TW1N Erasmus+ Sport Call

TW1N as your partner in Erasmus+ Sport projects

Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. The funding scheme represents a unique opportunity to the field of sport. TW1N has longtime experience in leading, partnering, advising or evaluating Erasmus+ projects. For the new call of proposals, we are interested in contributing to an innovative sport project as a partner institution.

After the adoption of the EU Work Plan for Sport 2021-2024 by the Council of the EU, regulation details for the 2021 Erasmus+ Sport call for proposals were announced at the Sport Info Day Regarding this call, we are open to collaboration options in the newly introduced formats of "cooperation partnerships" or "small-scale partnerships" (KA 2).

Currently, TW1N is involved in 2 Erasmus+ projects. Together with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, we co-lead STARTING 11 which is about to create the very first European Dual Career Toolkit. Furthermore, TW1N is the consulting partner of the international athlete entrepreneurship training AtLAS - Athletes as Entrepreneurs. In addition, TW1N just served as the external evaluator of the project AMiD - Athletic Migration in Dual Career.

"TW1N is a most valuable partner in our EU sport projects. With their unique expertise and passion, they contribute significantly to our mission of strategically developing the entrepreneurial competences of athletes."

Elizabeta Valentic, Project manager, FH Joanneum, University of Applied Sciences Graz

Get in touch

If you are an institution that is interested to discuss a potential participation of TW1N in your upcoming project, please contact us via office@tw1n.eu. Find details on our work with EU projects here.


STARTING 11 initiates test phase

The EU project STARTING 11 powered by TW1N has reached a crucial step in its development: For the first time, its European Dual Career Toolkit will be put to the test by a manifold group of international dual career stakeholders.

Built by interdiscliplinary teams of European dual career experts, the European Dual Career Toolkit contains a large number of ready-made, yet fully customizable, tools in 3 different areas of dual career services: Manage, Counsel and Train.

  • The Manage tools help build the political, theoretical and infrastructural know-how to implement and administrate dual career services as well as to efficiently communicate towards the most relevant dual career stakeholders.
  • The Train tools help prepare, sensitize and empower athletes by providing them with knowledge, inspiration and skills to successfully pursue their dual careers.
  • The Counsel tools help professionalize inter-personal counselling services to foster the coping, decision-making and planning ability of athletes in times of fundamental change and transition.

The testers

The test phase of the project is conducted to ensure that the tools are comprehensible, applicable and impactful when it comes to dual career practice in Europe. The following institutions will collaborate with STARTING 11 in this period:

In the upcoming three months, these institutions will gain exclusive access to the tool prototypes to test them in their daily operations. Their feedback will support the refinement of the tools, before the European Dual Career Toolkit will officially be published in December 2021. Find out more at the official website of STARTING 11.

TW1N has a broad track record as a trusted partner of EU projects in sport, education and youth. Click here to see what TW1N can do for your project.


AtLAS - Athletes as entrepreneurs website

Website launch: AtLAS goes live

AtLAS is a novel European entrepreneurship training for athletes powered by TW1N. This week, the website of the EU-funded project was launched.

Athletes have an outstanding potential to become high-performing business men and women. In their sporting career, they acquire extraordinary skills that are also crucial to entrepreneurial success. In this context, athletes engaging in entrepreneurship is not a novel phenomenon. However, what are their main motivators for this engagement? Research offers the following (not exhaustive) list of crucial motivational aspects:

  • Exploiting the existing athlete brand: Athletes can build on their success by using their name and persona in a business venture.
  • Dealing with uncertainty: Self-employment is appealing as it offers independence and fulfilment during times of transition.
  • Advantage of social capital: Athletes have key resources available to them in terms of knowledge, potential financial resources and influential contacts from their established social, professional and charitable relationships.
  • First-hand experience of gaps: Athletes experience possible gaps in certain markets first-hand and can create novel solutions and change for future generations of athletes.
  • Societal motivations: Some athletes are motivated by the opportunity to create change for minorities, women or the less fortunate by putting the influence they have to good use or give back to their communities.

New website

The compact training of AtLAS offers athletes across Europe the chance to combine high-level sport and top-class entrepreneurship education. AtLAS will be designed in the form of a joint venture of international academics in the field of sport & entrepreneurship and dual career experts coming from 6 different countries. TW1N acts as the consultant of the EU-funded project.

