March 3, 2021, by Grace Dixon

Sport volunteer to future career: five transferrable skills

Last week University of Nottingham Sport were very fortunate to welcome back four sporting alumni to chat with current students about their time at University and how getting involved in sports leadership as a student shaped their future career paths. Ian Rowland (Head of Global Markets, Credit Agricole), Ben Cummings, (Director of Commercial and Major Events, British Triathlon), James Bramley (Commercial Manager, BUCS) and Lauren Heria (Masters student, Sport and Business Innovation) all joined our first Alumni Speed Networking virtual event of 2021 to share their experiences and answer questions from our current students.

UoN Sport’s Leadership Academy ambassador Grace Dixon joined the event and has reflected on the top 5 transferrable skills that you can take from leading in sport to your next step.


Getting a job can be difficult – you need skills and lots of experience to make yourself stand out. Some of these skills can be hard to come by. However, volunteering and taking part in sport provides a unique opportunity for you to develop these crucial skills.  73% of employers stated that a students’ involvement in sport could make a positive impact on a hiring decision. Here are my five transferrable skills that leadership in sport can give you to make yourself more employable.


This is a skill that encompasses a whole variety of components. To have great leadership skills, you should be able to take charge when appropriate, but also delegate when necessary. You must also be able to create a happy and fulfilling team environment so everyone can excel together. In sports, there are many leadership roles where you might have to take charge over several others. Grab that opportunity to develop yourself further so in the future you are confident you can take the lead in any situation!


In any sport or volunteering opportunity, you will be interacting with others and working towards a common goal. The ability to work well with others and demonstrate strong teamwork is invaluable. You can show commitment to meeting the team’s goals as well as confidence to operate within a group. Not only will you enjoy it now, but you’ll have great real-life examples to tell employers about!

Problem solving

When working with others, especially children there are lots of things that can go wrong. Being able to think on your feet and provide a creative solution to any problem is a unique skill. Examples of problems and solutions are a great thing to talk about in job interviews. It shows you don’t crack under pressure and are reliable in times of crisis to get the job done. Interviewers love it! So have a think about problems you have faced and then solved in preparation of any applications and interviews.


This is a skill many think is easy, however it is not! Hearing is one thing, but actually listening is completely different. Constant interaction with a range of people will allow you to develop how you listen. The aim is to show an eager engagement with the speaker. This helps create a great rapport and sense of trust, essential when in an interview. You are telling potential employers you are enthusiastic and interested in the discussion.


In all jobs, you will be required to interact with a diverse range of people. Sports volunteering can help you to practice differing your communication style depending on the audience. If you can convey this to an employer it will show you are adaptable around others. An effective communication style helps to minimise confusion and helps maintain a smooth running environment.

The job market is increasingly competitive, and you need to make sure that you are doing everything possible to place yourself ahead of the competition. Now is the time to be getting experience and developing these skills so come graduation, you can feel confident you have what it takes to succeed in the world of work.

Want to find out more?

Our Leadership Academy has a whole range of opportunities for students to get involved – you don’t need to be sporty or have any previous experience in leadership! Check out the Leadership Academy website or join the Facebook group to find out how you can develop your skills for the future and more!

Posted in AlumniLeadershipVolunteering