Dual career of athletes is one of the priorities set by the European Commission in the implementation of Erasmus+ Sport projects. It is also one of the most important topic being discussed on the international agenda, regarding athletes’ voice, support and rights. Member States are setting policies to address this issue, but also regional authorities, sport organizations, universities and other bodies are trying to support the dual career of athletes in Europe and in the World.
Dual career of athletes is understood in the sense of combining sporting career and education, vocational training or employment. This issue is affecting all the athletes regardless of the country of origin, sport or level of professionalization. This is why we have decided to create a project which will enable the dialogue among the participating countries (Poland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Greece) to enlist issues which junior athletes are facing in the respective countries, but also good practices which are implemented on different governance levels in our respective countries and to allow for the transfer of those policies to other Member States. Moreover, we would like to create the possibility for the junior athletes themselves, to participate in the project and to show in which areas it is the hardest for them to combine education and sport.
Dual Career for Junior Athletes is a pilot project which aims to improve the awareness of junior athletes in the domain of balancing their commitment to sporting career, education and future employment. The project is aimed to support junior athletes, understood as youth participating in sports, between 15 and 19 years of age.
The participating organizations are the following:
The Institute of Sport – National Research Institute (IS)
Slovenian University Sport Association (SUSA)
Portuguese Olympic Athletes Association (AAOP)
Margherita Sport e Vita (MSV)
University of Stirling (UoS)
Fundación Universidad Isabel I (Fui1)
EAS SEGAS CYCLADES (ESC)
There are 5 general objectives of the project.
- to raise the awareness of long term planning of sports career, education and employment among junior athletes.
- of junior athletes of the education opportunities, including in other EU member states, together with emphasis on balancing the sporting career and education.
- to raise awareness of dual career importance and possibilities among social support providers including parents, teachers, coaches, who influence junior athletes in their decisions.
- to recognize good practices of dual career for junior athletes in participating countries and enable transferring to other countries.
- to raise awareness of junior athletes of transferable skills they build during sporting career, which they can use in the future for employment.
To achieve those objectives, below listed actions will be taken:
- Developing a baseline picture of what difficulties are the junior athletes facing in terms of combining education and sport career and how to overcome them.
- Mapping of dual career for junior athletes practices in the countries of project participants and creating a good practices database, to enable transfer to other Member States, at local, regional and national level.
- Education of junior athletes and the social support providers in the opportunities for dual career by providing online and offline tools for gaining the awareness.