What they do
Professional sportspeople earn a living through their participation in national or international sporting events. The popularity of a sport in Australia has a large impact on the opportunities available to earn a living from competing. Popular sports, such as Australian Rules football or cricket, provide more opportunities to play professionally then less popular sport, like badminton or lacrosse. In addition to training and competing duties, many professional sportspeople also take part in promotional activities, in the promoting of their sport or their sponsors.
Individual working conditions may vary depending on the particular sport, though there are a number of common factors. To keep performing at their peak, sportspeople must stick to a strict training regime, which may include early morning, evenings and weekends, even during their 'off-season'. Those participating in an outdoor sport will train and play in all weather conditions. There can also be a lot of travel involved, with sportspeople regularly having to travel interstate or overseas to compete.
Tools and technologies
The equipment used by a sportsperson will vary greatly depending on which sport they are competing in. Most professional sportspeople will do at least some training and/or tests with gym equipment, such as weights, treadmills and exercise bikes. In many cases they will also wear a uniform, which may also be specially designed to maximise performance, such as swimsuits that cut down resistance in the water.
How do I become one?
Education and training
Most sportspeople begin playing in their chosen sport at a young age, developing their skills and abilities through years of experience, training and playing. Some educational institutions have special sports programs where students combine traditional schoolwork with specialist training in their chosen sport.
It is possible to work as a sportsperson without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, you must show a high level of expertise and skill in your chosen sport. Entry to these programs may be dependent on a student's existing ability.
You can complete a traineeship. The sport (career oriented participation) (level 2) traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete and is available as a school-based traineeship. The sport (career oriented participation) (level 3) traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.
Sportspeople usually work with a specialist coach to develop their skills and abilities to an elite level.
Required registration and licensing