten minutes of the first gold medal being won at London 2012. Since the Olympics, www.britishrowing. org.uk has seen a tenfold increase in the regular number of unique visitors to the site, and 27,805 people searched the website for their nearest rowing club throughout the Olympic period. Explore Rowing sessions (British Rowing’s legacy programme), take place at 550 affiliated Rowing Clubs nationwide (www.explorerowing.org) To keep an eye on exciting job opportunities in rowing, go to www.britishrowing.org/about-us/jobs.
Focus on hockey
GB Hockey has experienced an increase in participation through their grassroots programmes and their impressive Olympic campaign. Sally Munday, Chief Executive of England Hockey, says, "There’s never been a better time to get involved in hockey. We have welcomed an extra 30,000 players, which has a direct impact on the number of opportunities to get involved working in the sport.” There are 900 affiliated hockey clubs in England, most of which need coaches, managers and physios. To find out more see www.englandhockey.co.uk/jobs. Scottish Hockey has recently secured sponsorship from Aberdeen Asset Management, allowing the NGB to appoint three professional head coaches to work full-time with selected national league clubs. Stuart Moffatt of Scottish Hockey, says, “As the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games approaches, 2013 is the ideal time to get to work with clubs. We hope to see a steady increase in people wanting to get involved. ”
January/February 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 5
STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD Professor John Brewer, Head of Sport and Exercise Science at University of Bedfordshire, explains how to maximise your chances of success Professor John Brewer is the former Head of Human Performance for the FA, Director, Lilleshall Sports Injury & Human Performance Centre, Director of Sports Science for GlaxoSmithKline and is currently a Board Member for UK Anti Doping and British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). Follow him on Twitter: @sportprofbrewer Turn the clock back 20 years and for most people studying a sports-related degree, the career options were limited. There was – and still is – the route into teaching (or sport and recreation management), but for the majority a sports-related degree was used to gain entry into a profession that required a good 'generic' degree, rather than a subject-speciﬁc qualiﬁcation. CHANGING TIMES! The situation hasn't changed completely, but both the number and breadth of opportunities for sports graduates has greatly increased. And in the legacy-fuelled aftermath of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Government’s drive to improve the health and activity levels of the nation, there has never been a better time to study for a degree with a sport or exercise component. In 1988, I was employed by the FA as their ﬁrst ever Head of Human Performance. It was a role treated with scepticism by many top clubs and coaches, and even by other coaches in the FA when I travelled with Bobby Robson’s England as the sports scientist for the 1990 World Cup in Italy. It was the players who were playing in European leagues, such as Chris Waddle, who were more openminded to the use of heart-rate monitors during the training, and carbs rather than steak for pre-match meals! Two years later, I travelled as sports scientist to the 1992 Cricket World Cup with England, and found 6 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
my work openly criticised in the media. At the time, the concept of cricketers preparing physically for matches was a source of much amusement and viewed by many as a complete waste of time. THE APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE Today, all the top professional sports clubs – football, rugby union, rugby league and cricket among them – have their own scientists, performance analysts, psychologists and nutritionists, while bodies such as the English Institute of Sport employ a team of scientists responsible for delivering sports science support to many of the country’s top athletes and Olympic sports. Away from elite level competition, many regional organisations such as Primary Care Trusts and Local Authorities are working on initiatives designed to make their populations more active, and healthier, as the role of exercise in preventing many life-threatening diseases becomes more widely accepted. Within the private sector, companies are starting to realise that a healthier and more active workforce reduces absenteeism and can even improve productivity, whilst private and local authority gyms continue to provide work opportunities for exercise practitioners and personal trainers. NUMBERS GAME All of this has combined to signiﬁcantly increase the number and range of employment opportunities for graduates with a sports-related degree. However, whilst this increase in demand should be welcomed, the signiﬁcant increase in supply, as more and more universities oﬀer sports-related courses, means there are far more graduates than there are posts. Anyone tempted to study a sports course in the hope they will work with a Premier League team, or alongside an Olympic champion, will ﬁnd their aspirations are shared by a great many others, and as a result, the competition for jobs is very
tough – as is the role of employers in deciding which of the many applicants to shortlist and, ultimately, employ. FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT The ﬁrst challenge for any graduate is to get an interview, which will normally be based on their letter of application and CV. The old adage that “you only get one chance to make a ﬁrst impression” has never been more true. Simple, careless mistakes such as typing errors, or a failure to set out a CV correctly, are often the only excuse that an employer needs to discard an application. If you are lucky enough to be oﬀered an interview, appearance, dress code and body language are critical – get these wrong and you can easily lose any chance of getting a job before you have even answered the ﬁrst question! Of course, the content of a CV, and what it tells you about a person, are also crucial (see page 46). Getting a good degree is always going to be important, but it is often the other things that a candidate has accomplished that stand out for an employer. The recent launch of the HEAR, (Higher Education Achievement Report), which has been adopted by many UK Universities, will enable all students to document a range of activities that are additional to their studies (www.hear.ac.uk) and the long-term intention is for the HEAR to become a key tool which employers can use during the job application process. LONG TERM GAINS Whilst the prospect of a great career in sport has never been greater, aspiring graduates must work hard to get the best possible degree they can, supplement this with a broad range of experiences and achievements, and ensure that during every stage of the job application process – letter, CV and interview – they present themselves in the best possible way to a prospective employer. Get it right, and there is every chance of a long and rewarding career in the sport and exercise sector. www.careers-in-sport.co.uk
MAKE YOURSELF EMPLOYABLE
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"THE OLD ADAGE THAT 'YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION' HAS NEVER BEEN MORE TRUE" February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 7
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU INSTANTLY MORE EMPLOYABLE Kristoph Thompson explains how to instantly increase your prospects, without having to learn a new language or gain a second degree USE SOCIAL MEDIA Use networking sites such as LinkedIn to post your CV, making it easier for employers to ﬁnd out about you and your capabilities. Make sure people can only see what you want them to. All your hard work could be undone in an instant if a prospective employer were to come across the pictures from your last big night out. BROADEN YOUR SKILLS A Brunel University focus group showed that the skills and qualities most valued by employers are communication, a willingness to learn, commitment, motivation and drive/energy. Check your CV, covering letter and personal statement and make sure you’ve included examples of when you’ve demonstrated these skills. FILM A MOCK INTERVIEW Video yourself answering typical interview questions. Seeing how you come across in an interview situation highlights any areas for improvement. Pay attention to your tone of voice and how quickly you speak, as well as your body language and gestures. TRAIN TO GAIN Show a willingness to learn and enhance your skills by doing some additional training. Vision2learn (www.vision2learn. com) oﬀers free online courses in a range of areas including management skills, customer service and business technique. GET SOME WORK EXPERIENCE "It’s extremely important that you can show a demonstrable commitment to the career of your choice, and self-motivation," says Rachel Gambiragio, Human Resources Manager at Freedom Leisure (www.freedom-leisure.co.uk). Spend the afternoon arranging work placements. This will give you an inside view of your chosen sector, as well as some useful contacts. 8 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
SWOT UP Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. "Work out what diﬀerentiates you from other candidates, rather than just focusing on the skills that others are also likely to have," explains occupational psychologist Julianne Miles (www.careerpsychologists.co.uk). This will help you target the jobs that best ﬁt your strengths, and to be more conﬁdent. HONE YOUR PUBLIC SPEAKING A recent survey of the Institute of Directors identiﬁed verbal communication as one of the most desirable skills in prospective employees. Hone your public speaking skills at a Toastmasters meeting (www.toastmasters.org). This not-forproﬁt organisation holds regular meetings nationwide to help members improve their communication and leadership skills. GET ON THE PHONE "Speaking to someone that is already doing your dream job will give you a wealth of knowledge about the day-to-day nature of the job and a greater understanding of how to get there," says Lianne Kennedy from The Training Room (www.thetrainingroom.com). CHANGE YOUR EMAIL There’s no point writing a professional CV, then asking potential employers to contact you at email@example.com. Set up an email using just your name; better still, set up a website to showcase your strengths. LET YOUR PERSONALITY SHINE "Experience can be an advantage, but sometimes personality is more important as we can provide more training," says Michelle Bletso, Group Fitness Development Manager for Everyone Active (www.everyoneactive.com). Ensure your personality shines through in your CV, work placements and in everything you do.
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NATIONAL SPORTS The 2013 National Sports Roadshows are THE ultimate destination for enthusiasts who want to live, work and play sport, as well as organisations looking to recruit...
Following on from the success of the 2012 Careers in Sport & Exercise Conferences at Brunel University, Worcester University and the University of East London, the event is being relaunched in 2013 as the ‘National Sports Roadshow’, which will comprise the Careers in Sport & Exercise Conference, plus a large exhibition focusing on organisations that provide ﬁtness and leisure opportunities. The Roadshows will all include the following zones:
Careers Zone including ■ Sports industry recruiters ■ Job interview techniques ■ Practical workshops ■ CV writing clinic
Leisure Zone including
■ Sports holidays ■ Weekend and spare-time activities ■ Extreme sports ■ Entertainment
Fitness Zone including
■ Training opportunities ■ Expert advice ■ Fitness equipment demos ■ Gyms
TICKETS ON SALE MARCH 1. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DATES, VENUES AND TICKETS, VISIT OUR WEBSITE CAREERS-IN-SPORT.CO.UK 10 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
The National Sports Roadshow is the place to be for careers advice and practical workshops
A great place to learn about – and even sign up for – university sports courses and training
The FA were one of the 30+ organisations present in 2012. Could you be hosting them in 2013?
