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Tamara gets her foot in the door for a career in footy

Rugby league fans keen to make their favourite sport their day job now have a pathway, thanks to the Brisbane Broncos Sport Business Institute.

Powered by TAFE Queensland, the unique program provides students access to elite high-performance facilities and key industry experts in sports and entertainment.

When footy-loving student Tamara Wood was looking for a way to get her foot in the door of the professional sports industry, she jumped at the chance to apply for a spot in the first intake.

"I've always loved sport and already have a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science and a graduate certificate in rehab. But the opportunity to study with a major sporting team like the Brisbane Broncos captured my interest," explained Tamara.

Transitioning from sports science to administration gave Tamara insights into the professional sporting world, opening her eyes to areas she knew nothing about.

"As I've always wanted to work in sports, this is a great opportunity to learn new things to understand how a professional sports organisation works. It's such a big club, and TAFE's alignment with the Broncos is helping me get to where I want to be."

Studying both the Diploma of Sport and Diploma of Leadership and Management (SIS50321 / BSB50420), Tamara enjoys the course delivery, which sees her receive hands-on and immersive training at the Broncos world-class headquarters

Teachers from the industry teach the diplomas in a sporting context, with the support of Brisbane Broncos staff and players providing invaluable professional insights and experience.

"We're at  Red Hill two days a week, and Broncos employees give us masterclasses in the  business side of the club, learning about their roles and how they got to the Broncos.”

“We’ve also received a masterclass in game development from Paul Dyer (Head of Game Development & NRLW) on passing the ball correctly and how he implements a game development session at a school,” she explained.

The course is already opening doors for Tamara, helping out with the Broncos Academy players with strength and conditioning.

"I'm enjoying the Broncos' support to complete the course. By being on the inside and knowing who to ask, I’m getting opportunities that wouldn't have happened without this course."

Tamara also assists the membership team on game days, which also assists her in completing the 100 hours of work-integrated learning in sports administration.

"I’ve been getting involved on game days, where we meet fans and hand out posters, assist with corporate guests, look after hundreds of junior footy players during a sponsorship activation and signing kids up to the Buck to Broncos program.”

“Seeing how much goes on behind the scenes makes you go, 'wow' because you don't realise what’s involved until you're in the team behind the team, and it's pretty cool," said Tamara.

Rounding out Tamara's learning are her TAFE Queensland teachers and classmates, who support and encourage each other to succeed.

"Our teacher, Expo Mejia, is knowledgeable and brings many industry connections to the classroom. He's also connected students to his industry contacts from across the sports industry for jobs and placements."

"Our class is so practical; we participate in role-play scenarios and gain access to guest speakers from the Broncos, which all helps in the learning, so it’s an amazing environment," she said.

Looking forward, Tamara is excited and confident that her qualifications and insights of an elite sports club will help her continue working or studying in the sports industry.

"I'm more confident about a career in sport than I was before, thanks to the industry experience I've received as part of this course," she explained.

"University was good, but I've always wanted to work with athletes, and experiencing the inner workings of a high-performance club has set that in stone for me."

"This course is a good way for anyone wanting a career in professional sport. It's only one year, and you get exposed to so much so quickly, as opposed to three to five years at a university.”

"By doing this course, you'll meet people working in the roles you want to, and they can advise you on what does and doesn't work to get there.”

“Anyone interested in a career in sport should talk to TAFE Queensland about the Brisbane Broncos Sport Business Institute," concluded Tamara.