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Sporting Gap Year in Australia

Are you good at sports? Do you fancy getting better? Aussies are renowned for being sports-mad and for their action-packed approach to life. Every imaginable activity is on offer – from extreme sports like bungee-jumping and sky-diving to more traditional pursuits such as cricket. Many travellers will include these sports on their already jam-packed itineraries, but these activities can now form the basis of your ultimate year out!

What Can I Do?

A number of companies offer the chance to live, train and play sport all over Australia, becoming fully-fledged members of their designated clubs for a full season and combining a passion for sport with exciting, independent travel opportunities. They offer placements playing all kinds of sports, including cricket, hockey, rugby, netball and football, in clubs all over the country. Participants are usually located in lively, vibrant cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, but most companies are continually expanding their selection of sports and adding exciting new locations for gappers to fall in love with. A fulfilling gap year is guaranteed as participants experience a side of Australia most travellers will never get to see.

What’s In It For Me?

Much of the focus is on playing rather than coaching sport, although there are often opportunities to get involved with junior sides that may also form part of your designated club, allowing you to give something back to the community that has supported you during your stay whilst boosting those invaluable interpersonal training skills.  A sporting placement can seriously boost your personal development - your CV will look highly attractive to any future potential employers, with a sports placement that demonstrates great commitment, team-work and leadership skills combined with a structured gap year that takes confidence, independence and self motivation, ensuring you get the advantage in any career path you choose to take. Developing your game, having loads of fun, making loads of new friends and experiencing all the best that Australia has to offer are just some of the things you can expect to love about a year away playing sport.

Why Should I Do It?

Well, first of all, if you’re good at sports, you want to get better at sports or you just love sport, this is a great way to spend part or all of your gap year. A sporting gap year is also valuable in a number of other ways:

Help Other People Through Sport!

If you’ve got a talent for a particular sport, then maybe you’ve also got a talent for teaching other people, and for helping them to improve their quality of life through sport. You can pass on some of your knowledge and passion for sport and use it as an opportunity to genuinely help people in other areas of their lives – helping them to build confidence, improve their English or just to stay healthy and happy. And if you really put the effort in, you’ll also come out of the experience with new skills and new self-confidence of your own.

Including sport in your gap year is a great way to have fun, do something you really enjoy, help other people and even improve your own skills. It can give you confidence and new qualifications that can change your life. Just ask yourself this – if you’re a good footballer, why spend your time doing a rubbish job when you could be earning money teaching other people to play better? Use your talents and get formal recognition for them so that you can ultimately make some money out of them – and help other people in the process. Whether you’re into rugby, football, or cricket, winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, or water sports like scuba diving, if you reckon you’ve got skills that you could share with other people, then use your gap year to get professional recognition for them. If you’re at a very basic level or a complete novice, many sporty gap years focus on playing rather than coaching.

Get A Qualification!

Every activity in your gap year should build your skills and experience in a practical way. Once you head to uni or to work you should be able to do more than you did when you left school – and earning a sporting qualification is a great addition to your CV. It is also something that is potentially life-changing, if it means that you can dedicate your career to teaching other people to play the sport you love, and get paid for it.

Once you’ve finished your training you’ll be a qualified coach or instructor, and can then look for work anywhere in the world! So what kind of qualifications are available? Well, that depends on what your level is and what you want to do with your qualifications once you’ve got them. Some courses are for people at a basic level, others require you to have a minimum level of ability. As with any kind of qualification, make sure you know whether the certificate is internationally recognised. There’s not much point in working hard for a diving certificate or a football coaching qualification if the piece of paper they give you at the end is worth nothing.