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Teigan changes the game with TAFE Queensland

After working in retail management and operations for over a decade, Teigan Cox heard a radio advertisement that changed her career trajectory for the better. 

“I found the retail industry very draining and wanted something different. Wanting something completely different and wanting to get into the sports industry, I was attracted to this program,” Teigan explained.

Attending the Gold Coast College of Sport and Business information night, Teigan met the teachers, learned about the practical training, and saw the fantastic facilities at People First Stadium and the Gold Coast Sport and Leisure Centre that would be her classroom.

“I'm not someone who can sit there and study, and the way the teachers described the hands-on training and the industry connections appealed to me. Embedding with a professional sports club was the icing on the cake.”

Further inspiring Teigan to enrol with the Gold Coast College of Sport and Business was the opportunity to build industry connections.”

“Our classes are in the same building as the Gold Coat SUNS professional players and administrators, and being around them feels like we’re a part of the team.

“We've had training sessions in the Chairman's Lounge and the home changing room, which gives us a deeper understanding and connection to the inner workings club.”

“I came here for the industry connections, the practicality of the course and the access to the people behind the Gold Coast SUNS. Being here is exciting because you can feel the buzz and the culture, making you want to be a part of something here.”

“It's nice to walk into this amazing facility and be amongst people working toward the same goal. The whole organisation goes above and beyond to give us the best.”

Studying the Diploma of Sport/Diploma of Leadership and Management (SIS50321/BSB50420) as part of TAFE Queensland's Academy of Sport program, Teigan’s learning is enhanced thanks to the involvement with sports industry experts, staff, players, and coaches from the Gold Coast SUNS.

Teigan is changing careers using Fee-Free TAFE funding, which is part of the Queensland Government's Good People. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022–2032.

It aims to connect, educate, and attract the people needed to meet the state's workforce demand in existing and new industry sectors and support continued economic growth.

With approximately 37,000 Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education and training places available in 2024, the program will support Queenslanders to skill up to meet the state's current and future workforce needs by enabling them to complete selected qualifications at no or low cost.

“Having guest speakers who work at the Gold Coast SUNS is an extra for us because we wouldn't get that with any other course. They share their sports industry experiences, and it’s reassuring to know I’m on the same trajectory,” she explained.

Spread across two days per week, Teigan enjoys participating in classroom-based theory and assessments, role plays, and team-building activities, as it takes her away from sitting at a computer all day.

On practical days, Teigan and her class spend the whole day just playing sports, coaching, being up and about, and learning practically.

“While I thought I'd be more interested in the sports side, I love the leadership management classes. Learning about emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and leading teams has given me a new perspective on management, which is interesting.”

Teigan is also learning about psychology, health and well-being in a sporting context and credits her teachers for giving her the knowledge and skills she needs to change careers.

“Being in retail management for 12 years, you get tunnel vision, but I’m learning different management styles and how to deal with different situations. It's made me more self-aware, and if I get into another management role, I will have more skills to manage situations better.”

“Bianca and Martin are amazing - they're there for their students. I never feel uncomfortable asking them questions; they go above and beyond for us and are supportive. They’re also keen to find out what sport interests us and are happy to support us in getting our foot in the door.”

Her classmates from different backgrounds also help Teigan, and they all help further enhance her learning.

“I'm a little older than my classmates, so there’s the age gap, but there's great camaraderie, everyone's inviting, and we all get along well, and I've built some great friendships.

With a career dream of working with female footballers, Teigan wants to work at a grassroots, state or national level of the women's game with an eye on helping players or the team in the lead-up to the 2032 Olympics.

“I want to get more girls involved in football, and this is the best way to do that. The culture they build in sports in the sports industry is just second to none.”

“Coming from a different background and not studying in 14 years, full-time study is hard. But this course is only 12 months, and at the end of it, I'll be in a better position,” concluded Teigan.