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10 Jobs for Sports Fans

No Athletic Talent Required
Kate Lorenz, Editor

It's a great time to be a sports fan. From international football to boxing, you can catch a big match or event nearly all the time at a live game or on a 24-hour sports station.

This can make it rather tricky to tear yourself away from your TV and go to work...unless you're lucky enough to work in sport. If you haven’t got what it takes to be the next Beckham, Calzaghe or Hamilton, be happy knowing there are some fantastic jobs to satisfy your sports cravings and still earn you a regular salary. Take these, for instance:

1. Sports Commentator
Team player:
Sports commentators cover games and sporting events so that viewers feel they’re in on the action. They're right there at the games and press conferences, interviewing sports personalities and smelling the sweat in the locker room.

On the ball: Many start in local radio and move into regional television as their career progresses. Trainee salaries are usually around £15,000 p.a. while some TV presenters earn £100,000 p.a.

Substitute: Sports Presenter, Sports Journalist.

2. Referee
Team player:
Hate that call? Think you could do better? One of the hardest parts of being a referee or umpire is dealing with the stress caused by those who disagree with your split-second judgments. Refereeing in England is organised into 10 grades, ranging up to level one for full-time professionals.

On the ball: Amateur referees get around £25 a match while Premier League officials earn in the region of £40,000 p.a. plus match fees.

Substitute: Umpire, Linesman.

3. Sportswear Sales Rep
Team player:
Are you up-to-date with the latest sporting and fashion trends? ‘Sports lifestyle’ is key these days and you would be selling the latest products to the big high street sports and leisurewear stockists.

On the ball: Salaries are from £15,000p.a. - £70,000 p.a., often with a bonus or commission scheme.

Substitute: Brand Manager.

4. Agent
Team player:
How are your negotiating skills? Could you be the next Jerry Maguire? A sports agent helps talented athletes get a better contract, better endorsement, better sponsorship and a better deal.

On the ball: Your athletes are your breadwinners. The agent receives a commission that’s between four and 10% of the contract they’ve negotiated.

Substitute: Sports Lawyer.

5. Advertising Account Handler
Team player:
What does advertising have to do with sports? A lot, considering it would have cost £670,000 for an advertiser to buy a 30-second TV slot in this year’s grand prix races. Success on the billboards or screen, like on the pitch, requires preparation and money. Advertising account handlers are the link between the ad agency and client, making sure campaigns are produced on time and on budget.

On the ball: Starting salaries are around £18,000 p.a. Senior directors can earn £120,000 p.a.

Substitute: Marketing Executive, PR Executive, Sports Event Manager.

6. Coach
Team player: Could you be the next Clive Woodward? Sports coaches teach skills and techniques, helping people to reach their full potential. Full-time opportunities are mainly in professional sports such as football, cricket, tennis, golf and athletics. Vacancies are scarce and competition fierce with only a quarter of paid coaches employed full-time.

On the ball: Salaries can be  £12,000 p.a. - £30,000 p.a.

Substitute: Personal Trainer, PE Teacher, Health and Fitness Instructor.

7. Sports Development Officer
Team player: Would you like others to benefit from sport as much as you do? Sports development is one of the fastest growing areas of the sports industry. As an SDO, you work with the local community making sure that people of all ages and ability have opportunities to take part, develop skills and lead healthier lifestyles.

On the ball: Although there are no set entry qualifications, this is increasingly becoming a graduate profession. Salaries range from £16,700 p.a. - £40,000 p.a.

Substitute: Leisure Centre Manager, Sport and Exercise Scientist.

8. Bookie
Team player: On-course bookmakers, or turf accountants, work in betting shops on location - usually at horse or dog racing tracks. Many employers will ask you to sit a basic maths test to show you can deal with percentages and calculate odds and payments.

On the ball: Salaries start at £13,500 p.a. rising to £20,000 p.a.

Substitute: Betting Shop Manager.

9. Groundsperson
Team player:
Groundspeople look after football, cricket and rugby pitches, bowling greens, tennis courts and golf courses, managing the soil and grass to make sure the turf is always in top condition.

On the ball: The IOG recommends £13,700 p.a. for unskilled groundspeople and up to £27,375 for head groundspeople.

Substitute: Greenkeeper, Leisure Centre Assistant.

10. Bar Attendant
Team player: People at sporting events and need to drink and eat. As well as keeping the bar area clean and well stocked. You’d need to be able to serve swiftly to make sure punters don’t miss a vital minute!

On the ball: Salaries range from £9,000 p.a. up to £30,000 + for a bar manager.

Substitute: Waiter/Waitress, Catering Manager.

Rarely does a day go by without sport hitting the headlines, so it’s hardly surprising that around 620,000 people work within leisure, sport and recreation in the UK and the figure is growing. Where else can you work and play at the same time?

Last Updated: 22/02/2008 - 1:54 PM