Job title Communications officer
Employer British Swimming
Make a splash and land your dream job in sport
If you love a certain sport and you have an outgoing personality, you might consider going into PR and communications. Being actively involved in the sport you’ve grown to love is a dream to many, especially when you’re responsible for the top athletes as they finish their event.
Gemma Field, Senior Communications Officer – British Swimming, does exactly that…
“I got the position by accident.”
“I’m responsible for the day-to-day promotion and media management for diving, synchronised swimming and Para-Swimming,” explains Gemma, who despite admitting she fell into the role by accident, also says she absolutely loves what she does.
“My job involves anything from managing press conferences to giving media training.
“I got the position by accident. I always wanted to work in politics but it was an ex-boyfriend that suggested I give PR a go. After a few weeks of work experience with British Judo I had fallen in love. Eight months later I moved to British Swimming and have remained here for seven years. I really wouldn’t change anything.”
Work experience played a vital role in Gemma securing her job, if you’re interested in gaining experience in a workplace then check out our jobs section to see what is available at the moment.
“I am often the first person an athlete sees when they finish.”
Presumably London 2012 was the highlight of your career so far, what makes those competitions so special?
“Being a press officer for TeamGB and ParalympicsGB in London is something I will always remember,” she explains. “I learned so much throughout that summer. There were so many achievements and amazing performances. I am really proud to have been part of the teams.
“I love the buzz of being at a competition. In my role I am often the first person an athlete sees when they finish. In that moment you need to work out how to get them through the mixed zone successfully.
“Working in busy mixed zones when everyone has time scales to work to can be tough. Journalists have deadlines to meet and athletes need to get to their warm down, but you have to make sure that all parties are happy and get what they need.”
“Show you have the desire to go that extra mile.”
What would you recommend to those looking to break into the industry?
“I would say you need to be flexible with your time, be good at multi-tasking and also good with people. I would also recommend you getting involved with sport as much as you can, as early as you can. I did work experience with a sport and learnt a lot about PR. I was lucky because when I did my work experience the Head of Comms was really well known within Olympic sports and that helped with my future positions. So, volunteer, get work experience and show you have the desire to go that extra mile. It will really pay off.”
Gemma has shown that saying ‘yes’ to opportunities and trying new things can really lead to the best experiences, without accidentally getting the job as Communications Officer then she wouldn’t have met the likes of Usain Bolt and Mo Farah at London 2012. If the job role of Communications Officer then check out our Communication Manager profile for more relevant information. If a Communications Officer doesn’t appeal but you still want to work in sports, check out our other job profiles here.