The project aims to connect a pool of 9 400 dual career athletes across 9 European countries with 45 researchers and lead practitioners to define a set of key competences for a successful dual career.
The project “Gold in Education and Elite Sport” (GEES) is funded by the European Union’s Erasmus + Sport Program.
It involves a consortium of internationally renowned dual career researchers and practitioners. Nine countries from the North, East, South and West of Europe contribute through institutions such as Universities, Sports Institutes or National Olympic Committees.
The aim of GEES is to boost athletes’ employability through the optimization of their competences and the development of the services supporting them.
The final international symposium will take place on December 8th 2016 at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. Apart from reflections of international dual career experts on the results, the value and implications of the GEES project, the programme offers parallel workshops where participants learn how specific tools and instruments are used in working with dual career athletes.
Third meeting and workshop in CAR Sant Cugat
A workshop and the third meeting of the project took place in Sant Cugat, Spain, on April 6th – 8th.
In order to both present the results of the second phase of the project and offer applied perspectives to dual career practitioners, the consortium took part to the workshop organized by CAR Sant Cugat on Wednesday, 6th of April.
The workshop was attended by over 100 people (DC practitioners, PhD students, athletes, other European projects members, etc.).
In addition to the presentation of the work done by the consortium since the beginning of the project and the second phase’s results, GEES partners presented study cases and displayed the possible applications of the project.
Time was also dedicated to let other Sport European projects leaders introduce the audience with their own projects objectives and results. The workshop ended with a lively visit of CAR facilities.
Third meeting (report)
Half a day was dedicated to the presentation of work package 2 results. Partners had the chance to discuss and start to analyze the results gathered by the project scientific coordinator, VUB.
The work package 2 aimed at identify and develop a profile of competences (i.e. knowledge, skills, experience and attitude) required by dual career support providers in order to optimize the support they provide to athletes preparing, managing and/or finalizing a dual career ‘education and sport’ pathway.
Key results (for more information)
- 256 dual career service providers (DCSP) completed the survey, with a completion rate of 49%
- European DCSP average profile is as follows:
o Mean age : 44.1 years old
o 51.50% male, 49.50% female
o 71% DCSP work part time & 29% work full time
o At a European level, most of the respondents work in Universities (30%) followed by Secondary education school (18%) and Performance Center / Elite sport school (17%)
- The majority (85%) of the DSCP who answered the survey had not been trained through a specific dual career educational program
- The DCSP were asked to rate the importance and their level of possession of 35 competences they use in their daily work. The pool identified that relationship competences are of the highest importance to service quality. In addition, DCSP recognized the importance of empowerment competences and significantly this was the area DCSP recognized the largest disparity between importance and their possession.
- The biggest differences between the importance and possession ratings are the following :
|Ability to prepare dual career athletes for the challenges of specific transitions||3.51||4.18||0,67|
|Ability to stimulate autonomy in dual career athletes||3.84||4.47||0,63|
|Understanding the key transition phases of dual career athletes linked to the Long Term Athlete Development pathway||3.65||4.25||0,6|
|Being observant of a dual career athlete's mental health status||3.82||4.41||0,59|
|Ability to enhance dual career athlete's competences concerning organization and planning of the dual career athlete’s life||3.76||4.35||0,59|
- 6 scenarios likely to be dealt with by the DCSP in their routine were presented in the survey. The most experienced ones appear to be:
o scenario #3 (84%) : In view of his/her (future) professional career a dual career athlete wants to select the best study plan. You want to help the athlete make the best study choices to manage the integration of both sport and study in the future.
o scenario #4 (87%) : A dual career athlete is about to start a challenging study year that conflicts with his/her (more demanding) competition and training schedule (e.g. missing significant days of study, (group) assignments, exams, an internship...). You want to help the athlete to successfully do both.
- Transferable competences (most important competences across all the scenarios) have been identified, the three first ones being as follows:
1. Ability to stimulate autonomy in dual career athletes
2. Ability to treat each dual career athlete in an individualized manner
3. Ability to take a holistic view of the dual career athlete's life
Time was also dedicated to the preparation of work packages 3 and 4. It was decided that a qualitative methodology (focus groups) would be run by all the partners to develop further the profiles of competences of dual career support providers. This step was completed during 2016 summer.