Images thanks to www.kurnikoﬀ.com
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 11
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THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT
When you’re starting out on you career path, it’s hard to know which direction to take. Kristoph Thompson asked a range of ﬁtness ﬁtness industry professionals what advice they would give their younger selves at the start of their careers...
Editor of Men’s Fitness magazine www.mensfitness.co.uk What does your current role involve? I'm responsible for the editorial output across our publishing platforms. I'm in charge of our print edition, website, tablet edition, books, apps and anything else carrying the Men's Fitness name. I plan the editorial content and make decisions about what we should do. I also work with our publisher on the commercial side of the brand. What is your background? I did a post-grad journalism course after studying politics at university. After some unpaid internships I built up some freelance work before getting my ﬁrst ﬁrst full-time role. I started on Men's Fitness eight years ago as a staﬀ writer before becoming senior writer, deputy editor and, three years ago, editor. What advice would you give your younger self, knowing what you now do? If you work hard and build contacts, you'll get a break. The The hardest part of my career was the ﬁrst ﬁrst year after ﬁnishing ﬁnishing my journalism course. There There were times when I considered doing something else but I'm glad I persevered. During my time on the magazine my ﬁtness knowledge has increased, I’ve gone to some great events and have done a few courses such as an advanced personal trainer diploma and a couple of UKSCA modules, which were really enjoyable. www.careers-in-sport.co.uk
WHAT I'VE LEARNT
Lucy Jackson Head of Training, The Training Room www.thetrainingroom.com
What does your current role involve? I’m responsible for developing the courses we oﬀer oﬀer and managing the 40 or so trainers that deliver them. The The Training Room is a careers provider, oﬀering oﬀering personal training and gym instructor courses. We have 18 venues and I split my time between visiting each of these, working from our head oﬃce oﬃce in Bournemouth, working from home and meeting with our corporate partners such as Help for Heroes. What is your background? I’ve done pretty much every role in the ﬁﬁtness tness industry! I started as a part-time instructor and since then I’ve been a ﬁﬁtness tness instructor, personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, sports therapist, health and ﬁtness ﬁtness manager and then moved into education in 2006. Since then I have worked as a lecturer, progressing to my current position a few of years ago. What advice would you give your younger self, knowing what you now do? Get as much experience as you can in every job role. Education is one thing but you can’t buy experience. As I’ve progressed, I’ve found I’m better able to manage and support my staﬀ because I’ve got a good understanding of their job role. I’d also tell myself to never think you’ve learnt everything, even when you’ve got all of the qualiﬁcations qualiﬁ cations you can still learn from your superiors. When you feel you’ve learned all you can, then it’s time to move on.
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 13
WHAT I'VE LEARNT
Holly Sutcliffe Sports Development Officer for Freedom Leisure www.freedom-leisure.co.uk
What does your current role involve? I’m responsible for getting more people participating in sport in the south east and using the services we oﬀer the community. This involves setting up new projects and initiatives, applying for funding from governing bodies or Sport England, sourcing coaches and coordinating facility hire.
What advice would you give your younger self, knowing what you now do? Employers like you to be able to show key skills such as organisation and being able to work as part of a team. I’d tell myself to get involved in as many diﬀerent events and projects as possible. Helping to organise events such as charity sports tournaments or fundraising initiatives helps to develop the skills employers want and gives you examples to demonstrate you’ve got the experience they’re looking for.
What is your background? I’ve always been involved in sport, studying A-level PE, then doing sports development at university. I started work at a school where I split my time between sports development and teaching. From there I progressed to my current role in sports development for Freedom Leisure. www.careers-in-sport.co.uk
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 14
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"TO SUCCEED AS A DANCER YOU NEED TO BE CREATIVE, FIT AND A GOOD PERFORMER" 16 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
Emily Young, Course Leader for Sports Education at the University of Gloucestershire, explores the exciting and wide-ranging opportunities in the dance industry The dance profession doesn’t just take place on a stage or in the rehearsal room. In fact, careers in dance can take place in hospitals and art centres, backstage, in schools and community centres; even in offices. Of the estimated 30,000 people employed in the dance sector, only 2,500 are actually performers. Up to 22,500 go into teaching while the remaining 5,000 are employed in a variety of development and administrative positions, such as management, therapy and project management. Here's a run down of some of the career paths available to you... CHOREOGRAPHER How to get there? Good dance training is essential to any choreographer. Many start out as performers in professional companies and gain experience touring and in rehearsals with the company and its artistic director. Helpful information The Council for Dance Education and Training (cdet.org.uk) holds a list of accredited training courses. These cover most types of dance from classical ballet to musical theatre and contemporary. Some courses start at age 16, some at 18. Most last at least three years or more. DANCE PERFORMER How to get there? To succeed as a dancer you need to be creative, fit and a good performer. Extensive training and qualifications are required from a university, dance or performing arts school. Join a youth dance company and dance as much as possible,
Helpful information Have a look at the Arts Council (artscouncil. org.uk) for job descriptions and arts business courses and opportunities. DESIGNER How to get there? You may work your way up through craft or assistant jobs in costume departments. To succeed, you will need experience (try local community and school productions to start), good contacts and a good portfolio. Helpful information There are no set entry requirements, but most costume designers have a Higher National Diploma (HND), degree or postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject such as costume design, fashion, theatre, design or art and design. See the UCAS website to find art and design foundation courses all over the UK. COMMUNITY PRACTITIONER How to get there Community dance practitioners work in a variety of settings such as youth centres, old peoples’ homes, arts, community and leisure centres. A degree in dance or vocational training at a specialised Dance in the Community course is needed here. Helpful information Check out Dance UK (danceuk.org) for a list of all training providers. TEACHER How to get there Anyone who wants to teach in a statemaintained school in England or Wales needs to gain qualified teacher status
Helpful information Contact your local dance agency, council or arts board. A good place to start is Youth Dance England (yde.org.uk) who have a list of U-Dance providers and youth dance opportunities including workshops and auditions. DANCE PRODUCER How to get there? Getting new productions off the ground requires a lot of hard work and a strong sense of entrepreneurship. A dance producer will normally hold a degree in dance, drama, or arts administration and have had plenty of relevant work experience – maybe as a performer or administrator.
FURTHER INFO... For more information on dance careers, The Council of Dance Education and Training (CDET) hold Careers in Dance events speciﬁcally tailored to meet the needs of young people in the 14-18 age range. The Universities and Colleges Admissions System (UCAS) have an online database of university degree courses at www.ucas.ac.uk. And ﬁnally, your dance teacher, Youth Company leader, or local dance agency will also be able to give you great advice on your future. Good Luck!
(QTS), which requires a period of initial teacher training (ITT) at University. Helpful information Undergraduate degrees (BSc, BA) in areas such as dance, community dance, physical education, choreography and education studies could be followed by a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). Alternatively, a BEd in Primary or Physical education may qualify you with QTS. DANCE/ARTS OFFICER How to get there? Most arts officers at local authorities or in Arts Council offices are graduates in arts or arts-related courses and some may have been dancers themselves. Their main role is in strategic planning, grant giving and monitoring dance in their area or region. MOVEMENT THERAPIST How to get there? Dance therapists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation units and schools and use dance and movement to help people with a wide range of emotional, social, psychological and physical difficulties. Helpful information Dance movement therapists must have a postgraduate qualification recognised by the Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapy (ADMPUK) and a minimum of two years’ experience of at least one dance or movement form.
There are a large number –and diverse range – of opportunities in the dance industry, says Emily
OTHER CAREERS COULD INCLUDE ■ Dance researcher/academic ■ Dance notation and analysis ■ Pilates/Yoga/fitness Instructor ■ Lighting design/technical production ■ Dance company education specialist
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 17
Rob got to meet some senior sporting ﬁgures, such as NBA and Sacramento Kings star Francisco Garcia
I always knew I wanted to work in sport and it was my goal throughout college to make it to Loughborough University. I applied there for a deferred place so that I could do a gap year with Raleigh International, and I was accepted. During that year I coached basketball, was a lifeguard and worked in a bar while also fundraising to take part in a Raleigh expedition, a three-month project to Belize that included working with local communities, living in the jungle, scuba diving and helping to build a school, as well as travelling through central America. This gap-year experience really set me up to make the most of my time at university and I started volunteering virtually as soon as I arrived. In the summer after my first year, I set off on another gap project, with Coral Cay Conservation, spending ten weeks in Fiji, scuba diving every day and undertaking reef conservation projects. In my second year I set up Sports Action, a range of student-led sports projects (coaching in schools, for example) that led to joining the Students Union executive
MIND THE GAP
and the board of Student Volunteering England and NCVYS, both national charities. After graduating from Loughborough I joined a graduate scheme, then worked for a local authority sports development unit as sports development officer before landing the role of Leisure Development Manager shortly afterwards in place of someone who was on maternity leave. From there, I went to work for a County Sports Partnership, which was going through a state of change in terms of the way it was funded. However, I had always wanted to work overseas and when the County Sports Partnerships were restructured, I took that as an opportunity to broaden my horizons. I had family who had gone over to work in Singapore, so that seemed an obvious
JUST DO IT! Here are Rob's top tips to help you ﬁnd the right opportunity on these shores or overseas 1. You need to show total commitment to sports development. Get out there and do as much volunteering – and to as high a level as possible – as you can. You need diversity. 2. Use your university to do as much volunteering and develop your career skills as much as you can. There are a lot of core programmes and these projects will help you in the workplace, no question. 3. The more you can experience, the more you will learn culturally, and those experiences will only ever help you later in life as you embark on your career. 4. Be prepared to take a risk.
