31 January 2018

OS Careers in Sports Forum Tuesday 30 January

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We were delighted to welcome back five Old Sennockians to speak to our students about careers in sport: Miles Gardiner (OS 2003), James Murray (OS 2005), Michael Dickman (OS 2002), Lucian Weston (OS 2004), and Tom Fowler (OS 1998).

This event was exceptionally well-attended by Sixth Formers and Middle School pupils, and even some members of Lower School came along to listen to the opportunities associated with a career in sport.

After an initial introduction from each member of the panel, Mr Smith asked a host of specific questions alongside a stream of questions from the floor. An area that everyone was keen to know about was, ‘How do you get into a career in sport?’

In the instances of all the panel members, they made it clear that their route to this career path had been circuitous, sometimes accidental and, to a degree, involved being in the ‘right place at the right time.’ However, they were all clear that a broad skillset that came from no one degree in particular, was called for, rather than a very specific skillset. Interestingly three members of the panel had joined football organisations and the gym business, following time spent working for big consultancy firms.

All members of the panel emphasised that it is important to be proactive in trying to seek work experience, internships or simply making contact with people in the sector, during your university years, if you think that a career in sport might be for you. Given that all of the panel were male, and that there were many girls in the audience, the question of gender equality in the sector was raised. All members of the panel could attest to the fact that times are changing and the sector is becoming less male-dominated with moves afoot to ensure that the opportunities are equal for both men and women.

With three members of the panel working for football corporations, there was inevitable interest from the floor in the technicalities of purchasing players and the effect of a change in managers on the corporation as a whole – here, the audience were treated to some fascinating anecdotes. The panel also elucidated on the financial modelling at work within their organisations to generate revenue and the pros and cons of new technologies, such as social media, which are heavily utilised.

All panel members spoke frankly, but warmly about the sector they find themselves working in and seemed to relish the variety of the work, its sociability and the opportunity to travel. Above all they collectively conveyed their enjoyment of working in the sports industry.

The event was co-organised by Alex Smith, the Higher Education department and the Development Office and was hosted by Alex Smith.

Charlotte Glanville and Wendy Heydorn

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