Bowling, skiing, canoeing, golf, theme parks and paint balling. It sounds like an incredible summer holiday but actually this list covers just some of the experiences you will have during your time at Barnet and Southgate College’s Sports Education Academy. It is one of the ways we introduce you to all that the sports industry has to offer!
When you think of the sports industry, you might assume that most jobs are for elite players and coaches. Actually, it is a twenty billion pound industry employing over 400,000 people in 175,000 businesses and organisations across the UK. Two thirds of the jobs are people doing or helping others do sport and the rest are catering for people's interest in watching and spending on sport, whether in the sportswear and equipment industry or sports media. The range of jobs is huge and we reflect that in our courses. As well as playing and coaching, we open up areas like sports nutrition, sports psychology, strength and conditioning training, massage therapy and rehabilitation. We will prepare you for the next step, whether its sports science or the scrum.
With 15.5 million adults playing sport and over 7 million fitness club members, sport and fitness is a growing part of British life. There are 5,600 fitness centres and getting fit is a leisure activity that Brits are planning to spend more on according to a recent industry report. Yet most adults play no sport at all and a fall in disposable income over the past few years has hit some businesses hard. So, what does this mean for you? Will you get a place on the team or are your dreams relegation material? Well, in a given month, there over 200 vacancies in sport in London and fifteen percent of sports businesses have vacancies to fill.. Just to stay still, the sector needs to recruit 58,000 people a year to replace those leaving for retirement, parenthood and more.
Despite tough times, there have been areas that have done well such as budget gyms and those targeting older and more affluent groups. Great customer service has protected many from the storm as has expertise with special populations and children’s fitness. The industry is also getting into advice on nutritional products and weight management programmes. Industry experts, SkillsActive say the fitness industry needs people with technical skills such as fitness instructing, personal training and exercise referral. There is also demand for sporting officials, coaches, teachers, instructors and activity leaders.
What kind of life can you expect? The average weekly pay for fitness instructor in London is around £330. Sports coaches, instructors and officials earn on average £470 per week. This varies a lot based on where you are in your training, what you choose to do and how many hours you work. The working week is reasonable in terms of average hours. Coaches tend to do about 36 hours per week and fitness instructors around 38 hours. As a service industry you have to fit around your clients so there can be unsociable hours, weekends and evenings. However, most people love what they do so it often doesn’t feel like work.
Around half of people working in the sports industry are part time compared to the national average of three in 10 UK workers. Most people work their way up from the bottom. Many take on a number of smaller jobs as they build up clients and a good reputation. It can take a while to get where you want but at Barnet and Southgate College we have excellent links into the sector and you will build up a great practical portfolio during your time with us. By the time you leave the College we expect you to have clocked up some serious playing and coaching hours. Our students help at Hazelwood Tennis Club, Middlesex University, local schools and summer schools. You could as easily be at the front of a PE lesson as a Zumba class.
At the London 2012 Olympics it was widely acknowledged that Team GB’s success was in great part down to the wider team around the athletes. Our teachers will become your team, coaching you to be the best you can be. The sports industry is developing rapidly. Better understanding of the human body and new technology is changing how we do things and pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve. Most of our teachers still work in their chosen area so they are not just up to date with current thinking and practice, they are living it. They are also pretty good with changing room and on the field banter.
You will join one of our Sports Education Academies. Each works with world class partners meaning you get to visit, train and play in outstanding facilities. We offer Rugby (League and Union), Girls Football, Boys Football, Basketball, Athletics, Boxing, and Tennis. Our partners include Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, Saracens and London Skolars rugby clubs, Team GB’s Lee Valley Athletics Centre, and the Lawn Tennis Association endorse our Tennis Academy programme.
There are many benefits to our courses, including for many, subsidised kit and access to fully qualified physiotherapists and sports therapists at the College. However, one of the most important things you will learn is how to operate as a business person. There are not many people in our industry who can operate successfully without sound communication, reading, writing, accounting and computer skills. Employers say they are crying out for people with initiative, organisational skills, problem solving, time management and leadership.
What about the future? We believe sport will stay in the spotlight. Many say we are living a golden age for sport. There are certainly opportunities coming up near and far, with the Rugby and Cricket World Cups in England and Wales in 2015 and 2019 respectively, plus the Football World Cup in Qatar in 2018. The government continues to push for more people to do sport and get fit, tackle the growing chronic ill-health and obesity crises and to win more medals at the Rio Olympics. With the right guidance, you can turn your passion and obsession for sport into a career.
 SkillsActive website
 Oygen Mintel report: Health and Fitness Clubs - UK - November 2012
 London LM Nov 2013
 National Employer Skills Survey 2009 for England (NESS 2009)
 Skills Active Trends report
 National Audit of Skill Needs: Sport, Fitness and the Outdoors, October 2008 (SkillsActive/Sport England)
 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings ASHE 2013 (provisional) Table 15.1a
 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings ASHE 2013 (provisional) Table 15.9a
 UK Active (formally Fitness Industry Association)