National Careers Week: Profile of a Sports Development Officer at AoC Sport
As part of National Careers Week 2021 we have created a profile of what a Sports Development Officer career looks like at AoC Sport.
Name: Alix Jenner
Job Title: Development Officer (Leadership & Workforce)
Which college did you attend?
I studied Sport & Exercise Science at SGS College.
What does your role entail? Talk us through a typical day?
My role doesn’t really have a typical day as every day is so varied. I could be doing anything from delivering a large-scale event to a few hundred students, to attending meetings with partners or colleges, to project planning or problem solving with colleagues.
What are your main responsibilities?
Planning, promoting and delivering events in a variety of sports, managing relationships with colleges and partners and managing AoC Sport’s Leadership Academy. This is a national project that works with colleges to engage more student volunteers and improve their experience. It involves planning and designing the project, working with various external partners such as NGBs, budget management and monitoring and evaluation.
What qualifications and experience do you need for your role?
I have a degree in sports development, but it isn’t a necessity to do my role. Gaining significant work experience in the sector, specifically in events and project management, is also very valuable. Alongside having paid experience in the sports development sector, I was able to develop myself and learn a lot through volunteering whilst at college and university. Without this experience I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now.
Tell us a bit about your career up to this point
I have worked in both sports development and education. After finishing university I worked at a college and following that I was a Football Development Officer at a County FA. Both roles enabled me to explore my passion further for making a difference through sport. I was also a member of The FA’s National Youth Council for two years, which gave me invaluable experience of working on national projects.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The thing I enjoy most about my job is the varied nature. I really enjoy the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects that enable me to be creative and innovative, whilst working with a range of different people.
What is the best advice you have/have been given?
The best piece of advice I have ever been given is to step outside of my comfort zone into my growth zone. Taking on new opportunities that pushed me into situations outside of my comfort zone enabled me to grow and develop both personally and professionally. Even though it may seem daunting at first I would definitely encourage others to do the same.
What are the biggest challenges in your role, or facing the industry generally?
The biggest challenge is adapting to and managing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. This has had a huge impact on the FE sector, including sport and physical activity delivery in colleges. It has required everyone working in the sector, including myself, to become more adaptable and innovative in the way we deliver and to tailor the delivery according to the changing circumstances.