Making a living from skating? It is possible!
At a time where the job market is down, many people think about making a career change. Many of us also wonder about their future. Wouldn't it be the right time to start your own business or change direction? Freelance statuses open new horizons to the hesitant ones. This article is meant to bring a little optimism to those who are looking for themselves and to show them that it is possible to successfully make a living from your passion. Let's start by browsing our job options...
Instructor / Organizer / Skating trainer
In a logic of professionalization, it is the first job that comes to mind when you look to the future.
With 800 member clubs at the French Federation of Roller Sports, there is a real job market available once you have passed the certificates enabling you to get paid. There are also many opportunities in private companies such as -for France- Club Med, UCPA, Pierre et Vacances, etc.
With a C.Q.P. (Certificate of Professional Qualification) you can initiate people to skating, part time, in return for remuneration (360 hours/year). It is about 2 months of full-time work, even double if you also take into consideration the time of class preparation.
With a BPJEPS or a DEJEPS, you can teach full time or train.
Our tip: If the company you work for is not big enough, try to offer your services to other associations too. One solution would be to get hired by a league or a committee that would open the door to local clubs to you. Pooling means and resources seems to be a good option.
- Available and geographically mobile
- CQP, BEES, BPJEPS or STAPS Licence
- Experience in teaching
- Foreign language may sometimes be useful
Technical managers help with the development of skating at a departmental, regional or national level. They are paid by a league, a committee or by the national federation. They can be made available to the member clubs of the committee or of the league for missions of technical management, for coaching... They can assist coaches in various disciplines and implement promoting actions, help with the organization of events.
Most of the time, technical managers have a BEES Skating, a DE in Skating or a BPJEPS certification.
Sports teacher - Sports technical advisor
In France, sports teachers are civil servants (cat.A) of the Ministry of Health and Sports, practicing their missions in the field of physical and sports activities, either for decentralized services of the ministry or its institutions, or for sports federations and associations.
They are made available to federations by the ministry. They do missions of development and high level supervision. They report to the National Technical Direction.
Organizing events may be a good alternative it you want to remain in contact with your passion. It is not necessarily about organizing an event of the scale of the 24 Hours of Le Mans right away. You may also organize exhibitions at city halls, intervene with works councils...
You are also free to create a new service like the organization of a city-to-city tour or a roller derby tournament! Your imagination is the only limit. You'll have to show excellent interpersonal skills and have a good network.
This job is not very well spread yet but it may open new perspectives! Skating is a good way to discover cities and countrysides in a different light. If you have a tourism background, here is an original service to offer to your clients: A tour of Paris by skate, crossing of the Loire River valley on several days, even visiting foreign countries... Here again let your imagination run free!
In the early 2000's, several companies were created to offer letter and package delivery by skate. The sector is pretty competitive with all the big delivery groups but may be attractive on a local scale. The volume of porterage is quite limited on skates but you can easily make your way through dense and saturated urban areas.
Many companies want to promote themselves with originality. Agencies turn to skaters for such missions. The job is not always exciting but it enables to be booked on one-off missions, and remain in contact with people. It can be an additional income for students.
Sales assistant / consultant
In France, there are about 50 specialized skate shops, and several hundreds of sports megastores with skate sections (Decathlon, Go Sport...). It is a possible employment area if you like customer relationship and want to share your passion of equipment.
Opening your own shop
In the continuation of the previous job, why not opening your own shop? Warning: Do not delude yourself! Opening a shop dedicated 100% to skating is almost impossible today. The market has downsized too much and the volumes of sales are not enough anymore. The best option is to open to a wider range of urban practices: skate, skateboard, bmx, scooter, etc. This adventure requires a big financial investment to start with, and thus the support of a bank! Moreover, competition is tough, you should have serious assets to make your case.
Here is a job that could easily reconcile with studies! Megastores are always in need of a skater to go and find a missing price on the shelves, or to check a reference. If you have a good level in quad skating, this might be the opportunity to work and skate at the same time. Warning: It is not about playing speed skating world champion in the aisles, but about smoothly evolving in the midst of the crowd without hurting anybody!
A few tips
Don't put all your eggs in the same basket
If you're not hired full time by a structure, in order to make your job/company durable, you must have more than one string to your bow. It is vital that you can switch from one activity to another, or from one association to another so that you avoid going through a potential bad patch.
Define a project
You cannot just set off on an adventure on an impulse, you have to have defined and prepared a project beforehand. Having an idea is a great thing, but you have to make sure it is viable, economically speaking. Start with putting down your ideas on paper, then do a market research, contact the members of your network to assess the relevance of your idea and the customer potential. You also have to ponder the choice of your status because it is complicated to change afterwards!
Develop your network
Networking is the key!
Your best promotion will be through word of mouth from customers satisfied with your services, whether with city halls, clubs or companies. This is why it is capital to alway keep good relationships with them. Don't forget to always have a few business cards with you, they will be passed from hand to hand.
Internet website, social networks, letters, flyers, sports shows and fairs, go and meet your potential clients in person... Give a professional and responsible image of your activity to your customers through these means.
Don't pace yourself
Becoming an entrepreneur is never easy, you have to give a lot of yourself to sometimes get only little in return. However, all the ones who took their chance emerged greater and stronger, with more experience and a better comprehension of the business world.
Useful linksBy Alfathor
Translation: Chloe Seyres
Photos: REL, all rights reserved