For sport to continue to thrive at all levels, all the way from the grassroots community sport, through to the elite and professional athletes, sport needs a dedicated collective of people who work tirelessly in the background. The WA Sports Industry is privileged to have a strong network of Women, leading the way in WA Sport Administration.
Robyn Kuhl – CEO, Volleyball WA
The only way to succeed in sport is to give it your all and never give up – passion is the fuel that will get you there!
Passion is a powerful motivator for any sports person, it drives us to push ourselves to our limits and strive for success. It gives us the determination to keep going even when the going gets tough and the confidence to take risks and try new things. Passion helps us to stay focused, positive and motivated every-day we go to work, even when faced with adversity. Finding something you’re passionate about in sports whether playing, coaching, officiating, managing or administrating gives you a fantastic reason to wake up every-day!
Robyn has been the CEO of Volleyball WA since 2013 where she has led the growth of the sport through initiatives such as the Discover Volleyball Program, championing mental wellbeing and prioritising places to play.
Her commitment to sport extends beyond volleyball. She is a founding member of the Women of Sport network, which advocate and support professional development in the sports industry, and continues as an Advisory Board member. She also served on several working groups including the WA Olympic Committee and SportWest Mental Health Advisory Group, and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Learning and Development Advisory Group.
Olivia Birkett – Head of Operations, Tennis West
Olivia Birkett, Head of Operations at Tennis West has played sport since a young age, most significantly basketball and athletics. With such a passion and love for sport, she knew she wanted to make a career out of from a young age. “Growing up in Melbourne in Year 10 I attended some university open days and instantly decided I wanted to study Human Movement at RMIT University”
“At uni, my challenge was that I liked everything and found it hard to narrow down what area I wanted to pursue…there is no such job as a ‘human movement-er’ so I forged ahead in the sports science direction. I volunteered for everything I could, enjoyed coaching and refereeing basketball and soon found myself on the University Sport and Rec Committee and my basketball club committee. I think it is the sum of all these parts – study, volunteering and work experience – that has seen me succeed working in the sports industry. I have worked for State Sporting Associations, National Sporting Organisations, state and local government – primarily with sport as the focus. My current role as Head of Operations at Tennis West, sees me lead a terrific team that drives facility development, government relations, supports the Board and governance and helps put tennis racquets in kids’ hands.”
Olivia is passionate about sport and ensuring that it is a safe and welcoming activity that all people can enjoy and be a part of. “The WA Sports Industry is full of good people aiming to make a difference to the sports landscape. I see people working hard at a grassroots level all the way through to high-performance sport. Every time I hear or see examples of new programs or reimagined ways of delivering sport, I feel excited to be working in the sport industry. It cuts across society and offers so many experiences: elite sport is such a buzz and club land is where you can foster lifelong love of sport. There is something for everyone”
We asked Olivia if she had one piece of advice for someone looking to pursue a career in sport, what would it be.
“If you are considering a job in sport, roll up your sleeves and get involved. Put your hand up. Say yes to opportunities. Volunteer. Meet people. I can’t imagine working in another industry because sport aligns with my values and provides me immense satisfaction.”
Do you feel inspired to pursue a career in Sport?
Start by building your network. SportWest’s “Women of Sport Network” has been running for 10 years and holds a number of networking opportunities which enables likeminded women with Passion, Courage, Strength, and Grit to socially engage, share experiences and meet new people.
By joining you can expect:
• To connect with women working or volunteering in sport;
• A supportive environment for women working or volunteering in sport;
• Encouragement to stay working or volunteering in sport during all stages of life;
• To celebrate and acknowledge women working or volunteering in sport; and
• Tips on career progression of women within sport.
Visit the Women of Sport Network website for more information such as how to join.
Are you ready to take the next step?
There are plenty of roles available within the WA Sports Industry, from Marketing and Communications, Administration, to Finance and Development.
SportWest advertises available Jobs within the WA Sports Industry. Find a career in Sport here.