Sports development officer: job description

Sports development officer: job description

Sports development officers are responsible for generating interest and increasing participation in sports through effective promotion and marketing campaigns.
A keen interest in sport and strong leadership and organisational skills are essential.

What does a sports development officer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

A sports development officer will plan and organise sports projects and campaigns in order to get more people involved. They work towards making sport more accessible to everyone and aim to get people living a healthier lifestyle.

Typical job responsibilities include:

  • organising, developing and delivering a varied range of sporting activities or programmes
  • managing budgets
  • producing promotional material and displays
  • keeping statistical and financial records
  • planning
  • undertaking administrative tasks
  • writing reports and press releases
  • liaising and working with relevant organisations or agencies including youth services, schools, clubs, sports coaches and sports councils
  • organising and undertaking market research
  • monitoring and assessing progress.

The work can be demanding, with long hours and some evening, weekend and public holiday work.

Typical employers of sports development officers

  • Local health authorities
  • Sports councils
  • Educational institutions
  • Universities
  • Sports governing bodies

Vacancies are advertised online, by careers services, in local, regional and national newspapers and in relevant publications such as Leisure Management, Leisure Week and Opportunities, as well as their online equivalents, and vacancy lists produced by sports bodies such as the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into this career for both university graduates and school leavers.

Degrees in sports science, travel, tourism, leisure, business studies, management or marketing are normally advantageous.

Relevant work experience is essential, and can be gained via seasonal vacation employment, or by working as a volunteer or paid assistant in a leisure or sports centre. Coaching qualifications and experience can also be helpful.

To find out how to get into a career in this area via a school leaver route, visit the business section and the hospitality and travel section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for sports development officers

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Time management skills
  • Good teamworking skills
  • Adaptability
  • Enthusiasm
  • Energy
  • Confidence.