Many people only consider a career beginning with sports management courses in South Africa for people who enjoy or excel in sports. This isn’t always the case, but you certainly need to be interested in sports and the events that shape the sporting culture. From sports presenters to coaches, massage therapists and more, there are countless positions and careers that do not require you to be an athlete or want to be an athlete.
Here are the various sports management courses and careers for non-athletes to choose from:
- Athletics coach
An athletics coach is someone who trains a group of athletes or on an individual basis. Usually, you become a coach when you’ve excelled in a particular sport yourself or it’s been something that has always interested you. You should also have a knack for teaching as you will inevitably be a sports teacher. As a coach, you will go through the motions with your athlete or team and teach them personal and professional skills to help them succeed. You will be required to prepare your students for competitions, show interest in their lives and constantly guide them through their training experience. You also need to have good leadership skills as you will be required to mentor your athletes.
To be able to pursue a career as an athletics coach, you will need to take part in a sports management course and practice what you’ve learned in the correct environment. It can take years to succeed in this role, but if you’re passionate and enjoy your job, you will never have to “work” a day in your life.
- Fitness trainer
A fitness trainer can work at a gym or in a school environment by teaching students. At a school, you will teach your students how to train according to the sport they’re playing, and on an individual training level, you will teach people the right fitness techniques to suit their lifestyle and reach their health goals. There are plenty of rewards in this field as you are actively helping and pushing people to be better. In this job, you will be responsible for handling any health-related admin for people who you will be working with.
If you have a personal training or a group fitness session scheduled, you will need to be prepared for your ‘customers’ whenever they arrive or wherever they are. You will also need to do some research on the various equipment and tools, as well as fitness programmes to incorporate into your schedule.
To become a fitness trainer, it requires you to know the physiology and knowledge of exercise. Of course, you will need to have a deep love for sports and healthfulness, as well as practice it in your own life.
- Journalist or sports photographer
If you choose a standard career in journalism or photography, you can branch off into a sports direction. In this position, you are likely to be focusing on sports people and events for media purposes. This is an exciting career choice as you will be invited to several events where you are able to network and meet influential people in the industry. It’s a busy job, so you will be on your on your feet for long hours.
If you already have a degree or diploma to support your photography or journalism skills, consider looking at sports management courses at UNISA to help you learn more and specialise in this field. If you’re passionate about sports and love writing or taking photos, you will enjoy this career choice.
Sports physiotherapists are people who help athletes recover from injuries through muscle rehabilitation and therapy. One of your main tasks will be to provide your knowledge and care to athletes who need it most. Should someone book a consultation with you to help them figure out a problem, you will need to diagnose the individual and treat them accordingly. You will also need to have studied this line of work for years prior to your sports interest as it requires a specialised qualification to be able to practice on people. However, studying sports management thereafter will help you to grow your skills in an area of interest.
- Sports events planner
This is an exciting, busy and pressing job as you will be in charge of putting together major sporting events and organising prizes and sponsors for a particular event. Much like events planning in general, you will need to be a people’s person and possess strong communication skills. A typical planning day will include tasks such as arranging transportation, organising a schedule, hiring the correct security for the event and more. Some previous experience in this role will give you a foot in the door. This career is demanding and you will work long hours. While challenging at times, it’s also very rewarding.