According to the Statistics Canada Labour Survey released in 2018, about 2,600 people work in the Information, Culture and Recreation industry on PEI. There are a number of career choices in the sport, recreation, and fitness industry on the Island, but opportunities can be limited.
The areas of work
- Professional athlete or coach
- Business: owner, manager, administrator, agent
- Health sciences: kinesiologist, physiotherapist, physiotherapy assistant, sports psychologist,
physical trainer, mental trainer
- Facility management: arena, pool, field, gymnasium
- Municipal, provincial and federal government positions
- Non-profit: Sport PEI, Provincial Sport Organizations, Recreation PEI
- Education: UPEI or Holland College
Sport PEI at a glance
Since 1973, this non-profit organization has had the mandate to provide programs and services to its 50 member organizations. “We belong to the Canadian Council for Provincial and Territorial Sport Federations. We are government funded, with financial support from the community and from corporations,” says Gemma Koughan, Executive Director, Sport PEI.
The training of coaches is one of their main mandates. The organization delivers about six multi-sport modules of the National Coach Certification Program (NCCP).
“There are courses on planning practices, making ethical decisions, and teaching and learning effectively.”
KidsSport is Sport PEI’s largest charitable program. “It raises significant dollars to help families with financial barriers put their children in sports. Funds go towards registration fees and equipment.”
The Sport PEI Awards celebrate its 45th anniversary in 2019. “We take great pride in recognizing the accomplishments of our athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, and volunteers. For a small province, we punch above our weight in terms of success.”
Career pathways to working in sports & recreation
“To take on a career in sports & recreation, you need to have passion for it,” Gemma says. “I recommend business education if you want to go into the business side of sport. Some universities combine sport and business together in one program.
“In the non-profit world, you have to know about finance, governance, volunteer coordinating, program delivery, workshop facilitation, and event management. You have to be flexible to work with what you have, because budgets and volunteers can change often.
“There is now a lot of discussion around the hosting of the 2023 Canada Winter Games and the creation of the jobs whether they be with the Host Society or around the construction of new facilities.”
“Volunteers come from various backgrounds, and they do it for the love of the game.”
She says many transferable skills can be gained through experience in sports. “Whether you are an athlete, coach or volunteer, you can use the skills you learn, such as communication, team work, and leadership, in any school or work environment.”
For more information about Sport PEI, contact Gemma Koughan at 902-368-4110. Visit www.sportpei.pe.ca or follow Sport PEI on Twitter and Facebook.