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Sport and Active Leisure



Leisure Centre work

Centres vary in size from those containing simply a small sports hall to those with a wide range of facilities, such as swimming pools, an athletics track and restaurants. Some centres are run by local authorities and charitable trusts; others by private companies, often on contract with local authorities. Jobs include:

Leisure centre assistants look after people who visit and use leisure centres. They take payments and bookings, give information about events, facilities and activities clean, move equipment and demonstrate it.

Leisure centre managers run the leisure centre and its staff - encouraging people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to use the facilities, and making sure they have a safe and enjoyable experience.  

Lifeguards mainly work at indoor and outdoor pools - which are often part of leisure centres but also as part of hotels and holiday villages. Lifeguards also work on the beach at some seaside resorts. Pool lifeguards have a responsibility for the safe use of the pool by all users to prevent accidents.

Health and fitness instructors teach people how to exercise safely and effectively. They may run inductions, write training programmes, monitor individual progress, offer advice and teach classes as well as one to one training.

Outdoor activities instructors safely lead groups of people doing a range of outdoor activities such as climbing, camping, windsurfing or mountain biking.  They plan, prepare and instruct to suit the needs of each group on anything from short one-day courses to four-week expeditions.  

Professional Sport

If you want to play sport as a paid professional you'll need to have exceptional talent, determination and commitment. Lots of people play sport to a high level but only a few make a living from it - most people in sport are regarded as amateurs or semi-professional. Other jobs in sport include:

Sport and exercise scientists work with people to improve their heath and/or sporting performance. Sport scientists work with coaches and physiotherapists to support athletes or sports clubs, offering expert scientific backup.  Exercise scientists are more concerned with improving health and helping people recover from illness through a programme of physical activity.

Sports coaches may work with sports professionals or amateurs, individuals or teams motivating them and helping them to develop their skills and fulfil their potential.

Sports development officers are employed to make sure that people of all ages and ability have the opportunity and are encouraged to take part in sport, developing their skills, and leading a healthy lifestyle. They work with the local community, liaising with clubs and schools, as well as agencies such as the police and sports national governing bodies.