Zach Gulavin, Officer Community Hub Captain, Aligned Leisure

For Zach Gulavin, his first experience with the Richmond Institute of Sports Leadership (RISL) started when it popped up on his Facebook feed.

An avid Richmond fan, it caught his attention given his love of sports and the Richmond Football Club.

His decision to apply for the course was nothing to do with the Tigers though, it was after meeting RISL’s Head of Education and Training, Damien Villarosa for the first time.

“I decided to do it after meeting ‘Villa’ (Damien Villarosa), he has a really welcoming attitude and since I love sport, everything in the course really interested me,” Gulavin said.

Delivered in partnership with Swinburne University, Gulavin loved the day-to-day learnings and activities of RISL, including the practical work in the gym, learning coaching techniques, and coordinating the Bachar Houli Cup.

Fast forward 12 months, and Gulavin has completed his double diploma of Sports Management and Leadership, and is now employed full time through the Richmond Football Club’s wholly-owned subsidiary business, Aligned Leisure.

Aligned Leisure manages health and recreation facilities and programs in the communities of Cardinia, Nillumbik, and Albury-Wodonga.

Gulavin splits his time being the Officer Community Hub Captain, managing the day-to-day operations, administration, bookings, invoicing and liaising with the community at the facility which has three sports courts for basketball, netball, volleyball or soccer and multipurpose rooms, as well as being the Duty Manager at Cardinia Life, a major leisure and recreation centre in the Cardinia Shire.

“I’m enjoying having the responsibility to manage the Officer Community Hub, it’s a challenge and I really like that,” he said.

“I like working out at the Hub, interacting with different groups, and it’s pretty cool to be in charge of my own centre.”

Gulavin and other students were initially presented with an opportunity to apply for a customer service role at Cardinia Life, which Gulavin was recruited for. Two months into that casual position, the Hub Captain role became available, his application was successful, and he commenced the position at the beginning of February this year.

A situation made more perfect is that Gulavin lives in Officer, and is only a five-minute drive to work each day.

His focus now is to continue to engage with the community and turn the Hub into a vibrant community space for sports, leisure and the arts.

Looking back at his time as a student with RISL, Gulavin said unique environment to learn in a professional sports environment opened his eyes to the real world of sports management.

“The opportunity to be part of a professional sports environment, with teachers that have such great experience was invaluable, and really helped my learning process to come in everyday and see what it takes to operate a professional sports business.”

Registrations and information about Open Days for Richmond’s Institute of Sports Leadership 2019 course is available now.


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