Michelle Faga is determined to make it in the sports industry. A qualified exercise and sports science graduate from the University of Sydney, Faga is currently working four jobs as she looks for that lucky break in an industry that she is dedicated to forging a career in.
“From a young age I have always had a passion for sport,” she says. “Whether watching, participating, coaching or working, it was something I loved being in and around. When it came time to choose a career path at the end of high school, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else."
One of her current roles involves being a Football Data Scout for Stats Perform, an entity that provides statistics for various football apps that cover the A-League and W-League. Her role allows her to analyse and understand player movement patterns and coaching strategies.
In line with her university degree, Faga also has a volunteer role with the Manly Sea Eagles NRL club where she studies training loads. To keep her busy she also coaches junior cricket, allowing her to gain an understanding of how youngsters approach sport. This is all on top of her regular day job working for an accounting firm in Sydney's west.
It is a busy life but the 21-year-old insists its all part of being prepared for when an opportunity finally comes her way to get a full time job in the industry.
"It is something I am willing to do for now, at the end of the day I need to give myself as much experience as I can," she said. "I love hard work and it will hopefully pay off one day. I spent three years at university pursuing my passion, so I may as well have a red hot go at it."
During her university degree, Faga completed internships at Netball NSW, Rugby Australia and NBL club Sydney Kings as a performance analyst. To round out her all-round experience she was also a Strength & Conditioning coach at the Kings and a junior cricket coach at Cricket NSW.
It is an impressive CV for a lady so young, and Faga insists its all part of her plan to learn as much as she can in a variety of sporting environments.
”I have been extremely lucky to work with and be involved in a variety of sports, I cannot say which internship has been my favourite, they have all contributed to my development.
"I have learned a diverse range of skills from each of these and value my time with all of these organisations.
"From coding with the Swifts, being in the gym with the Kings and monitoring load at the Sea Eagles, all of these individually fostered my growth into the sport scientist I am today."
While she has loved the different roles she has been involved with, Faga admits her passion lies in performance analysis and she harbours a strong belief that it plays a significant part in helping a team achieve their ultimate goal.
“My passion for analysis really stemmed from my internship with the NSW Swifts and blossomed from there. I love that through analysis you can almost build a blueprint of the opposition from their patterns and tendencies which in a way almost always puts you one step ahead.
"Ultimately I would love to be the head performance analyst for a professional sporting team and lead them to win titles. I feel as though analysis is often overlooked and is only now becoming increasingly popular so I would love to continue proving its value through my work.”
While the sporting industry has been hit hard with Covid19, and roles are challenging to come by, Faga insists she won't give up and will keep learning and accumulating as much knowledge as she can.
She adds: "At the end of the day, to get my dream job, I have to keep working hard, building contacts and enhancing my skillsets so I’m ready when the opportunity arises.”
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