Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Sport industry ‘largely overlooked’ when it comes to career choices

Sport industry ‘largely overlooked’ when it comes to career choices
June 28, 2022

While the publication of a new national survey which indicates that tens of thousands of sport industry jobs are expected to be created over the next decade is good news for the industry and wider economy, there is a lack of awareness of these opportunities.

Commenting on the newly released Deakin University report which indicates how major sporting events over the next decade will generate significant number of jobs in sport, Dr Hunter Fujak, Lecturer in Sport Management at Deakin University is concerned that there is a lack of awareness of their availability.

Dr Fujak told 7News “sport jobs are kind of like an iceberg … and part of the reason we don’t think of them is because we see the athletes on the screen, but it takes a village to grow an athlete.”

Behind the scenes, Dr Fujak says, are people who have studied coaching, sports science, business of sport and sports management.

He notes “it’s really interesting. When we watch the Olympics, it’s the athlete that stands on the podium.

“Really, it’s probably a whole team that deserves a medal.”

Fujak said that, in most instances, it came back to the public perception of sport being focused on the athlete, adding “there are so many different layers, at a local, state and national level.

“There’s a lot of stuff we take for granted because we see sport on TV and think it just kind of happens, but a lot of jobs underpin that.”

Dr Fujak feels the industry has largely been overlooked when it comes to careers, commenting “the industry has largely been overlooked because it only really professionalised over the last 50 years, specifically probably only 30 years.

“The starting point was probably world series cricket with Kerry Packer in the 1970s, but it wasn’t really until the 1990s that we really saw big commercial rights develop - which really created an industry that required professional practice.”

“Deakin University was one of the first in the world to offer a sport management degree inside a business school, not within physical education. That only happened in the 1990s.”

While most people don’t think of sports jobs beyond athlete, coach and commentator, Dr Fujak says in reality there are plenty of options, stating “I teach first year undergrad students who come in starry-eyed, knowing they love sport, but not necessarily knowing what that means for jobs.

“Part of my role is getting them thinking about what potential jobs actually look like.”

“There’s two sides - the professional and commercial side of sport, and the community side.”

“On the community side there are lots of jobs in local councils, there are people maintaining the parks and sporting facilities. There’s an abundance of jobs in these spaces.”

“The other half is the professional sport side, and that’s where we’re going to see a big boom in jobs over the next decade. We’re about to have all these major sporting events come, and when they do they require people to work in things like logistics, scheduling, facility management and more.”

Melbourne Vixens co-captain Kate Moloney, a student at Deakin University, advised “to many sport fans, roles like sport managers, physiotherapists and trainers may seem like ‘behind the scenes’ or secondary roles.

“For athletes, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

“We rely so heavily on a long list of trained sporting professionals to help us achieve our goals. Without their expertise, we simply wouldn’t be able to perform at an elite level.”

She said that the emergence of high-level women’s sporting competitions, including the AFLW and women’s A-League, buoyed the growth of the industry as a whole, adding “the more investment women’s sport leagues receive in Australia, the faster the entire industry will grow.

“It will also lead to a more inclusive Australia, increased job opportunities and improved infrastructure across metropolitan and regional areas.”

Employment levels in the sporting industry rose substantially between 2001 and 2019, according to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee.

But, in 2020, employment levels dropped by almost half to 61,000.

They recovered by 71% in 2021 to 104,200.

Dr Fujak concluded “we’re coming out of a slumber.

“We had a downturn during COVID, but now we’re poised to bounce back with a vengeance.”

Images: Newly released Deakin University research usggest there is a lack of awareness of sport industry employment opportunities (top, credit: Shutterstock) and Dr Hunter Fujak (below, credit: Twitter).

Related Articles

27th June 2022 - Deakin University report says sport industry jobs set to boom

27th June 2022 - IAKS to stage networking event during National Sports and Physical Activity Convention

27th June 2022 - Business of Sports Summit hears of new challenges for sport consumption

16th May 2022 - Australian Sports Commission spotlights need for 130,000 volunteers over next decade

6th May 2022 - Swim Jobs Victoria program sees launch of $3.4 million career recruitment package

27th April 2022 - Brisbane 2032 OCOG Board prioritise recruiting Chief Executive

21st April 2022 - AUSactive launches dedicated fitness industry jobs board 

14th April 2022 - Federal Government’s Job Outlook anticipates ongoing rise in fitness jobs

24th February 2022 - ASPA survey suggests 2021 was ‘somewhat regular’ for many sport organisations

11th February 2022 - ASM Global looks to hire 1,000 employees across intercontinental jobs fairs

10th December 2021 - AUSTSWIM secures Federal Government funding for ‘Creating Jobs, Saving Lives’ project

14th October 2021 - Australian Sports Professionals Association launches ‘Young Professionals on Lockdown’ networking group

20th August 2021 - New book explores the ‘Code Wars’ in Australia’s football market

1st March 2021 - ASPA sport leadership playbook resource shares a ‘thousand years’ of experience

11th February 2021 - ASPA Industry Census reports negative sentiment about impacts of COVID on Australian sport

5th February 2021 - ASPA members to receive Australasian Leisure Management magazine

28th January 2021 - Hundreds of jobs promoted at Queensland Country Bank Stadium

5th November 2020 - Western Australian Government promotes jobs in swimming

29th October 2020 - Deakin University Research debunks myth that healthy eating is costly

8th June 2020 - Deakin’s Global Obesity Centre reconfirmed as world-leading research centre by WHO

5th May 2020 - Deakin University launches survey to assess how Australians are coping without sport

3rd April 2020 - Deakin University research highlights the need for physical activity during social isolation

28th October 2019 - Parks and recreation professionals make great career choice in delivering ‘joy’

8th October 2019 - Sport professionals survey shows respondents paid ‘less than expected’

8th June 2019 - New Sports Professionals Association completing ‘State of the Sporting Industry’ survey

7th November 2017 - Deakin University again ranked world’s best for sports science

17th August 2016 - Olympians look to build fitness businesses after athletics careers


Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues

 
 

The Pool Enclosure Company

Now TPEC Pool Enclosures - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/tpec-pool-enclosures

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation / Venues

 
 

Digonex

Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing

 
 

Technogym Australia

Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

PerfectGym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over two million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology

 
 

SWIMPLEX AQUATICS

Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 

SENtag

Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks

 
 

SLE WORLDWIDE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business