Embracing Opportunity: My Journey to Finding Passion in Sports

Throughout high school I was always asked the usual “what are your career plans?”. With this came feelings of uncertainty every time I heard it. Constantly being asked this, I formulated a default answer in my head that I would be a tradie.

I wasn’t sure at all if that was really what I wanted to do however it felt like a widely accepted answer which gave me an easy out. I completed my VCE regardless of this to try keep my options open, but I still came across to all my friends and family as having it all worked out, and being one of the few students who knew what they wanted to do. This gave me an overwhelming feeling of pressure and I felt I couldn’t say to my parents in my last year of school, that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

In the middle of my Year 12 I heard about Richmond Institute, an opportunity which would allow me to work in sport for a career. I did some research about the course and one’s similar, my eyes were re-opened as I realised, I may have found something I am genuinely interested in doing.

I was successful in my application for the course but was sceptical. I thought the opportunity had to be too good to be true. I feared taking the risk of going onto further study and not getting what I wanted out of it, when I knew I could go into a trade and at least get paid. Most of my best mates were all going onto to complete a trade which was fine for them, but deep down it just wasn’t for me.

Countless discussions with my friends and family occurred, weighing up the pros, cons and everything in between of my future endeavours. After careful considerations I decided to double down and take the risk. The prospect of a career in something that I may truly have a love for I couldn’t turn it down without trying.

Through the scepticism, fear, and uncertainty, I am about to reach the halfway mark of my dual diploma and couldn’t be more grateful about the decision I made. The opportunities I have been given and the expansive knowledge I’ve been able to gain I can say is nothing short of incredible.

I came into the year with the sole purpose of achieving clarity towards what I wanted to do with my career. I wanted to get out there, try as many different things as possible and open a door for myself. After various different placement opportunities and counting, I can say I am certain that this is the industry I wish to be a part of.

The placements I have completed range massively. Standouts being I was lucky enough to be an intern for the Richmond Institute specialising in acquisitions, and interning for the Williamstown Football Club in commercial partnerships. These two experiences have given me an unimaginable level of insight to the sporting industry and what sector I wish to pursue. Additionally, I have completed match day duties with the Richmond Football Club and Melbourne Storm, both of these giving me a big look into how big games come together and an even bigger sense of reward knowing that you played a small role. These aren’t even all of the opportunities that I have completed, just a few of the highlights so far.

Overall, taking that first step and diving into the RISL course, I can safely say it has been a giant stepping stone in my life, and in hopefully achieving a career where I feel I truly enjoy myself. By saying yes to opportunities in this course, putting myself in uncomfortable situations, and pushing myself to thrive in environments I haven’t ever experienced, I can confidently say I am heading in the right direction towards what I want to be.

If you love sport and you’re unsure about what you’re doing in your life or what direction you are heading towards, I urge you to take the step, put yourself out there because you never know what it could lead to. For me the program has been invaluable. I can’t thank myself and my family enough for pushing me to do this and simply giving it a go. You don’t want to be kicking yourself in 10 years that you didn’t take the leap sooner, embrace the opportunity, it could change your life.

This article was written by Noah Iliadis , a current Diploma of Sport/Diploma of Leadership and Management (SIS50321/BSB50420) student studying in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology and the Richmond Football Club.


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