In the making

THIS IS STARTING 11

Dual career programmes depend on the quality of implementation at professional levels close to the athlete. However, in 2017, more than one third of the EU member states self-rated their status and development of support arrangements as negative (European Commission, 2017). STARTING 11 tackles this problem by creating a European Dual Career Toolkit which shall help dual career stakeholders implement effective athlete services.

In a unique constellation, STARTING 11 unites some of Europe’s leading institutions in dual career: project coordinator Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands), the project partners Sportlycée Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) (United Kingdom), German University Sports Federation (ADH) (Germany), European Athlete Student (EAS) (Malta), CREPS Toulouse (France), and project consultant TW1N (Austria).

Implementation support

In the EU, the number of athletes in need of dual career services adds up to more than 120.000 in every Olympic cycle (European Commission, 2016). From talented level and elite sport to the transition to post-athletic life, the quality of provided dual career support services are of vital importance to athletes.

STARTING 11 caters to close the gap between policy, research and practice. Positioned between the EU Guidelines on Dual Careers of Athletes (European Commission, 2012) and local/regional/national dual career stakeholders wanting to adopt these guidelines, the project contributes to professionalize the European dual career environment. Essentially, the European Dual Career Toolkit aims to facilitate the implementation of dual career services by providing a set of self-applicable tools to key actors in sport, education and the labour market:

SPORT
National Olympic Committees
High performance centres
Sport federations
Clubs
Sport academies
Player unions

EDUCATION
Sport schools
Universities
Further education institutes
Training institutes for sport coaches

LABOUR MARKET
Job agencies
Public employers of athletes
Private employers of athletes

OTHER
Lead agencies on dual career

Tools in 4 service areas

The European Dual Career Toolkit provides the aforementioned key actors with a variety of tools to better support their athletes in all stages of their sporting career. Our free accessible toolkit will be published in December 2021 on www.starting11.eu and is composed of a variety of practical tools spanning 3 main dual career service areas:

Manage helps build the political, theoretical and infrastructural know-how to implement and administrate dual career services as well as to efficiently communicate towards the most relevant dual career stakeholders.

Train helps prepare, sensitize and empower athletes by providing them with knowledge, inspiration and skills to successfully pursue their dual careers.

Counsel helps professionalize inter-personal counselling services to foster the coping, decision-making and planning ability of athletes in times of fundamental change and transition.

By means of the toolkit, STARTING 11 aims to have a structural and durable impact on dual career implementation throughout the EU. The project’s integrated approach shall ultimately result in the up skilling of dual career practitioners, increased employability of athletes and a multi-directional raise of awareness across sport, education and the labour market.

References
  • European Commission (2012): EU Guidelines on Dual Careers of Athletes
  • European Commission (2016): Study on the Minimum Quality Requirements for Dual Career Services. Research report
  • European Commission (2017): Report on the state of play concerning the implementation of the EU guidelines on dual careers of athletes