In the making


Dual career programmes depend on the quality of implementation at professional levels close to the athlete. However, more than one third of the EU member states self-rate their status and development of dual career support arrangements as negative (European Commission, 2017). This is where the Erasmus+ Sport project STARTING 11 comes into play.

STARTING 11 is a collaborative partnership of some of Europe’s leading institutions in dual career dedicated to help systems in the EU enhance their athlete services. Together, these partners will create the very first European Dual Career Toolkit:

Facilitate implementation. Professionalize practice.

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 institutions in sport, education and the labour market with digital resources to help transform the dual career concept into effective action. As an ecosystem of dual career practice, STARTING 11 offers a broad selection of ready-made, yet fully customizable tools in 3 main service areas of dual career support:

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

Sport schools
Further education institutes
Training institutes for sport coaches

Job agencies
Public employers of athletes
Private employers of athletes

Lead agencies on dual career

The dual career practitioner in mind

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 and is composed of a variety of practical tools spanning 3 main dual career service areas:

  • Manage tools help 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 tools help prepare, sensitize and empower athletes by providing them with knowledge, inspiration and skills to successfully pursue their dual careers.
  • Counsel tools help professionalize inter-personal counselling services to foster the coping, decision-making and planning ability of athletes in times of fundamental change and transition.

Creating true impact

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

Want to know more? STARTING 11 is just a click away. Get in touch with us to find out what our tools can do for your system.

  • 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