Not sure what career you want to do? Fancy working abroad? Gap years can be life-changing,
18 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE option as a starting place. I explored whether there were any roles in Singapore and sent my CV to the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) who lined up two potential roles for me, but said that if I wanted to be interviewed I would need to pay for the air fare myself. I decided I had to step out and take a chance. It was a financial risk, but I felt that even if I missed out, the interviews would be good experience. I felt the SSC had shown interest in what I had to offer, so it was worth taking that chance. Sometimes you have to take that risk. I flew out for the interviews having done a lot of research on the Singapore Sports Council and major events to see how they did things. I checked out websites and bought books on the subjects I had less experience with. It turned out they had an opening to be a senior manager developing major events strategy, a role involving helping develop Singapore's strategy for the next 15 years. It was a tremendous opportunity and while I was thrown straight into the deep end, I don't feel I would have had a similar chance in this country at that age, simply because of the level of competition we have here. I also think having that experience really helped me out when it came to other jobs further down the line. Having experienced difficult situations, I now feel I can deal with anything thrown at me. In going to Singapore, it opened my eyes to a new culture. It was really difficult to begin with. You're not just learning
A YEAR TO REMEMBER
Gap-year opportunities are wide-ranging. Here are ﬁve ■ Adventure/Sports – PGL Travel Paid opportunities at children's activity centres in the UK, France and Spain www.pgl.co.uk/gapyear ■ Skiing and Snowboarding – Peak Leaders Qualify as an instructor www.peakleaders.com ■ Scuba Diving – Dive the Gap Three weeks to six months in Egypt www.divethegap.com ■ Watersports Instructor – Base Camp Group Scuba, Surfing, Kitesurfing, Waterskiing www.basecampgroup.com ■ Sports Coaching – Sporting Opportunities Sports coaching volunteer projects in Africa, Asia and South America www.sportingopportunities.com
about the culture but also communication. For example, I learned quickly that people could be abrupt and to the point. The hours were totally different, too. I got to travel a lot and met some very high level executives in the sports industry. I was involved with international tennis events, projects with the NBA and worked on the first ever Youth Olympic Games. I also travelled around a bit while I was there, seeing as much of Asia as I could, so Malaysia, Vietnam... which was brilliant. My Singapore experience has undoubtedly helped me. I was selected ahead of other applicants to the job I have now, and I think my experience working at the very first Asian Youth Games and Youth Olympic Games helped give me the edge. I was also Director of Elite Management for the Singapore Marathon, which involved dealing with athletes from around the world – those events put me in good stead. The experiences I have had help me stand out from everyone else. I certainly don't regret the experience! You can follow Rob on Twitter: @2407sport FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
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as Rob Cook, now Youth Sport Manager at Sport Nottinghamshire, explains... Rob's gap year and time working overseas has helped him to stand out from the crowd
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 19
HIT THE SLOPES
Ski Instructor and Director at Parallel Lines, Méribel, France, John Hendry explains how skiing HOW DID YOU GET INTO SKI INSTRUCTION? I got into instructing because I wanted to ski and I needed a way to finance it. I organised a couple of ski groups on coaches to Aviemore and was asked to instruct some of the beginners; the seed was sown. Before doing my BASI Level 1 (formerly Grade 3), I spent a season as a ski tech (repairing and customising ski equipment) and then worked at Nevis Range Ski School, where we trained and skied loads. John Clark, who now commentates on Eurosport, was our head instructor and was inspirational.
with us at Parallel Lines. He was about two or three years older than me but could make short swings look easy and was good fun. I joined a ski club and probably skied twice a week, one evening dry slope and one day on snow, from 13-16, with a couple of longer stints at Easter. When I left school I worked in an office. On Fridays, I would arrive with skis over my shoulder to head up to the mountains straight from work. When I went to work again on Monday I would be shattered and fall asleep at my desk. Something had to give, the job had to go!
SO WHEN DID YOU REALISE SKIING WAS MORE THAN JUST A HOBBY? I first skied when I was 12 or 13 on a school day trip to Glenshee, Scotland. My first coach was called Gavin, I remember because his brother sometimes works
WHERE HAVE YOU WORKED AS A SKI INSTRUCTOR? I've worked seasons in Scotland (Nevis Range & Cairngorm), in France (Les Gets and Méribel), in Italy (Pila and Courmayeur) and in Mammoth, California for four
20 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
winters. As well as running BASI courses in Switzerland (Saas Fee & Zermatt) and Austria (Stubai Glacier). WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SKI LESSON TO TEACH? Every lesson is a challenge to make the difference your clients are looking for, but there's no doubt when you find something that clicks it’s a terrific feeling to ski with someone who has just made a breakthrough. WHAT MAKES A GOOD SKI INSTRUCTOR? A good ski instructor works hard on their skiing to gain understanding and technical excellence in a broad range of skiing environments. Coupled with this, there needs to be the willingness to listen to your clients and put yourself in their shoes to understand what they are experiencing.
BECOME A SKI INSTRUCTOR
can provide exciting short and long-term work opportunities AND WHAT MAKES A GREAT INSTRUCTOR? A great ski instructor can be inspirational to her/his students. The great instructor has the experience to combine all the threads of emotional, psychological, technical and physical in the right quantities to produce great lessons. The great instructor helps build rapport and support between all members of the skiing group. The great instructor works hard to produce the best lessons every time. WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST PARTS OF THE JOB? Best bits are working in Méribel, skiing every day, working with great clients. Worst bits are being stuck for periods in the office in summer when it's scorching hot outside! WHAT INSTRUCTOR QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
I hold BASI Level 4 ISTD, I am also an AASI Level 2 qualified snowboard instructor (in the USA). I was a trainer for BASI for eight years and have recently started doing this again. I have also qualified as a sailing instructor, windsurfing instructor, kayak instructor, climbing instructor, and I've been a professional RIB skipper and boatman for years… I'm not big on office jobs... WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE LOOKING TO FOLLOW IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS? You've got to love what you do, it looks like a holiday but it takes hard work and a fair few sacrifices. No job is as idyllic as it may look, but working in Méribel is pretty close!
A SnowSkool ski instructor teaches people of all ages and experience levels
You can follow John via facebook.com/ ParallelLinesSnowsportsSchool. If you're interested in becoming an instructor, visit www.snowskool.co.uk. SnowSkool operates courses in Canada, France, New Zealand and the USA. Every year, SnowSkool trains hundreds of people of all ages and experience levels to become a ski and/or snowboard instructor. They also offer ski and snowboard camps and training holidays of between one and 12 weeks.
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 21
SCHOOL OF SPORT, HEALTH & EXERCISE SCIENCES www.bangor.ac.uk/sport
Study at one of the leading Sport Science Schools in the UK •
Excellence in Teaching and Research - over 95% of the full time research-active teaching staff have professionally recognised HE qualifications. - a research-led School renowned for quality 80% of research either world leading or at an international level (RAE, 2008);
Excellent Student Satisfaction – ranked first for Sport Science in the 2012 National Student Survey (100% student satisfaction, Pub: Sept 2012).
First Class Facilities – an impressive range of laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment physiology laboratories are BASES accredited - plus some of the best views in the country!
Future Career and Employability – graduates gain the latest knowledge, a wide range of transferable skills, plus an autonomous approach to learning that keeps them at the cutting edge of their chosen career.
Fantastic Location – nestled between the mountains of Snowdonia and the sea - one of the best university locations in the UK for pursuing sport and outdoor activities.
Like to know more? Please contact SHES Admissions E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01248 388256
THE FREELANCER Ellie Barnes, of Barnes Fitness, is a freelance mobile PT who specialises in sports and triathlon coaching. “After training from January-October 2009, I worked as a PT at my local Virgin Active. I was then Assistant Tutor for the Fitness Collective in Dubai and worked in a members’ gym within a private school. In November 2010, I started Barnes Fitness. As well as my PT qualiﬁcation, I also have a Premier Training certiﬁcate in Sports Massage Fundamentals, run an England Leadership in Running ﬁtness certiﬁcate and British Triathlon Level 1 and 2 coaching qualiﬁcations. I’m a qualiﬁed circuit training and studio cycling instructor and hold a qualiﬁcation in Emergency First Aid.” What would you do differently? “Once I’d decided to start my own business, I wish I’d focused more on group training sessions rather than 1:1 sessions. They are more rewarding for me, and more enjoyable for participants. And they’re a better way to generate income.”
BECOME... A PERSONAL TRAINER
With a growing range of roles available in the sport, fitness and leisure sectors, personal training is still a ﬁrm favourite. Nicola Joyce got the lowdown from four very different PTs... www.careers-in-sport.co.uk
Key advice for others? “Get some experience within a gym environment and learn from other PTs. Then work on the thing that makes you stand out (area of interest). My niche is triathlon coaching and I have oﬃcial British Triathlon qualiﬁcations: NGB qualiﬁcations give the best sport-speciﬁc knowledge, insurance and support.” Ellie’s dos and don’ts Do expect to work antisocial hours Do stay strong and charge clients for last-minute cancellations Do use social media to promote your business and tell clients what makes you diﬀerent Don’t become complacent with your knowledge. Always look for CPD opportunities Don’t rely on a few clients. Develop a large network of opportunities Don’t undersell yourself. Factor in travelling time www.barnesﬁtness.co.uk Twitter: @barnesﬁtness February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 23
THE PT WHO TRAINS PTS
THE COMMUNITY SPORTS CENTRE PT
Phil Sims is a PT who also works as National Training Manager at the PT Academy. “After qualifying as a PT, I worked in a LA Fitness where I soon realised I had very little business knowledge! So I took some time out and re-educated myself, doing lots of courses and even ﬁnding myself a mentor. I also deliver education to new trainers via the PT Academy. This role enables me to show new PTs that they really need that edge in this dog-eatdog industry. 15,000 people qualiﬁed last year, yet only 8.4 per cent of those lasted three months...”
