If you’re passionate about sports, fitness, and wellness, and think you’d enjoy helping people lead a healthy and active lifestyle, then a career in the active leisure sector could be a good option for you. It was for me – and for the team I work with every day.
What’s meant by the active leisure sector? In simple terms, it means businesses and organisations which provide sports, fitness, and leisure activities to people of all ages and abilities. This includes gyms, sports clubs, leisure centres, outdoor adventure centres, and more.
Working in the sector can be rewarding and fulfilling, as you’ll be helping people improve their physical health, mental wellbeing, and overall quality of life. Or you could get involved in coaching sporting stars of the future. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Our expert team of tutors, assessors and managers all have worked in the sector – and love the variety of opportunities it offers.
There are a wide variety of job roles available in the sector, from fitness instructors and personal trainers to sports coaches and outdoor activity leaders.
One of the best ways to start your career in the active leisure sector is by undertaking an apprenticeship. You’ll gain valuable skills, knowledge, and experience while earning a salary.
Here’s a flavour of what you it is like to complete an active leisure apprenticeship:
Training and development
You’ll receive training and development in your chosen area of expertise. This could include learning about exercise physiology, sports psychology, nutrition, and anatomy, as well as practical skills such as coaching techniques, fitness testing, and session planning. You’ll also receive on-the-job training, working alongside experienced professionals who will mentor and support you throughout your apprenticeship.
You’ll have the opportunity to gain industry-recognised qualifications such as the Level 2 Gym Instructor or Level 3 Personal Training qualifications. These qualifications are highly respected in the industry and will enhance your career prospects and earning potential.
Completing an apprenticeship can open up a wide range of careers in the sector. You could progress to become a gym manager, sports coach, or outdoor activity leader, among other options. With further training and experience, you could progress to become a regional manager, training provider, or business owner.
Varied work environments
From traditional gyms and leisure centres to outdoor activity centres and sports clubs, there are so many settings for an apprenticeship in active leisure. Choose a career path which best suits your interests and skills. For example, if you enjoy working with children, you could become a sports coach or outdoor activity leader, while if you prefer working with adults, you could become a fitness instructor or personal trainer.
The leisure sector is a dynamic industry that is constantly evolving. This means there are always new trends, techniques, and technologies to learn and apply in your work, which can keep your job exciting and challenging. You can continue your learning throughout your career, with courses such as kettlebells and yoga on offer.
Supported throughout your apprenticeship
Jessica is one of our assessors who supports apprentices on our active leisure programmes. This is what she said you could expect from an apprenticeship:
“I’m here to help you keep on track. You’d meet me, or one of my colleagues at least once a month. We’d review what’s happened since our last meeting and I’d set you new tasks which are linked to your role, and the skills you need.
“In between our meetings, you’d be working on your tasks, as well as developing practical skills and knowledge in your workplace. You’re required to upload your work to our online portfolio system – I’d then assess this, and check you’re on track with where you need to be.”
I’m Jamie Fawkes, operations manager for active leisure at COPA. I’ve worked in the health and fitness industry for 20 years, starting as an apprentice gym instructor working towards my gym instructing qualification, then my Personal Training qualification. Ilove the fitness sector and have worked with a range of businesses and learners, helping them reach their career goals in the sector.