By Dr. PHILIP ELLA JUICO and DINA BERNARDO, De La Salle University
AB Sports Studies has become the default course offering of De La Salle University (DLSU) for most of its varsity athletes. Since January 2014, however, former professors of Sport and Recreation Management at the DLSU Masters Degree Program (such as the authors of this article) have been assigned to teach what is known as SPOMAN or Sport Management in the undergraduate level.
Once athletes reach the end of their competitive shelf life, they must make the difficult transition to “normal” life, and hopefully towards a career that will be economically viable. Unfortunately, many athletes, whether in the collegiate or the elite levels are not provided enough education, if at all, that will ascertain their future employability. In the near future, SPOMAN aims to make such move much easier for retiring athletes, or perhaps make sport management a wise career path for graduates.
The discipline of sport management is a recent innovation of the late ‘60s, developed by Physical Education (P.E.) professors, who recognized the need to equip athletic directors and sports administrators with management and organization skills. (Ref: An Encounter with Management in Physical Activity Education and Sport By: Earle F. Zeigler)
The Sporting Situation Here and Southeast Asia
Today, sport businesses impact at least 55 industry sectors, such as in tourism, health and wellness, marketing and manufacturing, to name a few. In some countries, the sport industry is estimated to contribute as much as 2% to the GDP. In Philippine parlance, this figure could be as much as $5 Billion for the economy.
In Asia and Southeast Asia, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia already offer full-on sport management courses from the undergraduate up to the Ph.D. level. In Singapore, at least one university offers a hybrid sport science and sport management course – thereby increasing the employability (even overseas) of their graduates in either discipline, and with the benefit of being versed in both.
In the Philippines, there are a spatter of schools that offer sport and recreation management – National University (N.U.), being one of them, and DLSU for a time at the graduate level. CHED, through Memorandum Order No. 23 series 2011, otherwise known as Policies, Standards and Guidelines for Bachelor of Physical Education Major in School P.E. and Major in Sports and Wellness Management, has recognized this development and thus prescribed enhanced P.E. curricula to ensure the rigor required of sport career track-ers, at least, in the realm of school sports and wellness. The said CMO is already enforceable.
CHED has identified the following career opportunities for the prescribed courses:
- Corporate Human Resource Development Officers
- Corporate Wellness trainers, Supervisors and Managers
- Events / tournament coordinators and directors
- Fitness and wellness managers
- Recreation directors / Gym Managers
- School, District, Division and Regional Coordinators in P.E. and Sports Programs
- Sports and Wellness facilities Managers / Sports complex administrators
- Sports Tourism Officers
- Teacher / Instructor of P.E. / Sport Coaches
Recognizing SPOMAN as a Necessity in the Industry
Albeit the absence of DTI data as regards the actual size of the Philippine sport industry, it is nonetheless evident that sport management is ubiquitous and a relevant discipline – especially in a country that is wanting of professional and proficient leaders of sport development.
All necessary revisions and improvements in the school curriculum and atmosphere considered, SPOMAN should soon be able to equip AB Sports Studies students with the rigor needed today.
Sport is a burgeoning industry – and its social contribution towards national competitiveness and resilience cannot be disregarded. Therefore, it is opportune for DLSU to be at the forefront in pioneering the study and professionalization of sport management in the country.