Emma Sleight works at Gedling Community Sports Centre as a Fitness Consultant, a role which incorporates gym instruction and personal training. "I got my Gym Instruction level 2 and then Personal Training level 3 through The Training Room and before adding other qualiﬁcations including circuits, gym-based boxing and spinning, I was already working at the Gedling Community Sports Centre, and studied alongside work. I now have a class at the gym (gym-based boxing) and my own PT clients."
What would you do differently? “I would start by working part-time so I could carry on doing courses whilst working for someone else to gain experience."
What would you do differently? "I wish I'd got onto this path earlier (I went to university for a while to study journalism). I knew my areas of interest and worked so hard academically but had to realise it wasn't for me. I'm glad I switched when I did, but more guidance would have helped."
Key advice for others? "Get a mentor. And learn from others. Never forget the client is no.1: give them what they need but also give them what they want." Phil’s dos and don’ts Do expect it to be hard. It’s not an easy job and there are a lot of people doing the same role Don’t stop at the basics. Approach your level 3 qualiﬁcation as a license to learn www.philsimspt.co.uk Twitter: @PhilSimsPT
Key advice for others? "Read up on the industry, get to know other PTs and trainers, and ﬁnd out about their roles. Then decide what you want to do, where you want to work and what kind of role you'd like. You can then be decisive and pursue your area of interest from the start." Emma's dos and don'ts Do research facilities before you go for interview Do be conﬁdent (The Training Room course really helped me with this) Do read a lot so you can give clients and gym members up-to-date quality information Don't stop learning. Go on plenty of refresher courses or one-day courses on training, nutrition or customer service www.getﬁtgedling.com Twitter: @EmmaLSleight
The 2011 Working in Fitness survey found the largest occupation group was personal training, with 49% of everyone working across the sector self-employed or freelance 24 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
THE SMALL CHAIN GYM PT Bhavik Vadher works for Freedom Leisure's Kings Centre in East Grinstead. He's a Health Club Advisor with PT clients and his own spin classes. "I started college to study aeronautical engineering but realised it wasn't what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to be a PT, so I did my research. After a six-week, full-time course at The Training Room I had my Gym Instruction level 2 and Personal Training level 3 and got additional health and nutrition qualiﬁcations. My ﬁrst job was at a small gym in a hotel health club but I realised it had limited scope for personal development and client interaction, so applied for the job I have now at Freedom Leisure." What would you do differently? "I'm very happy with where I am in my career and think my early experience in a very diﬀerent facility helped me develop client skills. Working at Freedom is perfect for me, there are loads of opportunities for learning and development, and the chance for added income through personal training sessions." Advice for others? "Look for a larger gym which will be able to support you with career development and continual learning. Make the most of every opportunity to get new qualiﬁcations, and suggest potential courses if your employer is open to ideas." Bhavik's dos and don'ts Do be diﬀerent, create a niche, give people a reason to recommend you or come back to you Do know your full potential and be conﬁdent enough to achieve it Don't hold back; go for it and push yourself no matter how young you are or how much competition is out there www.freedom-leisure.co.uk Twitter: @freedomleisure
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February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 25
Men’s Endurance Coach
Sports Engagement Manager
JAN VAN EIJDEN
CAREERS IN SPORT From managers to mechanics, carers to coaches and all those in between, there's more to a team than just the performers. To get an idea of the opportunities involved at the backroom level, here's a snapshot of the staﬀ behind Team GB's golden cyclists 26 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
THE BACKROOM TEAM WILL FORBES
LUC DE WILDE
SIR DAVE BRAILSFORD
Women’s Endurance Coach
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 27
CASE STUDY No. 1
Farah's athletic talent was spotted and harnessed by his PE teacher
Alan Watkinson was Mo Farah’s PE teacher. Years later, after having encouraged Farah to pursuer a career in athletics, Watkinson was the long-distance legend's best man at his wedding. Watkinson had been responsible for spotting Farah’s talent, for driving him to athletics meetings and, later, providing the embarrassing speech on his big day. Here, Watkinson, who continues to run a School Sport Partnership in west London, reveals the secret to Farah’s rise to the top and the importance of a good PE teacher… TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU FIRST CAME INTO CONTACT WITH MO? He was 11 and doing his ﬁrst year at Feltham Community School, he was in one of my PE lessons. He arrived at the school a couple of weeks late because he’d broken his arm playing football in the summer holidays. My ﬁrst contact with him was in a javelin lesson, which requires stern and strict safety regulations. I had 29 kids sat on the ﬂoor and Mo was swinging from a football goalpost! DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHEN YOU FIRST MET HIM THAT HE HAD THE POTENTIAL TO BECOME A STAR? He didn’t speak much English and, at ﬁrst, it was very diﬃcult to tell. He was very laid back when it came to warm-ups; you'd never see him running hard – he’d do a light jog. It wasn’t until he took part in more competitive lessons, working on endurance, that he stood out. Saying that, you could tell from watching him in the playground playing football that he had a good pair of lungs. He was constantly chasing after the ball when others would punt it and take a breather!
MO WAS A HUGE FOOTBALL FAN GROWING UP. WAS IT HARD PERSUADING HIM TO MOVE INTO ATHLETICS? He was reluctant at ﬁrst, but he’s a real competitor who loves winning, so he soon came round when he enjoyed success. There was a bit of bribery, too. Football would
form part of his warm-up and warm down. I also once told him I’d buy him a kit if he won a race, which he did. It was a question of merging the two as much as possible. Eventually, the realisation that he was a good as we thought he was brought about a change in his attitude. He was selected to go to the British Olympic Futures Camp in Florida when he was 15/16. He learned that with hard work he could actually compete at deﬁning moment. a high level, so that was a deﬁning He came back from Florida a changed man. He gradually got more committed – he realised he not only had talent, but that he needed to work hard to win things. WHAT WAS HE LIKE AS A STUDENT? He certainly stood up for himself. Sport helped him. His English wasn’t the best but playing football and running gave him ﬁeld with the other students. a level playing ﬁeld conﬁdence as a person. Sport gave him conﬁdence YOU WERE AT THE STADIUM THE NIGHT HE WON THE 10,000M, SUPER SATURDAY. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT IT? It was amazing, nothing short of a dream, unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I was with my wife and I remember feeling emotional watching 80,000 people cheer a guy I’d known for 17, 18 years, someone who I’d shared a long journey with. It’s not very often you ﬁnd ﬁnd yourself involved in a situation like that. I was very proud. HOW IMPORTANT IS THE ROLE OF THE PE TEACHER WHEN IT COMES TO NURTURING YOUNG TALENT? So important. Mo is testament to that. It’s not just about identifying and teaching young talent, it’s sending them on the right pathway. That That has to happen at an earlier age, so we need to ensure our primary school teachers have the knowledge and the training to help the Mo Farahs of the future. Of course, we need investment in facilities but teachers have a huge role to play, too.
THE MAN BEHIND MO FARAH
Meet Alan Watkinson – ‘Sir’ as he’s known to Mo Farah – who the double Olympic gold medallist credits for his success 28 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
Have you ever thought about coaching the next generation? Here are three ways you can get involved…
“PPA stands for Planning, Preparing and Assessing,” says Shaun Grant, director of Get Active. “Teachers in Primary Schools must spend ten per cent of their work carrying this out on all lessons they deliver. Therefore, schools are left with a dilemma of how to ﬁll the void. This is where Get Active can send in high-qualiﬁed teachers/ coaches who can help run the schools’ PE.
“We run holiday camps and birthday parties and we're now expanding to target the school programme (curricular and extra-curricular) and multi-sports across the Thames Valley,” explains Hotshots' Jamie Hazeldine. “We’ve recently overseen sessions which were part of an Olympic Legacy Programme with a view to creating a club in a speciﬁc area.”
“We run a series of play programmes for two to seven-year-olds that introduce the basics of rugby in a fun environment,” explains Rugbytots Operations Manager Natasha Marks. "They give children the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in rugby ready for them to move on to join their local minis team.”
Why is it important? “This is vital to all schools as pupils must complete ﬁve hours of PE a week. Get Active supplies highly-skilled staﬀ who can help educate children on the importance of physical activity whilst also improving all children's sporting ability.”
Why are they important? “We encourage children to get involved in sports they wouldn’t normally try, to experience new things.”