This week, the brand new website of AtLAS was launched. On athletesasentrepreneurs.eu you can find first information on the training which will start run its first course free of charge in October 2021.

References

  • Ali, H. S., Shahid, N., Javed, I. S., & Jawaria, K. (2018): Challenges that Make/Break the Athlete’s quest to become an entrepreneur: A qualitative study about fans’ perceptions
  • Bosma, N., Hessels, J., Schutjens, V. Van Praag, M., & Verheul, I. (2012): Entrepreneurship and role models
  • González-Serrano, M.H., Valantine, I., Crespo-Hervás, J., Pérez-Campos, C. and Calabuig-Moreno, F. (2018): Sports university education and entrepreneurial intentions: a comparison between Spain and Lithuania
  • LoRé, Michael (2019): Dale Moss' Mission To Empower Disadvantaged Entrepreneurs
  • Puyana, M., Gálvez-Ruiz, P., Sánchez-Oliver, A. and Fernández, J. (2019): Intentions of entrepreneurship in sports science higher education: gender the moderator effect
  • Ratten, V., & Miragaia, D. (2020): Entrepreneurial passion amongst female athletes

 


Elite swimmer

New EU project AtLAS - Athletes as Entrepreneurs

AtLAS is a pioneering entrepreneurship training for athletes. An innovative start-up course serves to enhance both the theoretical and practical competences of high-level athletes across Europe who are considering to found their own business; now or at a later stage of life. TW1N is honoured to counsel the strategic development of AtLAS which will run its first training in October 2021.

Athletes make great entrepreneurs

Skills cultivated on any playing field serve athletes beyond their sporting careers, also when it comes to entrepreneurship. AtLAS supports athletes in pursuing their business ambitions. The training approach will offer athletes a most flexible and hands-on study approach to learn new skills and advance their careers.

AtLAS aims to strengthen athletes’ knowledge about starting and running a business, foster entrepreneurial spirit among European athletes and sport governing bodies, connect spheres of higher education and sport to foster dual career pathways of athletes, and, increase the number of well-prepared company creations.

The consortium

AtLAS represents a joint venture of academics in the field of sport and entrepreneurship and dual career practitioners, uniting the following international institutions:

AtLAS logo

Compact, flexible, free of charge

Just as in sport, AtLAS focuses on what is essential to success. Athletes will be provided with the most innovative methods in entrepreneurship. The blended learning concept will consist of obligatory online and optional on-site training. The virtual modules are delivered via a 5-weeks MOOC (massive open online course), freely accessible for athletes across Europe and beyond. The optional on-site courses are held at 6 selected European universities in Austria, Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Scotland and Slovenia.

Moreover, an accompanying mentoring programme in cooperation with European business experts will support the participants in further shaping their business ideas. The final AtLAS pitching event in Amsterdam will give an extraordinary stage to the most thrilling business ideas of European athletes.

Graduates of AtLAS will be awarded an EQF 4 certificate. Funded by the European Union, the training is free of charge. The full programme is available to athletes recognized by a sport-governing body, or another accredited body, as competing at minimum national level.

If you are an athlete interested in joining AtLAS, please get in touch with us to register as an early bird.

 

Dual Career Counsellor and athlete

Tools for dual career counsellors

The dual career-related counselling of athletes in the EU is delivered by a variety of practitioners. In the EU survey of STARTING 11, European dual career stakeholders expressed a strong request for their upskilling.

Consequently, in the upcoming European Dual Career Toolkit, STARTING 11 will build tools for the service area of "Counsel". This area is dedicated to help professionalize inter-personal counselling services to foster the coping, decision-making and planning ability of athletes in times of fundamental change and transition. The tools will target practitioners such as career counsellors, lifestyle advisors, athlete development managers, (sport) psychologists or pedagogic personnel of sport or education institutions.

Based on our longtime experience in counselling athletes across Europe, TW1N's founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger is honoured to lead a group of experts who are about to create the Counsel tools. The consortium represents a unique collaboration of members from 6 countries: Emma Vickers (United Kingdom, TASS), Dennis van Vlaanderen (The Netherlands, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences), Francois Hout-Marchand (France, CREPS Toulouse), Laurent Carnol (Luxembourg, Luxembourg Institute for High Performance in Sport) and Ole Keldorf (Denmark, EAS).

