There are relatively few professional sportspersons. Most are amateurs, who may compete at the highest levels, but do not make money from their sport.
Only certain sports have professional participants. These include athletics, boxing, tennis, snooker, cycling, equestrian sports, golf and horse racing.
In addition to participating in their chosen sport, sportspersons spend a large amount of their time training in order to maintain both the skills they need for their particular sport, and their general fitness.
Hours are variable, but training occurs on most days, and could be very early in the morning or late in the evening. Competitions usually take place in the evening or at weekends.
The working environment varies depending on the sport. Training may take place outdoors in all weather conditions. Taking part in competitions may involve travel over long distances.
To be a professional sportsperson you should:
Opportunities depend on the number of competitions and the popularity of the sport with the public. Participation as an amateur at club, county, national or international level increases the chances of being recognised by a talent scout.
Most sportspersons are self-employed. Others have one-year contracts, and may change employers regularly.
In the more physical and contact sports, the average career is short. Many professionals finish their playing careers by the age of 35, and injuries can lead to an even earlier finish.
If you would like to know anything about Sportsman/ woman: Individual that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Tel: 0845 850 8508
The Sports Council for Northern Ireland
House of Sport
Upper Malone Road
Tel: 028 9038 1222
Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS)
City Sports Centre
off Northumberland Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 243 7356