Disability Sports Development Officer

Emma Gibson

Emma Gibson

BA Joint Hons, Leisure with
Business Management & IT

English Federation of Disability Sport

  • Typical Day
  • Advantages
  • Qualifications
  • Resources

A day in the life of a...
Disability Sports Development Officer

Job Description
A disability sports development officer aim is to increase and develop the range of Sport and Physical Activity opportunities for disabled people.

They work with National Governing Bodies of Sport to increase opportunities for disabled people and develop player pathways and competitive opportunities. 

A day in a life of a Disability Sports Development Officer
Most of my meetings are national so if I am at a meeting it is always a full day with and often requires an overnight stay. Meetings can be with colleagues in the English Federation of Disability Sport, Sport England, a national governing body of sport or with a County Sport Partnership and are usually about what they are doing to support the inclusion of disabled people in clubs in their area. 

When I’m in the office, I speak to key National Governing Body (NGB) contacts and club officers to see how I can support them. Disability sport clubs don’t get the same level of support that NGB affiliated clubs get and they vary a great deal in the type of sport / activity they offer so the queries are all very different. I also work with NGBs and other sport providers to encourage them to address inclusion at all levels of their sport, not just in their clubs.

3 great things about being a Disability Sports Development Officer


1. Feeling that you are making a difference, if that club markets itself better to disabled people then more will join and enjoy sport
2. Working with a variety of people from government advisers to volunteers in a club
3. Sharing your enthusiasm for sport with like minded people


3 not so great things about being a Disability Sport Development Officer
1. Sometimes things don’t get achieved or change as quickly as you would like, particularly if its amendments to a policy or something similar
2. You can come across some really old fashioned views about disability from people who should know better. It is difficult to encourage them gently when you are frustrated by their views because often they don’t want to listen!
3. The hours can be unsociable, (evenings and weekends) particularly when you are working with volunteers


Qualifications recommended you gain


Gain good qualifications in your A levels and study a degree in a sport related area
Salary range?
A national job in sports development will pay anything from £25,000 - £45,000. However, it is likely you would start in a local authority or county position which starts on £15,000.


3 opportunities and experiences you recommend people gain?
1. Voluntary experience helps build up your CV, look for all roles in sport such as welfare officer or fixtures secretary
2. Contact and confidence in working with disabled people. There are lots of opportunities available so gain as much experience as possible. One of the best things I did was gain a team attaché role with The Special Olympics of 1994, it was an amazing and worthwhile experience
3. Gain coaching qualifications and experience coaching sport. As well as being great for the CV it also gives you communication and organisational skills you can take anywhere



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