What does your role involve? “We run the PE including all lessons, lesson planning, Ofsted Inspections and reports.” What qualification do you have, and what would someone looking to follow suit need? “Our staﬀ are all CRB-checked, qualiﬁed in First Aid and boast a range of NGB qualiﬁcations.” Get Active 01344 706095 oﬃce@getactivesports.com
What does your role involve? “During the holidays the role is predominantly coaching, but in term time the job is split between administration and management (including staﬀ, budgets, marketing) as well as coaching. It’s varied.” What qualiﬁcations do you have, and what would someone looking to follow suit need? “Quality of service is important, so we utilise the skills, experience and knowledge of qualiﬁed PE teachers. We also look for coaching experience or people who have worked with children, as well as students looking to get into coaching - we provide paid experience.” HotShots 0845 301 0450 www.star-hotshots.co.uk
Why are they important? “Our classes teach the children core skills in balance, coordination and colour recognition in addition to teaching how to work in a team, taking turns and respect.” What does your role involve? “The role of a coach involves being able to plan, lead and direct a class of highly energetic children and inquisitive parents and to deliver a well-structured class. It is very rewarding, the children really build up a relationship with their coach and this is a huge part of the Rugbytots experience." What qualiﬁcations do you have, and what would someone looking to follow suit need? “You need patience, bags of enthusiasm and the commitment to attend weekly classes. Ideally, you'll have experience in coaching or working with children. We organise First Aid, DBS and a Rugby Ready certiﬁcate for successful Lead Coaches.” RugbyTots 0845 313 3242 www.rugbytots.co.uk February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 29
Recruiting Sports Coaches Now Email your CV to email@example.com
TO ADVERTISE HERE
For rates and more information email: Harvey@careers-in-sport.co.uk
DNA Sports Performance has a range of courses for those considering a coaching career in Strength and Conditioning Considering a future career in Strength and Conditioning coaching? Want to get a taste of what it is really like to work in the industry? DNA’s Coach Development Process gives you the opportunity to work alongside some of the best and most successful coaches in the United Kingdom. Head Coach, Nicholas Jones holds a Master’s degree in Strength and Conditioning and is fully accredited by both the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). DNA has a number of high-profile clients including Manchester Thunder Netball, Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, Welsh Rugby Union and a number of Higher Education establishments. Many graduates of the Coach Development Process have progressed into full-time employment within the industry. Conall Murtagh, 24, completed the annual course in August 2011 after graduating from the University of Manchester with
a BSc (Hons) in Physiology. Conall now supports the DNA Training Programmes as an Assistant Coach as well as providing a service to the Liverpool Football Club Academy squad. “The DNA Coach Development Process gave me a valuable insight into the role of strength and conditioning coach," said Conall. "I gained practical experience working with elite athletes and it gave me a great base in which to establish a successful career. They also encouraged me to continue my studies and I am now doing a Phd at Liverpool John Moores University.” Our weekend residential courses are the perfect starting point for anyone wanting an overview of a successful strength and conditioning operation. During the intensive three-day itinerary you will observe training sessions, learn from the professionals and get hands on with the athletes. If you want to know more about our Coach Development Process then visit our website to find out to view a full list of courses.
Kick start your career in coaching with... DNA Sports Perfomance The three day intensive residential programme is ideal for anyone considering a career in the industry. Get an insight into the operations of one of the most successful strength and conditioning services in the United Kingdom. 2013 course start dates: • Monday 8th April • Saturday 15th June • Saturday 20th July • Monday 2nd September DISCOUNT: 10% off when you book on any 2013 Residential course before the end of February 2013. Quote ‘Career in Sport’ Visit the website for more information about all courses on the Coach Development Process. www.dna-sports-performance.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.careers-in-sport.co.uk
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 31
nless you've been on Mars for the last few months you can't have failed to notice the successful completion and opening of St George's Park, the Football Associationâ€™s new national football centre. The swanky facility in Burton-upon-Trent is expected to become home to a range of elite sports as well as football and provide a physical hub where sporting and business communities can benefit from each otherâ€™s experiences. At its heart is Perform, the official healthcare provider. The Perform centre is home to top-class clinicians and stateof-the-art equipment with the aim of becoming an internationally-renowned centre of excellence for sports and exercise medicine, performance science, injury rehabilitation and strength and conditioning. Designed for elite athletes but accessible to everyone from corporate groups, individuals, schools or sports teams, Careers in Sport went behind the scenes to meet three people who revealed what it's like at the new centre of excellence and how you can follow in their footsteps...
No more blaming the pitch for that misplaced pass
CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE
Three members of the Perform team, the official healthcare provider for St George's Park, reveal Wembley-sized changing booths
Hydrotheraphy: an important aspect of rehabilitation 32 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
ST GEORGE'S PARK
Steve Kemp Elite Football Physiotherapist “I split my time between working for the FA and working for Perform. “My role at the FA is to ensure that England's 24 national teams make the most of the facilities here. I also travel with the senior England team home and away. We're treating the England teams as a club and we screen, assess and rehabilitate before, during and after tournaments, which means we can assess players' balance, stability, range of movement and ensure they get maximum preparation and recovery during competitions. England players will get the same services they'd get at their club when they come away on international duty. “For Perform, I provide rehab support for elite athletes who want or need intensive rehabilitation or assessment in conjunction with our clinical director, Dr Charlotte Cowie. “I have a nice balance of day-to day clinical work while being able to research in the sports medicine world and lecture while working at the top of elite sport with the national team. It's a dream role. For me, hands-on work as part of a team and dayto-day interaction and camaraderie with players is the most enjoyable element. “Players are starting to understand the importance of sports science, too. We've had enquiries for those looking to come in two or three weeks before pre-season because they're starting to take ownership of their own issues. They're realising they can make gains by dealing with things such as body fat, performance and speed. Take the England senior team. Three quarters of them are in the gym an hour before training,
SGP IN NUMBERS all doing their individual programmes set out by their clubs. No-one was telling them to do it, but they're all driven and realising what it takes to stay at the top level. “I left Salford University with a degree in sports rehabilitation and got a job with Leeds United's academy. The key to getting that role was my performance on work placements at Blackburn Rovers and a sports medicine practice. I was oﬀered work by both, proving you can't underestimate the importance of such placements. It's not just a case of being in the right place at the right time, it's about how you carry yourself. You have to assume you're an employee and if you make a good impression, even if there's not a job there your name might be passed around when there are links to other jobs. I get calls now from people looking for interns and junior members of staﬀ. “While at Leeds I realised my degree wasn't seen as the leading qualiﬁcation, so I added a part-time chartered physiotherapy degree (recognised by the FA and the Premier League) and part-time Masters, which I thought would enhance my employability, which is important. “The sports science world is very competitive; it's a growing industry because it's being taken more seriously than ever, from exercise physiology to nutrition, conditioning and performance. When I look at CVs I look at who people have addressed their letters to - I'm looking for someone who has found out a speciﬁc name rather than a head of department. I'm also looking for those who have done voluntary work oﬀ their own back and invested in courses to keep up with the latest changes. A Masters isn't enough any more, you have to keep improving and evolving with sports science."
what it's like to work at the new home of elite sport in England Footballers are becoming more proactive about sports science
Here's a closer statistical look at what makes the new facility in East Staﬀordshire so special
jobs created by the opening of St George's Park
elite coaches – UEFA B, UEFA A and Pro Licence – to be trained and qualiﬁed per annum
qualiﬁed coaches through courses developed at St George’s Park: Level 1 & 2 and Youth Awards
person education complex – a real centre for learning
gymnasiums Hilton gym, Hampton by Hilton gym, Biomechanical gym, Rehabilitation gym, Strength and Conditioning gym. Talk about covering all bases
200 60m people can watch from the viewing gallery at the full-size indoor 3G artiﬁcial pitch. Rain cover included
sprint track with equipment to measure speed and running style. A state-of-the-art facility, indeed
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 33
Sports Science Support
“My role involves testing and monitoring all the athletes that come through our doors. Alongside that I help run endurance and corporate sessions, monitor corporate clients as well as schools and other groups. “This is my ﬁrst job out of university. I ﬁnished my Masters at Nottingham Trent in August/September. Working in sport is all I've ever wanted to do. When I ﬁnished my undergraduate degree I set out a goal to try and work in sport, football speciﬁcally. I considered what the routes were and studied and planned my next steps. Alongside my Masters I did a lot of work experience – up to 40 hours a week – at diﬀerent football clubs, to help me supplement my degree. That gave me a good background. I helped test players and do running sessions, provided physiological support and coaching and helped with athletic development with academy footballers. I then worked with the ﬁrst teams at Notts County and Chesterﬁeld,
which gave me a wide range of experience working with U8s to the professionals. “You have to be proactive, that's how I got this job. My current role wasn't advertised, but I'd spent 25-30 hours a week writing letters to speciﬁc people and networking as much as I could to try and land the role I wanted. Networking in particular is a key part of your career development and there are plenty of opportunities for internships. “St George's Park is a fantastic place striving to be one of the best sports medicine and rehabilitation places in the world. To be working alongside physicians who are at the top of their game and who have been in professional sport and clinical practice for a number of years is a fantastic opportunity for me. “My aim is to develop my career here. It was always my target to get a job here and now I've done that it's about developing my skills. It's one thing being involved in sports science, another working at a place like this, so I realise it's about making the most of the experience and working my up to becoming one of the leaders in the ﬁeld.”
Nathan Miller worked at as many football clubs as possible
Jake Keeling Business Development Manager “Perform is a new venture, so the ﬁrst part of my role was to conduct some market research about what facilities we've got that would be attractive, and what sort of packages we could put together. Attending conferences and making the right contacts was key and we now target several areas. “The ﬁrst is elite sport, so professional sports teams, in relation to medical teams around rehab and performance, preseason training and player rehabilitation. This has involved building relationships with
34 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
medical teams, club secretaries and chief executives; people who sign oﬀ budgets. “We also target the corporate world and provide a range of packages, include health screening and corporate residential packages that look at what people can learn from elite athletes and teams to take back into the corporate world. This involves contacting HR directors, chief execs... anyone making business decisions about the development of their staﬀ. “We also have education packages that allow A-Level PE and BTEC sport science students to see the facilities, visit Perform clinicians and watch demonstrations. Also, in association with the FA, we can facilitate
school visits where students can look at body composition, which no-one else is doing. That involves contacting all the best independent schools and directors of sport. The other market is the health market, so triathletes and ﬁtness enthusiasts looking to test themselves, analyse and improve their performance and ﬁtness levels. “The big thing here is that 30 per cent of the time we facilitate services for the FA and their 24 England teams, as well as the coaching services. That equates to a third of our business, which means we have to generate the other 70%. It's a commercial venture, so we have to be proactive and tenacious in order to spread the message about the services we provide. “It's a great place to work. It saves me £50 on gym membership for a start! But getting to work with some of the physios and clinicians here is a rare opportunity, while seeing some of the people who use the facilities, like the football and rugby teams, is brilliant. "I studied E- business technology and management at Liverpool John Moores and so I came here without a sports degree, but a huge passion for it. I went into the wine industry after university, but soon moved into sports. I worked for THG sports hospitality sales in London and Stockholm, before working as Sponsorship Manager at the club I support, Derby County. “The key to getting my role wasn't just a combination of the experiences above but also contacting all the sports recruitment companies, people like Sports Recruitment International, Knoll and Partners, Michael Page and Sporting Appointments.”
