Professional Sportsperson Kaiwhakataetae Ngaio

Professional sportspeople take part in competitive national and international sports such as rugby, football, cricket, netball, golf, tennis and horse racing.

Professional sportspeople must register with their sport's national organisation to represent their country internationally.

Professional sportspeople may do some or all of the following:

  • follow a training programme to develop fitness and strength
  • practise the skills, drills and teamwork of their sport
  • decide on competitive plans and strategies with coaches
  • compete in national or international events
  • consult with health professionals
  • maintain their equipment
  • work with sponsors
  • public speaking.

Jockey

To become a licenced jockey you must complete the National Certificate in Equine (Level 4).

Harness Driver

To become a harness driver you need to work as a trainee for up to four years. This training leads to the National Certificate in Equine - Harness Racing (Level 4).

Physical Requirements

Professional sportspeople need to have excellent fitness and health.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for professional sportspeople includes:

  • participation in junior, school or amateur sports events
  • any outdoor recreation work or experience dealing with the public
  • any other experience in their chosen sport or field.

Personal Qualities

Professional sportspeople need to be:

  • competitive and motivated
  • observant and alert
  • disciplined and willing to work hard
  • able to remain calm and perform well under pressure
  • good at communicating with others
  • able to accept feedback and criticism
  • able to work well in a team.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for professional sportspeople includes:

  • participation in junior, school or amateur sports events
  • any outdoor recreation work or experience dealing with the public
  • any other experience in their chosen sport or field.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a professional sportsperson. However, physical education, biology, science and English to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.

Professional Sportspersons can earn around per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Professional Sportsperson are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Professional sportspeople follow a variety of paths when they retire from professional sport. Many go on to unrelated work, though others stay in the sports and recreation industry working as coaches, sports managers, administrators or commentators.

Professional sportspeople usually specialise in a particular sport such as netball, rugby, rugby league, tennis or cricket. Other specialisations include:

Footballer
Footballers play as part of a team in football competitions or tournaments.

Golfer
Golfers compete for money and prizes in golf tournaments. They may also act as a resident professional in golf schools and clubs.

Harness Driver
Harness drivers drive a horse from a sulky (a light cart), which is towed behind the horse in harness races.

Jockey
Jockeys ride racehorses at race meetings, trial meetings, jump outs and for track work.

Professional Sportsperson

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