Volunteering and jobs in sport

Career and job opportunities in sports

The sport and leisure industry offers people a wide range of employment opportunities, from coaching to administrative posts, within a range of organisations, including voluntary and national organisations.

It is widely recognised that British sport is built on hard work and dedication of volunteers. There are hundreds of different sports volunteering opportunities available for people of all ages and abilities, as well as a range of paid jobs across the industry.

There are many places to look for job vacancies in sport. Sport England advertises jobs within sports organisations including Sport England itself. It also lists other useful websites, which may provide job vacancy information.

The London Sport website also lists job opportunities across London.

Most local authorities advertise leisure sector vacancies along with other council jobs on their own website, and Active Ealing uses the Ealing Council jobs page to advertise vacancies.  

Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

Launched in 2011, CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector. 

CIMSPA provides leadership, support and empowerment for professionals working in sport and physical activity and a single unified voice for the sector. The Institute holds two long term strategic priorities:

  • To provide opportunities for young leaders to develop and succeed
  • To provide leadership on the development and management of career pathways


SkillsActive is the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning. Sector Skills Councils are employer-led organisations, which together form the Skills for Business Network.

SkillsActive is recognised and licensed by government and is charged with leading the skills and productivity drive within the Sport and Recreation, Health and Fitness, Playwork, and the Outdoors and Caravan industries – known as the Active Leisure and Learning Sector.

SkillsActive leads the development of the volunteer workforce and actively seeks ways to promote volunteering across the sector.

Education and training courses 

Many people already involved or looking to be involved in sport are interested in coaching and officiating as well as, or instead of, playing. Virtually all national governing bodies of sport have a programme of certificated courses that encourage people of all ages to learn more about coaching and officiating at every level of sport.

Whether you are a volunteer or a paid employee in the sport and leisure industry, it is important to keep up to date with the latest thinking and methods of delivery. There are a number of useful websites which carry details of general and sport-specific coach education courses in London. The websites of these national governing bodies of sport also carry the latest sport-specific coach education course programmes.

Sportscoach UK

Sportscoach UK is a nationwide organisation which provides generic coach education courses for new coaches and for more experienced coaches. The Sportscoach UK workshop programme is divided into two series, Coaching Essentials and Develop Your Coaching.

Coaching Essentials is a series of five workshops designed for people who have an interest in, or have limited experience of coaching and want to know more about what is good, safe and effective coaching. With each Coaching Essentials workshop you receive a complimentary resource.

Develop Your Coaching is a series of twenty workshops that cover a wide spectrum of topics, from Equity in your Training through to Injury Prevention and Management. These workshops are for coaches who want to further develop their coaching skills and knowledge to provide high quality coaching sessions. With the majority of Develop Your Coaching workshops you will receive a complimentary resource.

Visit the Sportscoach UK website and access the workshop programme.

Sports Leaders award courses

Sports Leaders UK is the new operating name of the British Sports Trust. This organisation through their Awards programmes uses sport to help people learn essential skills such as working with and organising others, as well as motivational, communication and teamwork skills.

Award course participants do not need to be budding sports stars – an interest in sport and a positive attitude are all that are required.