Case study

Senior duty manager — Peter

Possessing both knowledge and experience in different sporting activities helps Peter successfully carry out his job in leisure centre management

How did you get your job?

Straight after graduation I coached football in the USA and I started applying for jobs straight away.

For my role at a Parkwood Leisure Centre I applied via the online-careers portal, which required me to send my CV and a cover letter to the centre manager.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

The areas of sport science, development and coaching covered in my degree are all relevant in my area of work, as I oversee all sporting projects that the centre runs. This could be setting up and running kids sport programs, or developing clubs or sessions for the public to get involved in.

What are your main work activities?

A typical working day will primarily have me managing all day-to-day operations around the centre, including lifeguards, receptionists, water testing and other important areas.

Some days can be very busy and require a great deal of management, other days the centre ticks by and I can find some spare time to look into sporting projects.

I also work closely with national governing bodies (NGBs) such as England Squash and Badminton England, along with my sport development team.

How do you use your degree in your job?

Knowledge of different areas of sport and the way they operate at an NGB level has been extremely useful. My degree gave me an all-round knowledge about sport and fitness, which allows me to be fully informed with staff, customers and business partners.

The independence and maturity I have developed through being a student and living away from home has certainly allowed me to operate effectively as a manager.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I really like working with the NGBs and producing clubs, courses and events around the area of sport.

Having a customer base which shows enthusiasm in this field makes the work I do more enjoyable and rewarding.

Dealing with the daily operations is exciting and encourages me to solve multiple problems almost daily.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

Managing others has certainly been a challenge which I've had to step up to. I've had plenty of coaching experience within sport but leading others day-to-day at a professional level has definitively taught me a lot.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

Once in management, it's all uphill from here, so in five years if I’m running my own leisure centre I’ll be very happy.

Any words of advice for someone who wants to get into this job?

I would say get as much experience in different sports as possible. It's easy to just learn and coach the ones you've played, but, for example, squash and badminton are the two biggest sports in leisure, so having that knowledge can really help. Progress can then be made effectively at a sport development level.

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