Dual career counselling

The whole-person-athlete

Following the group's kick off in May 2019, the first stage of the groups' approach, the group focused on investigating the concrete service demand of EU practitioners in the area of dual career counselling. In this course, two of an athlete's most challenging dual career transitions were identified as particularly benefiting from professional counselling support; on the one hand at the end of their school education when deciding for a subsequent dual career project; on the other hand at the end of their high performance sporting career when initiating post-athletic life.

Given the EU diversity of national standards in counselling and, simultaneously, the variety of training backgrounds of people providing inter-personal services to athletes, the group's European approach has to be built on minimum criteria for counselling.

The Counsel tools will be based on well-proven processes used in leading European systems, primarily targeting beginning practitioners who have limited experience in delivering counselling support to athletes. Our tools intend to give a boost to their practical work, while, by no means, replace profound specific training. In addition, the STARTING 11 tools can also valuable to more experienced practitioners who want to expand their knowledge, or experts who seek further inspiration in the field of dual career practice.

Wanted: testing partners

In autumn 2020, the first versions of our counselling tools shall be tested by selected European stakeholders in sport, education or the labour market. If you are interested in becoming a testing partner of STARTING 11, please get in touch with TW1N via Email by 30 April 2020.


University students

From Bosman to Erasmus+ Sport

Since 2016, TW1N CEO & Founder Wolfgang Stockinger holds a lectureship on European Sport Policy & Sport Organisation. This week, our latest course in the master's degree programme "Sport - Management - Media" took place at the University of Salzburg.

The education of young academics on the multilayer impact of sport is a crucial factor for future policy steps on European level. Thus, our teaching content focuses on helping students comprehend socio-political contexts around the most recent EU developments in sport.

How can my own future vocational activity fit into a bigger picture of society? For sport students, this is a question worth exploring; especially, as the majority of them are in the final stage of their academic training. Becoming aware of job options which arise from the most recent European sport policy will benefit the students' upcoming step into the labour market.

A brief history of EU sport policy

For a long time, sport appeared to be a cross-sectional matter influenced by individual initiatives and trend-setting European Court of Justice decisions (such as the infamous Bosman ruling in 1995). In contrast, the story of sport as a designated policy area is short.

Building on the EU White Paper on Sport in 2007 and, following, the Treaty of Lisbon, the European dimension of sport has been gradually taking shape. The implementation of the funding programme Erasmus+ Sport and the launch of the European Week of Sport are examples of positive developments in the last 10 years.

Despite these important steps on policy level, sport remains one of the most underestimated sectors regarding its potential to contribute to key objectives of the EU. Not appearing anymore in the title of a European Commissioner's portfolio, sport is now part of two departments: "Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth" of Commissioner Gabriel and "Promoting our European Way of Life" of Commissioner Schinas.

Milestone Erasmus+

Today, the key themes of the EU Work Plan for Sport 2017-2020 (integrity of sport, economic dimension of sport, sport and society) serve as guidelines for European project calls and activities. Particularly Erasmus+ offers new opportunities to a wide range of beneficiaries. TW1N is currently involved in two EU projects, namely STARTING 11 (project co-leader) and ATLAS (project consultant).

Links
References

Talented ice hockey player

Making the next step: A European Network of Sport Schools

In the EU, the number of athletes in need of dual career support services adds up to more than 120.000 in every Olympic cycle. Within competitive systems, European sport schools play a crucial role in the development of athletic talent. For this reason, the Schul- und Leistungssportzentrum Berlin (SLZB), the Berlin Senate Department for Education, Youth and Families, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community and TW1N aim to foster the establishment of a European Network of Sport Schools (ENOSS).

The quality of services of sport schools in cooperation with policy makers and sport bodies is of vital importance for the sustainable pathways of aspiring athletes, in amateur as well as in professional sports. In 25 out of the 28 EU member states, sport schools at secondary level offering specific dual career support to talented athletes can be found.

This means that this type of schools represent one main common ground of dual career delivery in the European Union. However, despite the history of sport schools in the EU, a specific network between these schools on European level does still not exist. Time for change, time for making the next step.

1st ENOSS Conference in Berlin

From 7-8 November 2019, the 1st ENOSS Conference was held in Berlin, Germany. Like-minded professionals in education and sport from 17 European countries followed the invitation of the ENOSS consortium to network and exchange best practice. Day 1 was dedicated to “The Healthy Sport School”. Acknowledged experts (such as Markus Flemming, Andreas Hülsen or Laurent Carnol) shared insights into their routine with talented athletes, spanning the topics of sport psychology, dual career and nutrition.

