Sports Co-ordinator

By Janine Ogier

Name: Christo Peters
Age: 30
Role: Sports co-ordinator, Rangitoto College
Working hours: 37-hour week, Monday to Friday, plus irregular weekend sport
Pay range for Sports Co-ordinators: $20,000 to $70,000 depending on hours worked, responsibility, school size
Qualifications: Bachelor of Business Studies in Sports Management, postgraduate diploma in advanced sport coaching, postgraduate diploma in teaching

Q: Describe how you got this job?

A: A friend brought it to my attention and I applied for it, met the principal and got the job. This is my fifth year.

Q: Describe what you do?

A: I look after sport at Rangitoto College where we have at least 300 sports teams, divided between two or three sports co-ordinators. I make sure teams have equipment, coaches, managers, accurate team lists, umpires/referees when needed, know where they are playing and have transport to get to the matches.

As well as these things, I organise funding for events. Applying to charitable trusts is a large part of my job, and is worth up to $100,000 a year to the school.

I also deal with various suppliers for equipment, trophies and so on, and attend meeting and courses for initiatives managed by regional sports bodies and regional sports trusts, like Harbour Sport and College Sport.

Q: What have you had to do to succeed at this job?

A: You have to be able to think on your feet and deal with issues and problems as they arise, and to plan ahead. You have to be approachable because as far as the students, teachers and others are concerned, you are the first port of call for sport in the school.

Q: What sort of training or experience do you need?

A: I completed a Bachelor of Business Studies through Massey University in Albany which was a good starting point. I believe the more hands-on a qualification is, the more beneficial it is for getting a job. Everyone we have had through our office on a placement has picked up the basics and gone on to a good job after graduating.

The sports industry is relatively new academically and qualifications have only been around for 15 years.

For this reason there are many people who may not be qualified but who have oodles of experience at regional and national level. These people are often entrenched in their positions and new graduates have to compete against them for the better jobs.

It is valuable to be a registered teacher, so that your salary can be paid by the Ministry of Education and the school does not have to bear the cost of it.

Therefore, as far as career advancement, the top of the basic scale for teaching is a lot higher than the equivalent on the support staff scale.

Q: What skills and qualities do you need?

A: Having a legitimate interest in sport is key. Approachability, compassion, communication and diplomacy. Schools are large organisations with a lot of people and a lot of compromise needed.

Q: Best part of the job?

A: Having kids go out and enjoy their sport. Yes, everyone likes to win, but at the end of the day, if students are motivated to stick at it and achieve to the best of their ability, I feel my job is a success.

Q: Most challenging part?

A: Having to juggle tasks and meet what are sometimes very tight deadlines.

Q: How do you define success in this job?

A: In achievement, such as success at an event and secondly, sustained participation for the students.

What are your career hopes for the future?

I would like to have a more conceptual role in the future of school sport, and be more responsible for the direction our school sport is going in, perhaps regionally or nationally.

Q: If I wanted a job like yours how would I go about it, and what qualifications would I need?

A: You would want a degree in the area of sport management. The work experience is key, so some good placements and connections are crucial. It is a very cliquey industry, so get to know as many people as you can.

Q: What advice would you have for someone contemplating a career like yours?

A: Ring your local regional sports trust and talk to them about it. Show you have a background in sport, be it coaching, administration or refereeing.

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