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Sportspeople : Bringing job seekers and employers together.
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Elite Athlete Friendly Employers 

How it works

When placing a job advertisement at the Sportspeople Jobs Market, employers now have the option of selecting the “Elite Athlete Friendly” classification. When this is selected the following text will appear in the job advertisement:
This role is designated Elite Athlete Friendly meaning the employer is open to accepting expressions of interest from elite athletes who require flexible work arrangements for training and competition.

Elite athletes will be able to filter jobs at the Sportspeople Jobs Market by selecting the “Elite Athlete Friendly” classification in the search box. Registered Sportspeople Job Seekers can also request to be sent “Elite Athlete Friendly” jobs directly to their inbox in the weekly Job Alert e-mail.

This initiative will be promoted to elite athletes through the National Athlete Career and Education Program at the Australian Sports Commission.

What does it mean to be an elite athlete friendly employer?

Often athletes are keen to progress their professional careers whilst still competing in their sport at an elite level. Whilst some elite athletes are seeking to develop post sport career plans for when they leave elite sport, others may be looking for financial support whilst training; all of which may require some flexibility in a work environment.

An elite athlete friendly employer acknowledges the unique requirements placed on elite athletes and as such are able to provide flexible opportunities and understanding in the work environment to allow an athlete to combine both their sporting and career aspirations. The flexibility an athlete requires will vary from athlete to athlete and sport to sport. Some elite athletes train 2 hours a day and compete 4 weeks of the year, whilst others have more intense training and competition demands and may require more flexibility. The result might mean that an athlete may request flexible work hours or flexitime, or it may mean that they would require a couple of extra weeks leave per year. If your organisation has the ability to offer flexibility in upcoming positions then your organisation could be an elite athlete friendly employer.

As the needs of elite athletes differ, the employer and athlete need to work closely to cater for individual circumstances. The provision of flexible work arrangements will assist elite athletes maintain their training and competition commitments and allow athletes to work, train and compete in a balanced and supportive environment.

Who is an elite athlete?

Whilst organisations should always use their own discretion in identifying an athlete as ‘elite’, below are some guidelines that may assist in better understanding what is traditionally meant by ‘elite athlete’:

  • A scholarship holder at the Australian Institute of Sport or a state or territory Institute/Academies of Sport
  • Currently representing Australia or their state in their given sport
  • An athlete who is paid to compete in their sport full-time
  • A high level of training, competition and travel demand related to their sport e.g. over 15 hours per week

Why employ an elite athlete?

Organisations need high-performers to help them succeed. Elite athletes are highly motivated and determined individuals. The skills and qualities that have enabled them to achieve in sport also provides them with excellent transferable skills and qualities that could provide your organisation with a competitive edge. There are many benefits to employing an elite athlete that can have a positive effect on the work environment. Some of the skills athletes can bring to the work place are:

  • Dedication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Decision making
  • Ability to perform under pressure
  • Understanding excellence and high-performance
  • Goal oriented
  • Resilient
  • Ambitious

Furthermore, elite athletes can also have a positive impact on their colleagues through sharing stories and experiences, and providing inspiration.


The above descriptions have been provided as a guide by the Australian Sports Commission’s National Athlete Career and Education Program.

For more information on this initiative, please contact Sportspeople on FREECALL Australia 1800 634 388 or FREECALL New Zealand 0800 634 388 or

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