Day 2, conducted in the spectacular location of the Olympic Stadium of Berlin, pursued the mission to initiate a European Network of Sport Schools. In his opening keynote, TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger emphasized the necessity of strategic European cooperation considering the more and more international talent environments. In the belief of the ENOSS consortium, systematizing the connections and learning arenas between sport schools will substantially contribute to improve service quality within these specific institutions, facilitate the mobility of both talented athletes and practitioners, and inspire the development of trans-national projects.

In the form of expert work groups, the international delegates concretized the requirements for the development of a European network. Upcoming, the SLZB and TW1N will process the collected inputs to identify the implementation options for a formalisation of a European Network of Sport Schools in 2020. If you are interested in becoming a future member of ENOSS, please get in touch with us via the ENOSS website.

Olympic Stadium of Berlin
The location of the ENOSS Conference 2019: the Olympic Stadium of Berlin © SLZB
ENOSS delegates from 17 European countries © SLZB
Presentation at the 1st ENOSS Conference in Berlin 2019
High-profile presentations of European experts... © SLZB
ENOSS, Conference, Berlin, 2019
... followed by workshops on the development of a European network of sport schools © SLZB
Poster of the ENOSS Conference 2019 © SLZB

References

  • Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (2016): Study on the minimum quality requirements for dual career services. Research report

STARTING 11, research

STARTING 11 investigates EU dual career service demands

STARTING 11, designed by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and TW1N, is a sport project co-funded by the EU. In a unique constellation, leading European institutions in dual career practice and research unite to create the very first European Dual Career Toolkit to assist EU stakeholders in sport, education and the labour market in implementing and further professionalizing their athlete support. Yet, what is the specific service demand in the European Union?

The types of EU actors providing dual career support for athletes are numerous. Sport? National Olympic Committees (NOC), high-performance centres, sport federations, or clubs. Education? Sport schools, universities, or other adult 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 to centrally execute dual career policies. In this regard, both the mere existence and, above, the quality of dual career services are key to the pathway sustainability of thousands of European athletes.

Investigating European service demands

What are main blockers to dual career development? What type of tools do dual career stakeholders require to boost the implementation of athlete support in their systems? Consequently, the first step of the project was marked by the analysis of the specific European dual career service demand. This month, TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger and Dennis van Vlaanderen (AUAS) presented the preliminary research results at the EAS Conference 2019 in Falun, Sweden.

Our research targeted both systems and athletes. In a broad online survey, we gathered 159 responses of dual career service providers from all 28 EU member states. Simultaneously, we conducted focus group interview with athletes from 9 different countries across Europe.

STARTING 11 EU Online Survey
Wolfgang Stockinger and Dennis van Vlaanderen at the EAS Conference 2019

Systems: EU online survey key findings

  • Lack of finance and resources ranks highly as a barrier for systems to install dual career services. At the same time, 94% of respondents from countries without a dual career policy claimed that the lack of policy causes them an issue when implementing support services.
  • Lack of understanding and awareness of dual career is referenced a lot throughout the survey.
  • Apparently, systems in the EU do not yet know how to effectively measure dual career success.
  • Best practice examples, sharing of knowledge and networking features heavily in the desired support on European level.

Athletes: focus group interviews key findings

The following points were mentioned by the European athletes as main desired (missing) support experiences:

  • Lack of coach education on dual career
  • Lack of formalised dual career support systems – constantly searching support services on one site (ideally built around the educational provider)
  • Lack of dual career counselling support (key areas identified included preparing for retirement, making key transitions within dual career, and during the Olympic year)
  • Lack of dual career counselling at talent level valuable in avoiding drop out
  • Lack of dual career provision in the labour market

Combined analysis: main barriers to dual career implementation

  • Lack of dual career policy
  • Lack of dual career awareness and understanding
  • Inconsistent level of dual career providers
  • Need for dual career counselling programmes
  • Limited stakeholder engagement
  • Additional needs for countries with limited/no dual career structures (particularly Eastern Europe)

Expert groups start their work

Translating this data into 11 practical tools which create true impact for dual career implementation in Europe will be the future task of 4 specialized European Expert Groups (EG) that teamed up for the first time this week in Malta: EG "Management" (led by Guy Taylor, TASS), EG "Dual Career Counselling" (led by Wolfgang Stockinger, TW1N), EG "Communication" (led by Laurent Carnol, Sportlycée Luxembourg) and EG "Framework" (led by Dennis van Vlaanderen, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences).

