Want to work in… Sporting Events?

Work in Sporting Events

We’ve made an interesting observation over the last few years… people that work in, or want to work in sporting events are among the most passionate, the most crazy and the most energetic event people out there. Some fall into the field because of circumstance, others will not take anything less or anything other than a role in that particular area, in some cases (keep reading) ANY position, as long as it’s in the sporting event arena.

And with all the recent hype around the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, it’s particularly valid to ask the question, ‘Do you want to work in sporting events?’ You may be a little more qualified to answer that once you’ve read the following piece as we will try to give you a well rounded picture of:

  1. Reasons why people want to work in sporting events
  2. How they’ve made it to where they are
  3. What it is about sporting events that have people going to all lengths to be part of them

To illustrate our point, we’re going to delve into the working lives of a few CoEM graduates who for one reason or another are now working in sporting events. Here goes…


Candice Lancaster

Candice Lancaster

Even though Candice came from quite a corporate background working as an office manager and event coordinator, it was football (soccer) that played one of the major roles in her life.

She embraced the Industry Engagement program with the greatest of gusto and volunteered at too many events to speak of. She believed that putting in the hard yards with her volunteering hours was the way to get where she wanted to go. Through various contacts, Candice scored a volunteer role at an A-League Club and found it inspiring to see what actually happens behind the scenes, first hand.

Fast forward two years and Candice posts this on social media to our CoEM Alumni. “Hey all. 2 years after completing my course, I took another step in the right direction. Just after midday today I got a season contract for Match Operations for Melbourne Victory’s academy squad. From next week, I’ll be running their matches, as a contractor now and not a volunteer. 2 years of weekends; rain, hail, cold, blistering heat and sun, all to get me right to this moment. Keep pushing to live the dream. ⚽️ ”

Talk about a passion for sporting events, Candice is an absolute inspiration to anyone wanting to work in sporting events. She will no doubt keep fulfilling dream after sporting dream.

PS: Candice also runs her own event agency in Melbourne, Candice Ashley Event Management. Go Candice!


Roshni Hardowar

Roshni Hardowar

Roshni was never one to muck around when it came to event management. She started an internship while still studying and not long after scored a contract role as a Project Coordinator with brand experience agency Aesthetic. She has experienced many different roles since but her latest and greatest event to date must surely be to work on this year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (GC2018). She currently has the interesting title of ‘Spectator Services Supervisor’ and her job description couldn’t be more perfectly apt for someone so enthusiastic about events; ‘leading and motivating 100+ team leaders and volunteer staff as the ‘face of the games’.

Roshni posted this a couple of weeks ago when the opening of the Games was just a couple of weeks away, the excitement is immediately obvious, “Cannot believe we are T minus 14 days until going live!! It seemed like forever away. Seriously the most prestigious and elaborate event I’ve ever worked on. It’s a privilege to be part of the delivery of this multi-sport event onto the international stage. With construction complete we get to officially move onto the grounds next week and I’ll be able to potentially meet some of the team leaders and vols I’ll be managing this weekend. It’s all just dawned on me, games time is around the corner!”

When GC2018 is done we’re sure that the infectious nature of large sporting events will continue to be in Roshni’s sights. We’re all looking forward to see where she goes next.

Benjamin Hill

Ben Hill

Having been in the one job for seven years, Ben was stuck in a bit of a career rut when he came to CoEM. Once he realised that he could combine his organisational skills with his main passions of music and surfing, there was no stopping this guy from achieving his very clear career goals.

Ben loved the practical components of the course. Being a sociable guy, he had no trouble connecting with loads of the right kind of people and before he knew it, he had landed himself an internship with Surfing NSW, a great thing for someone with a love of the ocean and a love of event management. “The role with Surfing NSW actually came through the college. I told [them] what I was passionate about and they put the feelers out and got me an interview with the team at Surfing NSW. I really enjoyed travelling up and down the coast, doing events, meeting all the competitors and just getting really into the events side of things.”

Ben has since been asked to join the Surfing NSW group in a full time capacity and has energetically jumped into the role of Events and Site Administrator.

Surfing NSW, in conjunction with its 9 Regional Associations, is responsible for managing events across the state from grassroots level events through to international professional events such as the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series, WSL World Junior Championships, Port Stephens NSW Toyota Pro and the Vissla Sydney Pro. Needless to say, the Surfing NSW team are a busy bunch and only getting busier with new events being added to the calendar all the time.

In his current role, Ben is able to satisfy his passion for events, and the great outdoors but he has long term goals too.

“I want to go overseas to work on large music festivals. I want to keep meeting people in the industry, people who can help me to experience different types of events. It’s great that the college has taught me everything I need to know to go out and make a successful career in the industry.”


Melanie James

Melanie James

Melanie was another passionate CoEM student who went above and beyond during her time with us, particularly when it came to putting in the volunteering hours. She very quickly rose up the ranks to become a team leader then an integral part of the planning team for such events as Royal Melbourne Show, Australian Open and the All Energy Conference.

But in the background was a desire to land a paid role in sporting events. Early on in her career Melanie had developed a passion health, fitness and sport and when she coupled that with a love of event management, it made sense to pursue a career in sporting events. Melanie tells us why, “I love the atmosphere of a sporting event. The energy of the crowd, the anticipation of the game and way people come together with one common interest of loving sport makes the roar of 30,0000 people cheering on the game such an incredible thing to experience.”

That opportunity presented itself in about a year ago when the role of Stadium Event Administrator at Melbourne and Olympic Parks came up (which of course she landed). It is now her responsibility to provide administrative assistance to the AAMI Park General Manager and AAMI Park Events team, along with assisting in the preparation and delivery of all sporting events at AAMI Park.

So, has Melanie achieved her final goal? We think not. “Right now my goal is to gain as much experience not only at AAMI Park but at all the Arena’s within Melbourne and Olympic Parks. To become an Event Manager at AAMI Park is my short term goal and long term it would be incredible to work overseas at even larger sporting venues.”

There’s definitely more to come from this talented and passionate event manager. Keep your eyes peeled for more.

“I love the atmosphere of a sporting event. The energy of the crowd, the anticipation of the game and way people come together with one common interest of loving sport makes the roar of 30,0000 people cheering on the game such an incredible thing to experience.”


Holly Burchell

Holly Burchell

As she kept being called away to work on surfing events, both in and out of Australia, Holly took a little while longer than most to complete her Diploma. It all started when a close connection introduced her to the world of surfing. Initially, Holly started volunteering on Billabong surf events. They were so impressed with her natural ability and enthusiasm that she was asked to travel overseas for the US leg of the surfing calendar. This took her away to exotic destination for months at a time but gave her invaluable experience in the field and something nice and meaty to add to her CV.

Back in OZ, she continued with her studies and made it to the finishing line but in the background, she continued to work on surfing events all over Australia. We ran in to her recently at the inaugural Vissla Sydney Surf Pro 2018 comp held in Manly. She was busily part of the Surf NSW team, a group hard working event pros who help to promote surfing in Australia one great event at at time.

Holly is definitely living the sporting events dream while satisfying her passion for events, travel, people and working in a varied role.

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