Nearly every community offers its residents the opportunity to participate in a sport, social or health-related activity of some kind. Many of these activities are free and provide an outlet for exercise and social interaction for youth and older residents. A sports officer, known also as a sports development officer, assesses the needs of the community and develops the appropriate sports activities to encourage the people's involvement and enhance their quality of life in the community.
Sports Development Definition
Sports development is a program that seeks to identify and improve sports talents, morals and health of local community residents. It focuses on promoting sports participation, and health-related, educational and community development programs. The adaptability of its programs and activities make it especially attractive to youth participants.
Sports Officer Goals
Popular in the United Kingdom and Australia, a sports officer runs the community-focused program and liaisons with other key individuals to achieve the goals of the program. He seeks to make sports and physical activities available to people of diverse age groups and backgrounds, including individuals with disabilities and those from disadvantaged communities. He uses those programs as a means of developing the community and addressing social inclusion issues.
A sports officer performs a variety of challenging tasks. He develops performance and community sports, initiates physical activities and encourages specific groups to participate in those activities. He organizes projects and provides individuals with information and training geared to encourage their participation in community activities that will improve their health. He attends meetings, seminars and conferences and also recruits and trains qualified staff, coaches and volunteers. Additionally, he manages the finances and resources and works with other agencies, youth organizations and schools to promote sports.
Although an employer requires a sports officer to hold a degree in either sports development, sports coaching, sports science, recreation or leisure management, an individual who lacks a degree, but has relevant experience, may qualify for the position as well. Relevant experience includes serving as a volunteer in sports organizations, working with individuals with disabilities, working with seniors, coaching and working with youth. A sports officer must be enthusiastic about sports and health and must be an excellent communicator, leader and organizer. He must be self-motivated and able to motivate others. He must be flexible, adaptable, a good project manager and must have good information technology and administrative skills.
Salary and Employment Opportunities
A sports officer's salary ranges from £19,000 to £27,000 per year, which is $30,000 to $41,000. Senior positions range from £26,000 to over £30,000, which is $40,000 to $46,000. Local authorities, youth organizations, sports councils and universities employ sports officers.
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