Perform oﬀer corporate packages as well as treatment for elite athletes
Make your mark in Sport and Business Established in 2002 by a Loughborough graduate, Sports Xtra are the children’s physical activity experts and work with hundreds of primary schools across the UK. We have established partnerships with many of the industry’s major brands as well as having vast experience in providing graduates with the platform to fulﬁl their potential. We are looking for high calibre individuals to join a dynamic and highly motivated team in many areas across the country. Our Activity Professional License provides you with our brand, uniform, know-how and successful products to enable you to start earning immediately. We also offer the following beneﬁts: • • • • •
Work ﬂexible hours that suit you Genuine opportunity to progress and build a career Hands-on experience of running a business Quality mentoring and management training programme The infrastructure of a national brand to support you
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08453 716 121 to request an application pack www.sports-xtra.com
* Based on delivering a 1 hour after school club with 14 children attending and a 1 hour breakfast club with 12 children attending who are charged £4 per place.
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STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH
Want to land your dream job? Leicester Tigers' Dave Cripps reveals how he did just that...
TELL US ABOUT A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF A PROFESSIONAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH? Rugby union is unique in the way we have to ensure the players are in peak condition every week from September to May. A long-term process of programmes ensures we put out the strongest squad available for selection each week, as fit and fresh as they can be. WHAT IS YOUR SPECIFIC ROLE WITHIN THE BACKROOM TEAM? I work alongside five other strength and conditioning coaches who work with the first team. We also have two full-time sports scientists and a team of interns, so it's a big department. Our role is to ensure we're developing players who are as athletic as they can be for the demands of rugby union. Players who play week in, week out have to remain at that peak level in terms of athleticism. Other players â€“ younger players or those on the fringe of the team â€“ are trained differently to ensure they're heading in the right direction. IS THERE A PRESSURE ATTACHED TO THE JOB? We're very objective and systematic. We have data from every session and that allows us to gauge a player's improvement. The fans' perception isn't always the reality, so that can be frustrating. HOW HAS THE JOB CHANGED MUCH IN YOUR TIME? There seems to be more money invested in sports science while technology and research are always evolving. There are always new things coming out and new opinions on the best way to do things. Some clubs believe what they do is different when it comes theory and technique. I don't believe money and resources make a huge difference; what does is how coaches work with their players to try and get them to work as hard as they can on a regular basis.
CASE STUDY No. 2
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? I think when you first start you imagine it's the glitz and glamour of matchday, but you get used to that. My greatest pleasure is managing my group of players. I look after ten players in the squad, most of which I've worked with for three or four years and I've seen them improve and achieve what they've wanted to, so that's the most rewarding thing. The job is very pressurised. You don't get many holidays and you do a lot of six-day weeks.
WHAT SORT OF CAREER PATH DID YOU TAKE TO GET THERE? I did a sports science degree, but even at that stage I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. In my second year at university I got some coaching experience wherever I could, off my own back. To cut a long story short, I got some coaching work at a rugby club and in particular their colts team doing some fitness work. I did that as a volunteer for a couple of years and really enjoyed it. I started to build relationships with people in the industry from there and other bits of experience followed. One of the coaches I worked with did some work for Leicester's academy and they were looking for someone to help through an internship, so when my current role came up, I already had a foot in the door.
This kind of athleticism takes a lot of planning and preparation at the highest level www.careers-in-sport.co.uk
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE LOOKING PURSUING A SPORTS SCIENCE CAREER? A lot of information about how to get involved with sports jobs is out there, you just have to find it. Whether it's coaching, fitness or physio, it's easy to find out what qualifications and experience you need. It's about putting yourself to action. You have to be really motivated because the hours will be long and the pay won't be great at first, so you have to have passion. And it's probably better to assume that it's going to be harder to get the dream job than you think. Sometimes universities give a false perception of how hard it really is. You definitely have to volunteer to begin with because it's very competitive. Your degree alone won't be enough, so be prepared to work to get to the top, be prepared to climb the ladder and don't expect something for nothing. And remember, it's not just about the sports science and the knowledge, it's about engaging athletes and working on your people skills. That's what will make you stand out. February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 37
Throughout its sixty year history the Cardiff School of Sport has built an international reputation for the quality of its academic, professional and extracurricular work.
Cardiff School of Sport Undergraduate courses
The School offers some of the best and most popular sport related courses in the UK, all designed to meet current market needs. The curricula are formulated around a balance of theoretical studies, laboratory based work and practical teaching.
In the Cardiff School of Sport the employability of our graduates is a central theme that informs the content and delivery of our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. This focus is incorporated into our two new programmes for September 2013 - BSc (Hons) Performance Analysis and BA (Hons) Sport Studies.
Recently, there has been an increase in the range of career opportunities in dance, fed by the demand for dance activity in a variety of settings. The BA (Hons) Dance degree at Cardiff Met is designed to meet those needs by preparing skilled dance practitioners. The course prepares students for a range of careers in this diverse industry, particularly performance work and dance in community and education settings. Career opportunities include:
BSc (Hons) Performance Analysis of Sport BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching BSc (Hons) Sport Conditioning, Rehabilitation and Massage BSc (Hons) Sport Development BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science (Intercalated) BSc (Hons) Sport Management BSc (Hons) Sport & Physical Education BSc (Hons) Sports Studies
To support the increasing numbers of students who undertake work placement, the School has created a Placement Office. Staff in the office liaise with the growing number of private, public and voluntary organisations who currently work with us and promote and market the benefits of this activity with potential partners. Our aim, in collaboration with our students and external partners, is to produce ‘work ready graduates’ who have the knowledge, understanding and skill set to allow them to compete in the competitive employment market.
Work as community and education dance practitioners Choreographers and performers Dance project managers Dance development officers Dance company education officers Researchers Our graduates have obtained work as: Dance Development Officers & Practitioners (Valley & Vale Community Arts, Blaenau Gwent Arts team; Rubicon Dance; Dance Blast; Dawns I Bwb) Education Officer with Earthfall (Physical Theatre) GCSE & A level Dance teachers Welsh Language Dance Apprentices with Powys Dance Dance leaders with Touch Trust (working with profound needs through touch/dance) Independent performers & choreographers Dance Specialist leaders & Officers with the 5 x 60 project Community dance practitioners.
“Cardiff Met has the best resources to progress my career. Welsh Athletics is based there, the coaches work well with me, and it is paying off. Training wise the facilities are, in my eyes, the best in Britain. Cardiff Met’s support has helped me to go to the bigger competitions.” Paul Bennett, 400m hurdles Great Britain European u20. Welsh Vest - Loughborough International 400m Hurdles + 4x400m Relay, Celtic Games 400m
Postgraduate courses The Postgraduate teaching team brings together a wide range of academic and practitioner skills and experiences. They are at the cutting edge of research, scholarly, professional and consultancy activities, which they draw upon to inform their teaching. The Postgraduate programmes have over 200 students enrolled on a full time and part-time basis. Ten specialist taught programmes are offered, each of which has a variety of career pathways: MA Sport, Body and Society MA Sport Management and Leadership MSc Sport and Exercise Science MSc Sport Coaching MSc Sport Psychology and Applied Sport Psychology MSc Performance Analysis MSc Physical Activity and Health MSc Strength and Conditioning MSc Physical Education and Sport
Tel: 029 2041 6591 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“HOW TO BECOME A FITNESS INSTRUCTOR AND STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD”
The gym floor is varied, often challenging and most of all, fun. You could have the opportunity to improve customers' overall well-being, enhance their fitness levels, improve their confidence and help them train for specific sports or events. You could be designing tailored gym programmes, encouraging gym users to train effectively and ensure they work out safely. The beauty of the fitness industry is the ease of which you can access it. Even though there are a wide variety of specialist areas, you can become multi-skilled relatively quickly, cheaply and easily. If you have already experienced the gym environment, the transition is likely to be an easier one than for those
who have never set foot in a gym. Yet anyone can do it if they have an interest in exercise. It is also possible to gain qualifications while still working full time, via online courses. As with all professions there is a series of levels to be attained for recognition of certain skills, but to become a qualified fitness instructor can take literally a few weeks or can even be completed online from your own home. Which route you take should depend upon your learning style or your previous experience. While I had many years’ experience of exercise prior to gaining my fitness instructor award, I chose the longer more in depth route for a couple of reasons. My learning style is very much kinaesthetic, which means I have to ‘do’ it to learn and remember it. My ability to retain information purely from reading is often not enough, although I have improved this skill with practice. Another reason was that I wanted to be the best I could be at this role and I wanted to gain a superior skill set, rather than just the certificate. So I researched local training providers and found a very
highly-reputable company who would train me in the class room over six weekends, for 14 days... please note this was 15 years ago! From my experience since then, I believe I had the training I paid for, which was one of the more expensive courses, but I got faceto-face hands-on training for almost all of the criteria. Being mainly a practical skill set, the training I got was perfect for my learning style. The point I want to make here is that it shouldn’t just be a case of how much the course costs and where it's running. It has to ultimately be delivered in the way you learn best for you to be able to retain the information, enjoy the training and be the best you can be! So if you are happy to educate yourself from home with the online support of a tutor then you could do the entire qualification online. But if you are a kinaesthetic learner like me, then maybe you should find a course that has face-to-face learning days. The level of assistance from a tutor is usually what dictates the price due to the costs to the training provider. Now, if you ask
people in the industry who you should train with you are likely to hear a variety of responses based on individual experiences. My strongest recommendation is to speak to as many people as you can and research as many training providers as you can and find out what each has to offer. Rather than just taking the first response or your mate’s opinion find out how much support you will be given as part of the course costs. Stand out from the crowd Also look out for those little extras that training provider’s offer that will make you stand out from the crowd. It could be another qualification, like studio cycling or circuit training, or it could be an additional skill such a being a Biomechanics Trainer, which we include FREE within our L2 qualification. These little extras can make all the difference in getting you noticed when a fitness manager reads your CV when you apply for a new job. Rachel France DipITS MBCA Director & Head of Education Intelligent Training Systems
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01227 831 840 firstname.lastname@example.org 40 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
CASE STUDY No. 3
WHAT EDITORS REALLY WANT!
