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Sports As a Career Option - Courses & Scope

Final Sector Skill Council Report 221

Are you among the lot with an inborn passion for sports? If your answer is in the affirmative, then sports as a hot career does offers a plethora of opportunities for you. Down the ages, the popular mindset has been that sports are good for the mind and body but it cannot help you earn your daily bread.

Of late, this mindset has given way to acceptance of various sports related activities as viable career options. Other than actually being an active sportsman/ player, the other vocations in the field like sports management, sports medicine, sports journalism, adventure sports, fitness and health clinics and the like, have come to be regarded as full fledged and highly paid careers options.

Sports persons with years of experience are now being offered to work in a related field, such as, sports journalism, sports goods manufacture/marketing or as commentator.

To be a sports person one needs to be physically fit, energetic and enthusiastic. If aspiring to become a trainer or manager, a graduate degree in physical education can be pursued after Class XII (any stream with physical education).

Read: Sports Management institutes in India

Eligibility Criteria

The Sports Authority of India has been constituted at the National level to encourage and develop budding talents in sports. SAI has State level branches to conduct a variety of schemes intended to promote sportsmen.


The minimum educational qualification is a 10+2 pass. Deserving students are offered financial assistance in the form of scholarships and training in special institutions at the government’s cost. There are many state level and national level associations and councils set up for the purpose of finding and nurturing sporting talent in the country.

Personal Skills

As modern day’s sports require lot of physical energy and stamina, hence sports persons are supposed to be energetic, enthusiastic and physically fit. Besides possessing ability Patience, perseverance and a sporting spirit, they must also be committed to their games.

Career Scope & Job Prospects

Sports as a profession offers a plethora of career opportunities, some of them are given below.

  • Sports Persons

Once a person decides to take up playing a particular sport or athletic activity as a profession, then the training for it takes precedence over everything else. A strict training regimen under the expert guidance of a coach, coupled with a wholesome and nutritious diet program (again under expert guidance) needs to be followed.

The country encourages and supports those who excel in their fields and bring the country’s name into limelight in international sports meets.

Actual performance on field may be short-lived, but a successful stint opens many other avenues for a sportsperson who retires from active sports due to age.

Positions in state level and national level sports organizations are often offered to sports persons after they retire from active sports.

  • Coaching

This option has now assumed a greater significance with more and more schools and parents realizing the importance of physical activity. Many parents prefer educational institutions that offer their children a wholesome curriculum covering activities like swimming, horse riding and yoga etc.

As more and more Indian sports persons gain fame and recognition in the international scene, many a parent is willing to let his ward have a chance at proving his mettle in sports. Educational institutions are expected to provide opportunities for students to determine where their aptitude lies.

Therefore job openings in this area have increased manifold. This can be a rewarding and satisfying job for a person who enjoys outdoor activities and mingling with youngsters.

Besides educational institutions, many private clubs employ coaches for teaching groups of youngsters. These may be special vacation batches or even regular evening batches. Upcoming sports persons sometimes employ personal coaches to enhance and optimize their performance.

In this situation, it is the responsibility of a coach to chalk out numerous training programs that will help keep the trainee in perfect mental and physical shape. One star prodigy can help shoot the coach also into limelight.

  • Sports Journalism/Sports Commentating

Those endowed with communication skills can easily become popular like a Harsha Bhogle or Ravi Shastri. With rapid growth in television, newspapers/ magazines and other media, sports journalism has surely surfaced as a highly paid profession.

Now there are numerous television channels like Star Sports, ESPN, Ten Sports, Zee Sports and DD Sports which dedicated to sports programs only.

  • Sports Photographer

Besides having an aesthetic sense, an sports photographer should have through knowledge about the sports. Sports photographers are always in demand, mainly when major sports events are held.

  • Consultants (Sports Medicine)

The current awareness about health and fitness has created a need for experts who can advise individuals about their health needs and suggest a personalized fitness program taking into account lifestyle, time constraints and other relevant factors.

Such professionals may be employed in an advisory capacity by leading health clubs. Hospitals and rehabilitation centres also utilize the services of such specialists to provide sound advice on the best course of action for patients who need structured physical activity.

Such specialists also attend to the maladies of the sports persons during action e.g. sprains, muscle pulls, torn ligaments, fractures etc. Physiotherapists are also required in the field of sports to provide continuous and sustained treatment to the injured individuals.

  • Umpire / Referee

This is a tough job as it requires thorough knowledge of the rules of the game one is refereeing. Their job is to carry out the games and sports in accordance with rules and regulations as set by the concerned governing body various recognized State and national sports organizations employ umpires and referees.

They also reward certification of expertise for the game to qualified umpires and referees. The other tasks which an umpire/referee performs include scrutinizing sports equipment, the ground and enforcing fulfillment of schedules and rules.

  • Opportunities with Private Sector

The increasing awareness about physical fitness and the popularity enjoyed by many games has led to the mushrooming of sports clubs all over the country. From simple ones that offer coaching to ones that are fully equipped to cater to the elites and upper classes.

Such clubs are privately owned and the owners prefer persons with exposure in relevant sporting fields to operate sports and leisure clubs. Such jobs carry many administrative responsibilities alongside.

Persons working in such places need to have excellent interpersonal skills, as they will need to interact with many people who come to use the facilities offered by the club, with various sports persons to be appointed as instructors, equipment suppliers and so on.

  • Manufacturing Sports Equipment

Innovation and experience is an excellent combination and works well in many areas including that of sports equipment manufacture. This is a very specialized field and has new products aimed at enhancing the innate abilities of sports persons and enabling them to do their best.

Big sporting events like the Olympics/Asian/Commonwealth games regularly showcase such innovative equipment, of which many go on to become standard equipment. Sports goods and equipment has an increasing market. So specialists are engaged to help in market research and development.

Read: Career in sports medicine

Pros and Cons of Being in Sports


  • Name and fame once you are start playing for the nation
  • Respect among peers and sporting fraternity
  • Good pay if you are working for a government organization under sports quota. If you become a star, you also get endorsements


  • No security
  • Continue working hard throughout your career
  • Very short career especially if you are playing sports like cricket, football or hockey

Top Colleges/Institutes for Sports Related Courses

1Sports Authority of IndiaLakshmibai National College of Physical Education
Kariavattam, P.O, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala – 695581
Telephone: 91-0471-2418712
Fax: 91-0471-2418769
2Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE)Mela Road,
Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh – 474002
Telephone: 91-751-4000918, 4000906
3Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Sciences
Department of Physical Education & Sports Science (University of Delhi)
Block-B, Vikaspuri, New Delhi-110018
Telephone: 91-011-25593497
Fax: 91-011-25549003
E-mail: [email protected]
4Ministry of Youth Affairs & SportsShastri Bhawan
Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road
New Delhi-110001
Telephone: 91-11-23384152
Fax: 91-11-23384152
E-mail: [email protected]

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