I’m interested in sports-related careers. I ride, play golf and surf. I am not sure if I can combine all but would like to explore options in these areas.

No longer considered unconventional, sports education is today a fairly popular programme. That said being interested in sports does necessarily mean you can translate your interest into a profession. And even if you could you must be cognisant of the limited life span a professional sportsman enjoys. So it is important to merge your passion with a degree in business.

Of the three sports you mentioned, golf seems to be the sport with maximum mass appeal and you could think of a degree which is accredited by the PGA. The focus of the course will be to equip yourself with business skills and improve your game. Potential careers would include golf course developer/design consultant, tournament director, golf journalist, teaching professional or golf equipment specialist.

Studying sport management involves learning about the sport itself and the psychological principles behind it. An interdisciplinary field, sports management encompasses elements of economics, accounting, marketing, psychology, law, and communications. You will understand the linkage and interdependence between business, sport and entertainment. Other topics will include event planning, sponsorships, deal-making and negotiations; legal issues and regulations; kinesiology, nutrition science, motor skills development and finance in the entertainment industry.

Sports managers must be excellent communicators and it is advisable to strengthen your reading, writing and speaking skills whilst at school. In addition to playing the game, try and engage with the sports team in other roles, which will provide valuable insights to managing the game and team. By its very nature people in sports management tend to be leaders and need to possess certain skills some of which can be cultivated and learnt but some are innate. Teamwork is critical at every level of the game as it is the role of the sports manager to help individuals play as a team. Organisational skills, decision making and a strong value systems would be some other attributes required in the industry.

Your wish list of colleges could include University of North Carolina, University of Florida, Temple, Michigan, Connecticut, New York University, University of Texas, Penn State, Southern New Hampshire Bath, Edinburgh, Lougborough and Exeter. Attributes you need to look at when selecting a college would include access to local sports teams, availability of internships and networking opportunities, student-teacher ratio and, obviously, the cost.

Also read: How do I find sports scholarships for my children?

After a few years of work experience it may be worth exploring an MBA in this field. The University of Loughborough offers an International Sports Management MBA that is well-recognised around the world. Here, you will be studying a module in sports technology and innovation, which is quite unique.

Sanjeev Verma is an international education counsellor. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.