Recreation Manager or Officer

Recreation managers and officers coordinate recreation programmes for people to improve their quality of life.

Recreation managers develop programmes at a recreation centre for specific people such as children, disabled or elderly people. They keep communities informed about the different programmes, excursions and exhibitions. They advise administrators and counsellors on sport, recreation and parks, as well as on ways of obtaining sponsors. They coordinate different programmes and keep records of all activities and events. They may provide material for brochures and newsletters.

Recreation workers hold a variety of positions at different levels of responsibility. Recreation leaders, who are responsible for a recreation programme’s daily operation, primarily organise and direct participants. Recreation officers or leaders assist recreation managers in the presentation of programmes.

Recreation officers or leaders may give instruction in art, dance, drama, crafts, games, and sports; schedule use of facilities; keep records of equipment use and ensure that recreation facilities and equipment are used properly.

In larger centres, recreation supervisors oversee recreation leaders and plan, organise, and manage recreational activities to meet the needs of a variety of populations. These workers often serve as liaisons between the director or manager of the park or recreation centre and the recreation leaders. Recreation supervisors with more specialised responsibilities may also direct special activities or events or oversee a major activity, such as aquatics, gymnastics, or performing arts.

Managers or directors of recreation centres and parks develop and manage comprehensive recreation programmes in parks, playgrounds and other settings. Managers or directors can serve as technical advisors to government and local recreation and park commissions and may be responsible for recreation and park budgets. Recreation therapists help individuals to recover from or adjust to illness, disability or specific social problems.

Camp counsellors lead and instruct children and teenagers in outdoor-oriented forms of recreation, such as swimming, hiking, horse riding and camping. In addition, counsellors may provide campers with specialised instruction in subjects such as archery, boating, music, drama, gymnastics, tennis and computers. In resident camps, counsellors also provide guidance and supervise daily living and general socialisation. Camp leaders or managers typically supervise camp counsellors, plan camp activities or programmes, and perform the various administrative functions of a camp.

Recreation workers may work in a variety of settings; for example: cruise ships, recreational parks, or playgrounds in community centres of large urban areas. Regardless of setting, some recreation workers spend much of their time outdoors and may work in a variety of weather conditions. Recreation directors, managers and supervisors typically spend most of their time in an office, planning programmes and special events. Directors and supervisors generally engage in less physical activity than do lower level recreation and fitness workers.


  • community recreation centres

  • holiday resorts

  • municipalities

  • local authorities

  • mines

  • Eskom

  • Transnet

  • self-employment, depending on area of specialisation, could set up own business

Getting Started

  • try to obtain volunteer, vacation or part-time work in a recreation centre

  • speak to a recreation manager about this career


Abm University College, Accra Polytechnic, Africa Institutional Management Services (AIMS), Anistemi College and Training Centre, Bishop Stuart Universities, Boland TVET College, Botho University, Botswana Accountancy College, Centre for Training and Projects Development (CTPD), Centurion Academy, Coastal KZN TVET College, CTU, Damelin, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Durban Computer College, Durbanville College, Eastcape Midlands TVET College, Ekurhuleni West TVET College, Gaborone University College of Law and Professional Studies, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Gideon Roberts University, Great Zimbabwe University, Gretsa University, ICESA City Campus, IHT Hotel School, Imperial School Of Business and Science, International Hotel School, International University of Management, Karatina University, Kenya Methodist University, Kenyatta University, Kitabi College of Conservation and Environmental Management, Koforidua Polytechnic, Kumasi Polytechnic, Kyambogo University, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Lovedale Public TVET College, Machakos University College, Marian University College, Mega Size College, Moi University, Monitronic Success College, Motheo TVET College, Mount Kenya University, Muhabura Integrated Polytechnic College, Murang'a University of Technology, Namibia University of Science and Technology, National University of Science & Technology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, New Era College, North-West University, Open University of Tanzania, Oval International Computer Education, Pearson Institute of Higher Education, Private Hotel School, Pwani University College, Rosebank College, Scott Christian University, Sokoine University of Agriculture, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Stefano Moshi Memorial University College, Stenden South Africa, Strathmore University, Swaziland College of Technology, Sylvia University, Technical University of Kenya, Technical University of Mombasa, Texila American University, The Eastern University, Tshwane University of Technology, Turaco Hospitality, Uganda Catholic Management and Training Institute, United States International University, University of Africa, University of Botswana, University of Cape Coast, University of Dar Es Salaam, University of Education Winneba, University of Eldoret, University of Energy and Natural Resources, University of Kabianga, University of Rwanda, University of Technology Mauritius, University of the Western Cape, University of Tourism, Technology and Business Studies, Varsity College, Victoria University, Vuselela TVET College, Walter Sisulu University, YMCA Comprehensive Institute, Zenith University College, Zetech University

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