Our latest Industry Insider works in the world of sporting events! We sat down with Kate Atkinson, Events Officer at British Taekwondo.


Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously? 

My name is Kate Atkinson, I am an Events Professional and I have been lucky enough to work in multiple sporting roles across the world. I am currently the Events Officer at British Taekwondo.

I have previously worked for Special Olympics British Columbia, The Great Run Company, and was privileged to be part of the Events Team at New Zealand Rugby who planned and delivered the 2017 Lions Series in New Zealand.


What do you do in your current role?

I joined British Taekwondo in April 2021 and I am responsible for organising and delivering Taekwondo Championships. We are currently in the process of writing an exciting, new strategy to enhance the sport and the way the NGB work.


How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?

I have always been involved in sport in some capacity, from playing football, hockey, and any other sport available through school to enjoying annual skiing trips.

I studied Physical Education at Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett) and spent most of my time coaching tennis, which led me to working three summers at a summer camp in Maine, USA.

I then had the travel bug and moved to Australia which then led to trying out New Zealand and I landed the role of a lifetime as well as learning all about major sporting events and my love for planning.


What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?

Delivering a memorable event. If I can ensure people are talking about the event in the run up, during and for weeks after in a positive way, then I know I have done my job right.


Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?

In events, you are always waiting for that thing to go wrong, no matter how many contingencies, attention to detail, or lists you make, there is always something. But that something is what you learn from and makes you grow as a professional and a person.


What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?

The European Championships 2022 are coming this May to Manchester which is going to be an epic event with the opportunity to see the best of the best compete in the Olympic sport.


If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?

It’s reach. Like many Olympic sports, after you see it on TV it’s left in the background for another 4 years, and many people don’t realise that within those 4-year cycles, athletes, coaches, teams, NGBs, are working super hard to achieve their best and are competing throughout to grow and develop.

I am hoping that with the Europeans in May and The Grand Prix in October, both in Manchester, this will be a great opportunity to see and be a part of Taekwondo in the UK prior to the Paris Olympics in 2024. Poomsae, is another discipline in Taekwondo which is non-contact, disciplined patterns performed and teaches balance, technique, coordination, and self-discipline. Perfect for those who do not want to engage in sparring.


Sport is a hectic industry, what do you do to switch off?

It’s a bit ironic, but to switch off, I switch it up and play other sports. I compete in a Hockey league, I continue to play tennis recreationally, and I enjoy doing anything competitive with friends. And there is always a Netflix binge to be had when you just need to rest!


What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?

Put yourself out there. The best part of the sport industry is how much cross over there is. Your skills can be transferred to multiple sports and there is no better opportunity than volunteering at events, networking across multiple sports, even if you aren’t an expert in that sport, and just getting involved.


How to connect with Kate Atkinson…

You can connect with me on LinkedIn!


Thanks for reading our Industry Insider with Kate Atkinson! If you want to read more from the series, you can do so by clicking here.