Amateurs – do not get paid for playing their sport. They do it for the love of the sport. • Professionals – play full time and get paid for it. It is their living. • Semi-professionals – are like professionals but play only part time and have another job too.
Are top amateurs really not paid? • Scholarships • Training camps • Jobs • Trust Funds • Grants and Sponsorships
Why Keep the Distinction? • Money may become the main reason for competing. • Athletes would try and win at any cost and by any method. • Governing bodies may lose control of their sports to commercial organisations.
Olympics • Meant for amateurs • Tennis was dropped in 1920 due to doubts about the players status. • It has now become obvious that athletes get rewarded when they get home (cars, jobs, houses, etc) • Tennis was allowed back in 1988. • The only prize for a winning athlete is the medal. • The final decision about who can take part is now left to the International Sports Federation.
Rugby League • In 1895 Rugby League was born because players wanted to be compensated financially for the time spent away from the factories to train and compete. • In 1995 Rugby Union finally dropped its amateur status and became professional.