Sports and Leisure

Key facts

General UK facts

  • Young people who complete sports or leisure related qualifications at college sometimes go on to join the police, fire services or armed services because they have learned the skills and the right attitude to teamwork that are in demand.
  • Working in the sport and leisure sector can be tough – expect long hours and when you start, relatively low wages. But with experience, good qualifications and a positive attitude to customers and clients, a well-qualified instructor can expect to earn up to £21,000 increasing to up to around £40,000 at management level.
  • To be successful as a coach or instructor, you have to be patient, enthusiastic, work as part of a team, follow instructions, solve problems and be able to communicate well.
  • 12 per cent of the UK population are registered members of a health and fitness club or gym and almost 90 per cent of people live within two miles of one.

South of England facts

  • Forecasts suggest there will be substantial growth in health and fitness, sport and recreation and outdoors activities in the South of England. Coaches, teachers and instructors make up almost two in five of the paid workforce.
  • The sector relies heavily on volunteers – there could be up to half a million active sports volunteers in the South West alone. Volunteering can be a good way to get work experience, there are great opportunities for students in any discipline to volunteer as a coach, umpire, line judge or steward.
  • Many further education colleges and many local universities offer sport and leisure-related courses. The University of Bath, for example, tops league tables for its teaching of sports science.

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