Peta Bee, a top freelance fitness and exercise writer, reveals how to get your work published I've been freelancing for national newspapers for 18 years and demands have changed a lot. When I started, everything [in the health and ﬁtness industry] was new. Nobody had ever written about pilates in a newspaper before and no-one had even heard of a personal trainer! When I started working with the Sunday Times, they used to dedicate eight or nine pages to health and ﬁtness. I also worked for the Evening Standard on the Monday and the Mail and Express later in the week. The demand to ﬁll those pages was big, but because everything was new it wasn't that great a challenge... until we'd covered everything! I had done a sports science degree before becoming a journalist - at the time there were only ﬁve or six places that oﬀered such a course. Now, sports science courses are everywhere. There are more gyms and more ways to keep ﬁt which means there is more consumer knowledge than ever before. People know what they want and that has changed what editors are looking for. There are less opportunities for writers now in the nationals. Some have reduced their health and ﬁtness sections – although this has been oﬀset by an increase in magazines and journals – so it's harder to get published. Your stories have to satisfy an editor's need. I now work for the Times, Sunday Times and Daily Mail and I supply a lot of sports science-based features. Celebrity ﬁtness stories are still relevant, but only if they're diﬀerent. I did something recently on how to get Damien Lewis' torso! In 2012 especially, identifying what elite athletes were doing became very relevant. Again, though, your content has to involve new trends. For example, a swimmer I interviewed mentioned he was using bicarbs. Sometimes a throwaway comment can lead to a whole story, and if athletes are doing new things, people follow. It's also worth considering how trends are changing. Ten/15 years ago I was writing about why pilates was the greatest new thing. Now, you have to be more speciﬁc or challenge these trends. So keep on top of any research that comes out. I do that by subscribing to journals (online, so British Journal for Science and Medicine, for example). Twitter is also very good, I get a story per week from it, while foreign newspapers (New York Times, Sydney Herald and the Washington Post, for example) and university sports and exercise science departments have some good and sometimes unique information. Meet as many people as you can and if you try anything, photograph yourself doing it! Editors love that insight. Be careful who you use for referencing. A lot of editors don't like personal trainers being quoted, so try and aim for the top in terms of the biggest authority you can ﬁnd – they have a greater depth of knowledge. In saying that, sometimes editors don't like using people who are too proliﬁc – it's a ﬁne balancing act! Try and avoid PR-generated stories, too, as they will be sent to everyone. Ultimately it is more diﬃcult for journalists to get their messages across, but the need for people to get more active has never been greater. So be passionate, be diﬀerent and be persistent. www.careers-in-sport.co.uk
MOST WANTED Five 'to dos' of health and fitness journalism right now
Peta's book, The Food Swap Diet (Piatkus, £12.99) is now available. You can follow her on Twitter: @petabeeuk
■ Sports science-based stories ■ What the celebrities are doing – but only if it's different ■ What elite athletes are doing – spoonfuls of bicarb, for example, eating turkey, cardio-fasting – again, it has to be different ■ New trends overhauled – pilates, yoga, barefoot ■ Get photographed doing things
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 41
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CASE STUDY No. 4
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SCREEN QUEEN As one of the faces of Sky Sports' News HD, Hayley McQueen reveals her tips for following in her footsteps as a sports broadcast journalist
IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO I was very sporty when I was younger and I was into the arts, but I didn't think I could make a career out of art or drama. I had no idea what I wanted to do. GET A DEGREE, BUT DON'T WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT WHICH ONE YOU DO I don't think the course I did [BA Hons PR, Marketing and Journalism] exists anymore, but I wanted a varied degree as opposed to Media Studies, Journalism or English I didn't want to restrict myself. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do, so I thought there must be something I would enjoy in either PR, marketing or journalism. I thought I would get a good idea for which strand suited me best. Had I known I was going to get into presenting, production and journalism I might have done a more speciﬁc course, but I don't think it's essential to study journalism, you just have to develop skills in whatever you choose to do. Speciﬁc training can come later. WORK EXPERIENCE IS ESSENTIAL It has made a diﬀerence in my career. I did work experience constantly from my second year of university onwards and that's what led to my ﬁrst job. You can learn more about the industry by getting experience. I did a few placements during holidays on local radio and I worked on a couple of magazines. My longest placement was with This Morning, when Richard and Judy were there. I did that for seven or eight months. I also worked at a local television station and on a
community scheme for my local football club... everywhere! But I just wanted to try everything to ﬁgure out what it was I wanted to do. Initially I thought I wanted to get into fashion writing. By going into a fashion magazine and realising it wasn't for me narrowed my options but opened my eyes to new ones I hadn't considered before. TRY AS MANY THINGS AS POSSIBLE Even if you think you might not be suited to something, try it anyway. The people you meet along the way could help you somewhere in your career. I still deal with people now ten years after doing work experience with them. The people you meet when you do work experience, or those above you when you start out in your career, might be someone you're working alongside years later, or they might move on and leave positions available or even want new people around them in their new role. For example, you might do work experience with someone at the BBC who then moves to ITV; they might think you're more suited to that broadcaster. Quite often people go back through people they've worked with or who have had on internships for employment. People you meet along the way can be very important. BROADCAST JOURNALISM IS INCREASINGLY COMPETITIVE I was lucky in that there weren't many good females doing what I wanted to do. I didn't start out actually wanting to be a presenter, so I helped out behind the scenes and worked in production for three years at a cable TV station, as well as delivering
McQueen is one of an increasing number of talented women in TV sports presenting 42 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
programmes for a community football scheme for a year. I reported for a couple of years and then got into presenting. Had I started wanting to be a presenter I reckon I would have found it a lot tougher, so try not to narrow your options – who knows what might come up? People look to work at Sky thinking we're young and edgy. We're a very young company and diﬀerent to other broadcasters. If you look at presenters such as Simon Thomas, Ed Chamberlain, SarahJane Mee and Julian Warren, they're very keen to promote people in the company and work their way up. So it might be that you start in a junior position, but the company is loyal to you if you're loyal to them. THERE ARE SOME GREAT ROLE MODELS FOR WOMEN IN SPORT'S JOURNALISM 2012 was an amazing year for Clare Balding. When you see someone like her doing the job she did in the summer during the Olympics, you really look up to people like that. There are a lot of women at Sky Sports News and Sky News who have worked their way up, too. Vicky Gomersall is a great example of someone who has worked her way up. She is approaching 40 but is still
"WHEN YOU SEE CLARE BALDING DOING THE JOB SHE DID DURING THE 2012 OLYMPICS, YOU REALLY LOOK UP TO PEOPLE LIKE THAT" chosen as a no.1 host to present ﬂagship programmes. You're always working up towards something. Claire Tomlinson is another. Her lifestyle is diﬀerent now and she does a lot of big hosting events away from Sky, but for years we looked up to her as one of the main female presenters in football, like Rebecca Lowe, Gabby Logan and Kelly Dalglish. Claire worked her way up from a press oﬃcer at a football club to a main ﬁgure at Sky. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED You go to work every day fully prepped but you never are. You might have read up on potential breaking stories and researched all the sports going on, prepared for every eventuality and then something else happens. I've been on air when people have passed away; I've also worked on the last day of the football season, when there is all the drama. You have to be professional throughout, even if it means leaving your allegiances to one side. I've worked at ﬁnals and outside broadcasts which can be very unpredictable and challenging. I used to work at Manchester United, where you would interview people immediately after games. Now I have to be more impartial, so each job has it's own challenges. www.careers-in-sport.co.uk
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 43
MAN ON THE MIC BBC Radio 5 Live and ESPN's Mark Chapman explains his role as a presenter
LOVE SPORT Football has been my whole life. Interviewing people who many look up to as heroes and idols is a huge privilege. I see them as normal people, but sometimes you still have to pinch yourself. I must have interviewed Sir Alex Ferguson 40 or 50 times, but each time I have to think it could be my last. I've interviewed some of the greats of world football. Cristiano Ronaldo was always very good. He's young, quirky and when I interviewed him – in 2006 and 2007 – he was on the cusp of absolute greatness. He was fun and quite ﬂirty, he would always notice if you were wearing something new. He was always willing to talk to us (MUTV), despite his other demands, of which there were many. ACCESS TO SPORTSMEN IS GETTING HARDER, SO TRY TO DEVELOP CONTACTS It's a real shame. Footballers in particular are put on this pedestal and are becoming more separate, but we should be able to treat them like we used to. You only have to see what the Olympic athletes were like... it was such a dream to have such access to those people and how easy they were. I don't know who's fault it is that footballers aren't like that, but it is getting harder. EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT AS MANY SPORTS AS POSSIBLE I ﬁnd it really challenging when covering a breaking story on a sport I'm not as familiar with, darts or formula 1 perhaps. When you're dealing with a more obscure sport there is a lot more to take on board. You have to have constant knowledge of everything because if something happens you only get one chance to report it. You have to know who people are, put them into context and ﬁnd information about them. Sometimes these stories might not come from our reporters but news wires, so you have to make sure the information you're getting is right, which can be hard. You have to be right! You might have been working 44 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
on a long shift and had no lunch or a small breakfast, but you have to be alert at all times. There's no time to relax. GO TO AS MANY LIVE EVENTS AS YOU CAN ACROSS AS MANY SPORTS AS YOU CAN You get a much better understanding of sports if you attend live events. It's all well and good being an armchair viewer, but by going to events you wouldn't normally go to gives you an idea of what fans are like and a greater understanding when you're reporting on them. I'm not the biggest cricket fan in the world but by going to more matches I developed more of a knowledge – and a love and respect – for cricketers and the sport. What you see at home on your screen is only the half of it. This applies to whatever you want to be in broadcasting. BE PATIENT I worked as a gallery assistant for a year, which meant working on the Autocue. I printed out scripts, booked commentators and commentary positions and sorted out parking... basically made logistical arrangements before I attempted reporting. I then got a break when a news presenter went on maternity leave and their replacement didn't turn up. I was trained and Sky took me on. Sometimes you have to take a step back to go forwards and it doesn't always matter how you get in, just that you do get in. We have a lot of people at Sky who start oﬀ doing one thing who now doing something completely diﬀerent. There are so many people who want to work in sport. I often think my job is someone's hobby, so I feel very lucky. Yes, the money isn't always great and your friends might earn more, but working in sport is pretty cool. It's not about the money, it's about loving your job.
