The objective of the project ‘Handball 4 Dual Careers’ (H4DC) is to create comprehensive support service for the development of handball players’ Dual Careers through a collaborative approach between sporting bodies (clubs and federations), educational organizations and private sector representatives. The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), an expert in the field of Dual Careers, will conduct this programme of services and will also develop specific training sessions for the staff of the three pilot clubs: BM Granollers, IK Sävehof and Club Fenix Toulouse.
This initiative will target handball players from three different European Clubs, ranging from 12 years old to university students, including professional players. Hence, H4DC follows a holistic approach to cover two main pillars of the Dual Careers concept, as stated in the EU Guidelines on Dual Careers:
- ensuring players’ engagement in the educational system (including vocational training)
- fostering their employability potential
The EU Guidelines on Dual Careers appeal to the sport sector’s own responsibility to contribute to the Dual Career of their sport talents. Sport organizations (confederations, federations, associations, clubs) which still have a tendency to focus on the organization of competitions should define or review their policies and are required to develop Dual Career programmes. National sport bodies could promote and support the inclusion of the concept of Dual Careers in the various activities of their member sport organizations. This project will be funded by the European Commission.
AUAS will create the programme and services through executing a firm Needs Assessment at the three pilot clubs. This Needs Assessment consists of interviews with the stakeholders in and around the club, a focus group with these stakeholders as well as questionnaires for the talents, parents and coaches. AUAS will also conduct an extensive literature review on Dual Career. But not only scientific sources will be consulted. AUAS will also identify the best practices in Dual Career which will be an inspiration for this project.
- December 2017: publishing book about the best practices in Dual Career and publishing pilot programme
- December 2019: presenting final results of the project to the European Commission
Normally sport organizations tend to focus on the organization and participation in competitions and concentrate fewer efforts in supporting other aspects of their athletes’ life. In this sense, the approach of this project is innovative since it enhances the scope of services provided by clubs and proposes a professionalization and systematization of this Dual Career support. Embedding Dual Career culture at club level means a significant difference, taking into account that this support has traditionally been provided by High Performance Centres.
This project is a follow up on another Erasmus+ Program “Innovative Clubs for Dual Career” in which AUAS is also the research partner. This project covers different aspects that those tackled by ‘Innovative Clubs for Dual Careers’, like for instance the connection with the private sector and the focus on employability.