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3 awesome sports apprenticeships you could do

Whether it’s helping people become more active or making sure disadvantaged young people have access to sport, there are plenty of rewarding careers in sport.

If you’re dedicated, love fitness and have fantastic communication skills, sports apprenticeships could be the way to go. An apprenticeship lets you learn and earn at the same time. You have an employer and you also go to college or a training provider.

You’ll develop workplace skills as well as important technical abilities – while getting paid a proper salary at the same time. You’ll also finish the apprenticeship with a qualification.

Here we’ll take a look at 3 great sports apprenticeships you could do.

1. Sports development officer

Are you passionate about getting people active? You might want to think about doing a sports development officer apprenticeship. Sports development means organising projects and programmes that get people involved in sports. This apprenticeship is also called 'community sport and health officer'. 

Part of a sports development officer's role is to give
people information about how they can be more active

Your tasks could include:

  • Seeing where there is a need for new physical activities in communities.
  • Working to make sure young people, people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged communities are able to access sporting opportunities.
  • Help people to increase their activity and have healthier lifestyles.
  • Help out at community sport clubs.
  • Organising and overseeing different projects, including making sure they have enough funding (money) and don’t over-spend.
  • Finding suitable staff like coaches, or volunteers, for projects.

This is an advanced level apprenticeship, meaning you could work towards qualifications like the Level 3 NVQ in Sports Development or the Level 3 Certificate in Managing Sports Volunteers (this would depend on your employer).

The skills you’ll need include:

To apply, you’ll usually need GCSEs in English and maths at grade 4, but it’s important to check the individual apprenticeship listing.

2. Fitness instructor

Fitness apprenticeships are a great way to get a head-start in the sport and fitness sector. There are two fitness apprenticeships: intermediate and advanced level.

Fitness instructors help people reach their personal fitness
and weight goals

At the intermediate level your role would be fitness instructor, gym instructor, recreation assistant or leisure centre assistant. You’d typically work at a leisure centre or gym, with the apprenticeship usually lasting for 12 months.

Depending on the employer, your tasks would include:

  • Maintaining the gym, keeping it clean and tidy.
  • Preparing and delivering fitness classes like aerobics, interval training, circuit training or aqua aerobics.
  • Reception duties.
  • Supervising people working out in the gym.
  • Helping to increase sales of gym membership.

And at the advanced level of fitness apprenticeships, you could work as an advanced level instructor, personal trainer, yoga/pilates teacher, or a studio coordinator.

Your job could involve:

  • Preparing and delivering training programmes for people based on their individual fitness goals.
  • Working with a wide variety of people from athletes training for a specific event or activity, to older people who want to stay fit.
  • To help gym members with their work-out and make them feel motivated.
  • Help come up with programmes to help gym members manage their weight.

The qualities you’ll need include:

  • Strong written communication skills.
  • Understanding of how important fitness is and a real interest in the leisure industry.
  • Very motivated.
  • Know how to give great customer service.
  • Friendly, positive with a can-do attitude.

You would work towards your L2 NVQ Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness, L2 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning.

3. Sports coach

There are more than a million sports coaches working throughout the country. They work in places like schools, youth clubs and leisure centres. With a sports coach apprenticeship, you would develop skills and experience in sports coaching and activity leadership. Sometimes this role is also referred to as 'community activator coach'. 

Check out this video to see what a sports coach apprenticeship is like: 

Your job could involve:

  • Inspiring children and young people to lead healthy, active lifestyles.
  • Leading activities in schools, after-school clubs or holiday camps.
  • Making sure children are safe at all times.

Depending on the particular sports coach apprenticeship, you could gain:

  • L2 NVQ in Activity Leadership
  • L2 Award in Leading Health Related Activity Sessions
  • VQ Diploma in Supporting the Delivery of Physical Education and School Sport
  • Level 3 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning.

The skills and personal qualities you’d need include:

  • Enthusiastic and confident.
  • Great interpersonal skills and able to build relationships with children, parents and colleagues.
  • Adaptable and know how to deal with problems as they come up.
  • Motivated and willing to work hard.
  • Approachable and friendly.
  • Organised and able to work on your own.
  • Trustworthy and able to take responsibility for others.
  • Willing to act as a positive role model at all times.
  • Able to make learning fun.

Interested? Search for sports apprenticeships to find the one that’s perfect for your interests and skills.

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