Sports Development

Looking to support sports in your community?

What is the sector like?

There are various avenues by which you can get involved in building up sports within your community, whether it be through working for a sports governing body, or running an after-school sports club. This can be highly mission-driven and can make a real difference to the uptake of sports amongst those in your community.

These roles often require you to demonstrate experience in organisationa and a degree of project management.

Where the work is

Sports Development roles can be found in a few key types of organisations.

Further Education Institutions

The UoE Sports Union and the Centre for Sports and Exercise - this is an obvious starting point for those studying here and hoping to take on these roles. The University's sporting institutions play a big role in local Sports Development and will also likely be connected to organisationsthat you may be interested in.

See Internal Opportunities

Oriam - a sports development facility in Edinburgh.

Scottish Student Sport - the co-ordinating body for all student Sport across Scotland. 

Scottish Student Sport

Sports Governing Bodies

Sports Governing Bodies are often a good source of Sports Development positions. Here are a couple of examples, although there are many of these bodies based in Edinburgh:

Jobs at Basketball Scotland

Vacancies at Scottish Gymnastics

The sportscotland headquarters is based out at Caledonia House, along with multiple other governing bodies focussing around specific sports like athletics and Canoeing. Margaret Winter has over 40 years of experience as part of a National Governing Body. Here are her insights into the challenges of the role:


If you're looking to work in these organisations, you will need to be prepared to reach outside of sports that you may be interested in. You will also need a degree of working flexibility, as recreational sport rarely sticks to a typical working schedule.

Other Groups 

A key element of Sports Development is groups that focus in engaging their local community through sports. Organisations like Kings Camps and Active Schools both have roles that focus on this area of sport, although they are limited.

Local councils will also typically employ people dedicated to promoting specific sports within the community. These positions, again, are limited.

Active Schools do provide opportunities for students to shadow their sports development officers or members of your local council, if you're looking for specific experience.