How a not-a-big-city person is making a real difference in regional sport

by frank-stuart
15MAR

To pursue a sports career, in business or as a player, people assume you’ve got to head to the big smoke. As Glenn Ottaway has discovered, there are plenty of opportunities to make a real difference as a leader in regional sport.

“I’m not a big city person,” Glenn said. “What I find satisfying and also humbling is how welcoming and appreciative people in regional and remote areas can be when you help them to succeed in sport.”

As the Queensland Rugby League Central Division Manager, Glenn understands that grassroots sport is largely run on the passion and goodwill of volunteers creating opportunities and pathways for regional and remote youth.

“As professional sports administrators, we can offer a level of expertise and support that makes life easier for community leaders and volunteers,” he said.

As part of his role, Glenn speaks to many people at events, conferences and meetings about sports administration.

“The opportunity to hang around the sport for a living and to help people manage it is very satisfying.

“Sometimes I think we underestimate the difference we can make. But, if people are happy to be on the ground, playing the game, then we’re doing something right,” Glenn said.

“Participation in sport is becoming harder for people in regional areas. Thankfully rugby league is heavily invested in giving them the same opportunities to participate in the game.

“Everyone starts somewhere. Great athletes come from all over our country and working in sport, you might inspire or unearth the next sports superstar anywhere.”

Glenn Ottaway

Glenn studied a Graduate Diploma of Sports Administration at ACPE after he had been working in the industry for a few years.

“I started as a PE teacher and moved into administration. Once I decided that was my career path, I wanted a qualification that backed up my experience.

“Mid-way through my ACPE studies I changed jobs. I used some of my new knowledge and skills during the interview process,” he said. “ACPE definitely helped me progress my career.”

“I did the Graduate Diploma online and within my own time. I couldn’t have done it any other way. I was working full-time and I’ve got three kids so I tackled one subject per semester. ACPE was great. They encouraged me to keep going and they took into account my experience.”

Glenn tailored his study tasks and assignments to real work situations.

“While I was at ACPE, I developed an event management plan that we now use for an annual QRL event,” he said.

“That’s just one small example of how incredibly useful it is.”

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