So manifold,so colourful! The types of EU actors providing dual career support for athletes are numerous. Creating tools that have the potential to truly impact theirpractice across national systems and cultures equals a sporting challenge. Last week, two of the STARTING 11 “tool teams” teamed up to start their collaboration.
Who are the key actors regarding the provision of dual career services? Sport: National Olympic Committees, high-performance centres, sport federations, or clubs. Education: Sport schools, universities, or other further education institutions. Labour market: Private companies, public employers, or job agencies for athletes. Who else? National lead agencies, to be found in some EU member states centrally executing dual career policies.
The European Dual Career Toolkit of STARTING 11 will provide tools in 3 areas of service: Manage, Train and Counsel. Correspondingly, specialised groups of European experts join forces to create a set of tools to help professionalize international practice. From 24-25 May 2019, the first groups, namely Train and Counsel initiated their collaboration in the form of 1-day-meetings.
Train aims to help institutions sensitize, instruct and empower athletes to contribute to conditions in which dual careers can successfully be realized. The group is headed by Dennis van Vlaanderen, Manager of the Topsport Academy Amsterdam (TAA) of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He gathers members from 6 other countries: Colin Allen (United Kingdom, TASS) Pascal Schaul (Luxembourg, Sportlycée Luxembourg), Wolfgang Stockinger (Austria, TW1N), Jörg Föster (Germany, ADH) and Francois Hout-Marchand (France, CREPS Toulouse).
Counsel aims at inter-personal counselling services to foster the coping, decision-making and planning ability of an athlete within times of fundamental change and transition. The group is led by Wolfgang Stockinger, former Head of Career Development of the Austrian dual career organisation KADA and now Founder & CEO of the first Europe-wide dual career consultancy TW1N. His fellowship consists of Emma Vickers (United Kingdom, TASS), Dennis van Vlaanderen (The Netherlands, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences), Francois Hout-Marchand (France, CREPS Toulouse), Laurent Carnol (Luxembourg, LIHPS) and Ole Keldorf (Denmark, EAS).
Building on the experiences gained in these groups, the other topical experts will as well commence their work in October 2019.
The creation phase 1 of STARTING 11 which produces a set of dual career service tools lasts until end of September 2020. Following, the tools will undergo a testing period in collaboration with selected European dual career stakeholders.