Why Study Sport in Australia?
In April 2018, Australia will welcome the world for the 21st Commonwealth Games. It will be the fifth time Australia has hosted the games and the second time they have been held in the northern state of Queensland. It also builds on Australia’s sports-centred culture which boasts over 120 national sporting organisations representing an estimated 70,000 sporting clubs across the nation.
In the lead-up to the Games, the host city – Gold Coast – has seen some $200 million invested into new and redeveloped sporting infrastructure, including swimming pools, athletic tracks, gymnasiums and a slew of venues designed to cater for 275 events in 21 different sports. There are training facilities, sports medicine clinics and research centres kitted out with the very latest high-tech testing equipment.
All of which positions the Gold Coast as the sporting capital of one of the most sports-mad countries on earth.
Needless to say, the Gold Coast’s universities are leading the race to prepare graduates for the growing number of employment opportunities in the sporting sector, offering globally-recognised qualifications in sports science, sports management, sports medicine, sports nutrition and sports research.
What about jobs?
In addition to the global job market driven by major events like the Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games, World Cups and various sporting leagues, the recent rise of women’s professional sports, adventure sports and leisure sports has seen a plethora of new graduate employment opportunities created in this burgeoning industry.
According to the most recent Australia/New Zealand survey conducted by Sportspeople, 70% of people working in the sports sector hold a Bachelor’s qualification in a sports-related degree. (Notably, 84% of those working in the industry indicated that they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their job.)
“Sport is no longer just about fun and games,” said Bond University’s Head of Sport and Exercise Science, Professor Peter Reaburn. “The professionalization of competition across all sporting codes and the money drawn in through sponsorships and broadcasting rights has driven demand for highly qualified professionals who can help athletes become faster, stronger & better.
“There are now jobs in the sporting industry for exercise scientists, high-performance sports specialists, physiotherapists, strength and conditioning coaches, health and fitness consultants, nutritionists, sports doctors, program coordinators, researchers and sports psychologists.
“On the administration side, there are club managers, event coordinators, venue managers, player managers, sports media, sponsorship, marketing and advertising representatives … the list goes on.”
According to Professor Reaburn, the key to securing the job of your dreams in the sporting industry is to start building a portfolio of work experience and a network of contacts well before you graduate.