The objective of the project ‘Innovative Clubs for Dual Careers’ (ICDC) is to develop an innovative club-based pilot programme to support Dual Careers. The programme facilitates an optimal combination of high-quality training and education to young athletes practicing elite sports. The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, an expert in the field van Dual Careers, will conduct this pilot programme.
The programme targets athletes between 14 and 21 years old, a critical age in which athletic, academic, psychosocial and professional transitions take place. In total 100 athletes, all coming from the three partnering clubs (see clubs below), will directly be involved in the testing of the pilot programme. Athletes will be supported by different experts coordinated by the Dual Career Club Manager as a key person who integrates medical, psychological, educational and other support services that will be provided by each club.
The EU Guidelines on Dual Careers appeal to the sport sector’s own responsibility to contribute to the Dual Careers 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 is funded by the European Commission.
The main aim is to combine a successful educational and sporting career of athletes by bringing them the right supporting services from their own clubs, and hence contributing that at a later stage of life they keep a balance between sports training and employment. The pilot clubs want to use the programme to change the ad hoc approach and problem solving method into a pre-emptive method of working. Through a strong cooperation with schools and other specialists they aim to optimize results, create a better connection to the labour market and reduce talents stress and drop-out rates.
AUAS will create the pilot programme 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 specialists as well as questionnaires for the talents 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 2016: publishing the pilot programme
- December 2017: publishing book about the best practices in Dual Career
- December 2018: presenting final results of the project to the European Commission
The innovative character of the programme lies in the focus on the sports clubs and the part they play in the general development of their young talents. This of course in close cooperation with the schools and universities in their surroundings. Normally, Dual Career services are closely related to High Performance Centres, but less at club level. Hence, an innovation coming from this project is to define sports clubs as subjects providing this sort of services to their own athletes. In this sense, it is very important to highlight that this programme aims at complementing services provided by High Performance Centres, not overlapping them.
This project targets three water sport clubs, but in the phase of dissemination it is the goal to create a general programme for sports clubs or sports associations that have an interest in a sound and healthy development of their talents.
Club Natacio Banyoles
Rowing Club Bled
Istituto per la ricerca sociale