Want to be a presenter? Be willing to throw yourself into any job in television, says Hayley
"Broadcast presenters work in the television and radio industry. Their role is to inform and entertain the audience. There isn’t a typical day, to be honest. You can be presenting on air one day or out interviewing guests on another. Some days I’ll just be writing match reports in the oﬃce. You might also do some research or go to a game. It’s a cliché but no two days are the same. "There are many advantages to a career in sports broadcasting: the variety of each day is fantastic; while watching sport at home and telling your other half you have to watch it for work is also good! Then she can’t complain, and meeting your sporting heroes is great. "Study what you enjoy and what you are good at. It demonstrates that you have a wide range of knowledge in ﬁelds other than sport and media. This can help you when you become a sports broadcaster. Gain plenty of work experience. Do anything and work anywhere in the media industry. "Be patient. It took me two years of writing letters before I got my ﬁrst work experience. You also need a lot of luck. Be nice. You'd be astonished how being polite and not being rude to people can get you a long way!"
Sky Sports News HD is your home of sport with 24-hour sports news coverage. Watch on TV, online and on the move with Sky Go www.careers-in-sport.co.uk
WAVE GOODBYE TO OFFICE LIFE! Leave the 9-5 grind behind and take to the water instead with the help of UKSA's incredible funding opportunities Are you sporty, ambitious and looking for a long-term professional career that doesn't involve being sat behind a desk every day? If so, then consider a career at sea... Imagine yourself as a superyacht captain, skippering a boat across the globe, or inspiring others as a watersports instructor... there are so many exciting options within the maritime industry. The best thing is that these opportunities are more accessible than ever thanks to the UKSA, a youth education and maritime training charity, and a range of incredible funding opportunities. The right candidates could be offered up to thousands to take up a three-year cadetship course as a result of bursaries available through Seafarers UK, Trinity House and Stephen Thomas. This incredible opportunity offers 75 per cent funding of the £25,000 course. Food and accommodation is included and you can earn while you learn on paid placements. It is an amazing opportunity, especially in difficult financial times. Rory Carr, 21, was one of the lucky ones.
Take your passion to the next level.
Within a couple of weeks of hearing about the programme he had signed up and been accepted for funding. He said: “I can’t thank Seafarers enough. They have given me a fortune, not to mention the opportunity of a lifetime.” The UKSA Yachting Cadetship, a groundbreaking, finely-structured programme which leads to a MCA Officer of the Watch 3000gt qualification, is highly respected within the maritime industry. In a coup for UKSA, the shore-based training part of the programme was recently approved by the MCA to be counted as 'Yacht Time', meaning cadets can complete the whole programme within three years by combining academic study and practical paid work experience on a superyacht. So, if you want a career where the pay is good, where there is the opportunity to travel the world and work your way up within the industry, try a career at sea. It can be demanding and challenging, but far more exciting and flexible than many traditional routes of employment.
UKSA can offer what you need to join today’s vibrant and growing maritime industry. As a youth education and maritime training charity, we can deliver more than just the training and certification.
Launch your career at sea and have an amazing life.
We offer a unique environment, funding opportunities for the right candidates, and an unrivalled mentoring service.
Visit www.uksacourses.org To book a space on our monthly open days email email@example.com or call us on 01983 203034
UKSA is a registered charity no. 299248 Patron: HRH The Princess Royal
February/March 2013 CAREERS IN SPORT 45
THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS Avoid these CV no-nos or fall at the first hurdle
■ Having the words ‘curriculum vitae’ at the top of your CV. It is obvious that your document is a CV and putting a heading on it would be like sending a letter to your bank with the words ‘letter to my bank’ across the top. ■ A photo. Employers don’t want to be open to charges that they have treated one applicant less fairly than another because of their appearance. If they want to verify your identity, they will ask you to bring photo ID to an interview.
TIPS TO A WINNING CV
The chief way to sell yourself on paper is, of course, via your CV. Success depends on how far it meets the criteria, background and bias of the person reading it. Follow these tips to equip yourself READ Read the job advert and speciﬁcation thoroughly – it's important to know exactly what it is they are looking for
Read any company literature or publicity material associated with the role
Refer to the website of the original job advertisement
your current CV. Are you 4 Read happy with it? Does it fully reﬂect you as a person and the skills you have to oﬀer? Read any professional journals, 5 newspapers or current articles related to your ﬁeld and the position you are going for. Consider what employers are looking for within that particular ﬁeld any resources you can find 6 Use about CV advice. You might ﬁnd ideas from others you hadn't considered 46 CAREERS IN SPORT February/March 2013
Ask yourself ‘How employable am I?'
Think about the range of skills and competencies that are required – then consider how you can tailor your experience and skills to meet those requirements
Think about your current skills portfolio – are there ways to increase your chances of success? Are there any new qualiﬁcations that will enhance your skill set? Are there any new developments which would require diﬀerent skills and attributes
about the language that 10 isThink used in the literature. What does it tell you about the company/ type of person they are looking for?
Think about your skills and the proof you have to support them
Think again: just how employable are you?
ACT Write a clear list of your skills, qualities and experience that are essential for the position – can you back them up with evidence?
■ An unprofessional email address. Ask yourself are you going to make a good first impression with something like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ As one recruiter recently commented: “to me it is like showing up for an interview in shorts and T-shirt.” ■ A third page. They won’t read that far. ■ Your date of birth/ marital status. These factors have nothing to do with your ability to do the job. ■ Your nationality – unless you are using the CV in a country where this would be an issue due to work permits/visas. ■ Poor spelling, bad grammar or a font size less than 11. Just don’t!
Refer to your skills portfolio – is the language positive and active? Do you need to update the way in which you describe yourself and your experiences/skills?
Review your CV against your skills and those required by the position. Seek feedback on your CV from colleagues and career experts
Try to identify anyone who works in a similar role/ organisation and contact them to discuss the job opportunity
Look at other people's CVs – good and bad – but make sure your CV is a reﬂection of you
Start to prioritise these skills. Is there anything you need to work on?
Study for a sports degree at the new
University of St Mark & St John 90% of our students are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduation. Fair fees – maximum employability With nearly 175 years’ experience in teaching, University College Plymouth St Mark & St John will shortly become the University of St Mark & St John. We run 100+ programmes, which place a high emphasis on being relevant to the labour market. The University of St Mark & St John will help to provide you with the relevant transferable skills in demand from employers and business – key skills that can help put you a step ahead of the competition.
Why study sport with us: • We offer a wide range of sports degrees; Foundation,
BA’s, BSc’s and Postgraduate, including new fast-track 2 year degrees
• Choose from a range of degrees in Physical and Coach Education, Sports Development and Outdoor Learning and Sport and Health Sciences
• Use our state-of the-art Sports Centre, all on one campus • We work in partnership with Professional Teams and Elite GB athletes who both study and train here
• We are located in an area of outstanding beauty, perfect for outdoor adventure – close to beaches, moors, Tors and rivers
• 87% Student Satisfaction (NSS, 2012).
To find out more, visit us at our next Open Day on 20 February Register online today at: www.marjon.ac.uk or call: 01752 636700
WORKSHOPS PRESENTATIONS Careers in Sport run bespoke workshops and presentations for schools, colleges, universities and careers conferences. The workshops and presentations assist students and careers advisors with guidance on careers in:
■ Sports Coaching/Teaching ■ Sports Science ■ Sports Development ■ Sports Management ■ Sports Media And answer questions such as:
■ What experience and qualifications are required for each profession? ■ How can you establish a successful career in your preferred profession? There are also opportunities to get advice on writing a CV and completing university or job application forms
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For more information email Harvey@careers-in-sport.co.uk Download a QR reader to your smartphone or device and scan the code on the left
Careers in Sport & Exercise Magazine is a termly magazine aimed at sports students and careers advisers. The magazine features articles whic...
Published on Feb 7, 2013
Careers in Sport & Exercise Magazine is a termly magazine aimed at sports students and careers advisers. The magazine features articles whic...