Australian Sports Professionals Association launches "Young Professionals In Lockdown" networking group

Published Mon 11 Oct 2021

The Australian Sports Professionals Association (ASPA) has launched a "Young Professionals In Lockdown" networking group, to help give young professionals a sense of community and an opportunity for professional growth during this highly uncertain time.

Understanding the toll that months of lockdown can take on the mental health of young sports professionals, ASPA appreciates that additional support is needed for those just starting out in their career in sport.

“Ordinarily, this time of year would be filled with awards nights, industry networking events and 'end of season' dinners,” commented Ryan Agar, General Manager of Membership & Engagement. “With everything being digital, or cancelled for another year, we are seeing a growing need to offer support to those young professionals in the sporting industry who need encouragement and reinforcement that things will get better, and that prospects will recover.”

“Given the current state of things, these individuals have been largely unable to take part in face-to-face networking and community-building opportunities, which are crucial for establishing themselves professionally within the industry” continued Agar.

To combat this, ASPA has launched a regular forum that brings together young sporting professionals under 40 across Australia. The first round of events were a standout success around the country, and further events are planned for the remainder of 2021 and beyond.

The next session is being held at the end of October, and focuses on career development and the idea of joining a board. Titled "Joining your first board: tips & tricks to kickstart future board positions", the event will feature two guest speakers with extensive experience in both reporting to and sitting on boards across various industry bodies within sport.

“This is just the start of what we will be doing as we move into 2022,” said Agar. “As of this month, we have jumped to over 1,000 members now, and we anticipate an even bigger flurry of activity as more people learn about the benefits of the programs and resources we offer for people working in sport. We understand the importance of continuing to grow and reinvent ourselves as an organisation, as we continue to respond to an ever-changing industry."

The Australian Sports Professionals Association (ASPA) is an industry association for individuals who work, volunteer or study in sport in Australia—all the way from club volunteers and paid administrators of small state/territory sports to CEOs and Board members of large national sports. It has been set up by the industry, for the industry. With over 1,000 members, ASPA is in the perfect position to help support those working in sport.