As a female rugby player from India, Anuya Ketkar wanted a leading sport management education, in a global location that boasted a strong sports industry.
Describing herself as ‘passionate’ about sport, when Anuya began researching university options it was Deakin’s Master of Business (Sport Management) that came back as the perfect match for her expectations.
‘Firstly, I wanted to study sport management in a country which has a multi-sports culture…I thought Australia would be a great option and I also wanted to study in Melbourne since it is the sports capital of Australia. It also meant I could continue playing rugby and would be introduced to a broad range of other sports,’ she says.
Anuya grew up in Pune in India and has been a keen rugby player for many years. It was through her Pune rugby club connections that Deakin was recommended as the best choice for her postgraduate study.
‘One of my seniors from the rugby club went to Deakin and is now doing very well. My coaches also recommended it … I knew it was among the top 10 universities in the world for sport management so that was the cherry on top for me!’ she says.
With a keen interest and participation in sports of all kinds, Anuya decided that sport management was an ideal career option.
‘There’s a very limited career span for players, so I knew that learning about the managerial aspect of sport was a great career alternative. I’ve also have been involved in the promotional and participation side of sports since early on so that helped me to make a choice into what area of the sport management sector I wanted to make a career in,’ she says.
Australia’s multi-billion dollar sports industry is underpinned by a large number of business professionals who provide direction and leadership across a wide range of sporting organisations and Deakin’s sport management program prepares students for careers at all levels of the industry in areas such as marketing and promotions, governance and management, facilities and events, and participation development.
‘I chose Deakin’s sport management course in order to get the direction and proper training that I required for my career path,’ says Anuya.
During her studies (which she completed in 2016), she was introduced to a broad range of sport management sub-specialities that included legal issues and organisational behaviour.
‘One of the main highlights of the course was the flexibility and support offered by the lecturers. I was also given freedom to undertake various internships in different sport organisations,’ she says.
Anuya also had additional opportunities to volunteer for high-profile events such as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and the Formula One Grand Prix.
‘These really broadened my horizons and gave me an exposure towards the professionalism required in organising world class events,’ she says.
Anuya also had the important opportunity to play a role in Deakin’s organisation of the 2015 Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand SMAANZ.
‘This involved in organising the event and networking with various sport management professionals and researchers from a variety of sports and levels,’ she recalls.
Completing a diverse range of internships and work experience placements during the course enabled Anuya to gain rich, real-world industry experience.
‘These included placements with Football Federation Victoria, the Melbourne Sport Institute, Mummu Talent and Infoplum ... I also had opportunity to work casually with the rugby club I was involved with – the Melbourne Unicorns – and various other basketball clubs as scorer and statistician,’ she says.
These internships went on to play a key role in securing future employment as Anuya was able to develop her own network of industry contacts and a build a portfolio of ‘hands-on, real job training’ she says.
‘I also had an opportunity to work in Darwin and the “Top End” of the Northern Territory where I spent a year working with different state sporting organisations as a sport development officer in role that targets women and indigenous communities’ participation in sport.’
As a result of this work, Anuya was honoured to be part of the delegation invited to attend a reception for the Territory Women in Sports hosted by the Northern Territory Chief Minister Mr Michael Gunner.
‘We were recognised for our work in terms of women’s participation in sports across the Northern Territory,’ she says.
Recently moving back to Melbourne, Anuya will continue to work in the promotion and participation of sport.
‘I enjoy working with people from multiple cultures and backgrounds which teaches me a lot. Also, the best part is I get to work in the field I am passionate about. I always wanted to be involved in the promotion and development side of sport and the sport management program at Deakin has provided me with the relevant skills for my chosen career.’