References

  • STARTING 11 (2019): Needs analysis

Old globe

TW1N in the EU Dual Career Guidebook

The European Commission (EC) has funded the publication of a "European Guidebook of Best Practices in Dual Career". TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger has been awarded to author the introductory column for this book.

In his "TW1N Perspectives" (pages 18-19), he unites many-sided views on the topic of dual career within the sport club context, spanning policy, research and practice:

"Reality check. According to a recent investigation in British professional sports, 90% of athletes need to work full-time after their sporting career. Naturally, this figure would emerge to be even higher in Olympic respectively amateur sports. With respect to the European labour market, there is consequently a necessity for athletes to pursue a dual career as longterm unemployment is three times higher among low qualified workers than among those with high qualifications. In the same moment, a dual career should be detached from sporting or financial success. In fact, monetary security only constitutes one factor to help stabilize a post-sporting life.“Retirement is like walking out of the supermarket with all your bags and not knowing where your car is.” This statement of famous former cricketer Steve Harmison embodies the multi-dimensional challenge waiting for athletes at the normative or non-normative end of their sporting career. Head (with reference to structure), heart (recognition) and belly (intuition) need to find a new balance. In other words, the inner compass of athletes must recalibrate itself to point towards meaningful future ways.

Our human compass essentially roots in values. Values help us establish and maintain a relationship to the person in us, our true "Self". This person (from Latin personare, “to sound through”) longs to become manifest in our actions. For an athlete, sport serves as a most powerful way of expression. However, we all carry a variety of passions, interests and talents which have the desire to be heard. In this regard, it is a long-standing psychological finding that people with a broad foundation of versatile values are more robust and crisis-proof than those whose concept of life is constructed around just one central value.

After years of working with athletes of all ages, it is my strong conviction that the individualized exploration and realization of meaningful life aside from sports halls, football pitches or ski slopes is a supreme factor in athletic development. Where there is human flourishing, there is mental health and, coherently, performance enhancement. This is the sporting dimension of dual careers. Highlighting this dimension and, more importantly, making it comprehensible will substantially strengthen the valuation of dual careers among both athletes and sport systems. Role models are the most efficient communicators of this new understanding: “To the young athlete, don’t bet everything on your health, take control of your life and keep educating yourself. Learn and believe that smartening up is also a way to become a better, more complete athlete”, according to Vincent Kompany.

Within the sport system, clubs play a vital part in the future progress of Dual career in Europe. Often, they represent the main structural layer surrounding talented and elite athletes, in amateur as well as in professional sports. Therefore, clubs are asked to create a clear image on how to contribute to an integrated developmental space for their athletes. A tailored internal management system, collaborative partnerships with the educational and economic sector and a systemic openness to international best practice may serve as core pillars of a coordinated Dual Career approach. As a result, strategic measures on club level do not only signify a lived corporate social responsibility but further promise a concrete athletic return on investment: “Club support for off‐field life, quality of free time, and time spent in social life predicted 21% of the variance in athletic engagement for early career players.”

To conclude, a dual career is so much more than just a safety net, so much more than just securing livelihood and so much more than just a future tool. Rather, a dual career should be seen as a metaphor for the aforementioned passions, interests and talents and, hence, a metaphor for stability, balance and meaning, during and after a sporting career. Education itself only serves as the 'carrier molecule' of the manifold potentiality of athletes. This happens in the name of a greater cause and leads to a multi-directional impact: in favour of the athlete, in favour of sport, education and economy, and, in favour of the European community."

Find the European Guidebook of Best Practices in Dual Career for free download here.


STARTING 11, track and field

Introducing STARTING 11

Dual career programmes depend on the quality of implementation at professional levels close to the athlete. However, in 2017, more than one third of the EU member states self-rated their status and development of support arrangements as negative. To tackle this problem, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and TW1N have co-designed the Erasmus+ project "STARTING 11 - The European Dual Career Toolkit" which shall help dual career stakeholders implement effective athlete services.

STARTING 11 unites some of Europe’s leading institutions in dual career. Next to AUAS and TW1N, these are Sportlycée Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) (United Kingdom), German University Sports Federation (ADH) (Germany), European Athlete Student (EAS) (Malta) and CREPS Toulouse (France).

Closing the gap between policy, research and practice

In the EU, the number of athletes in need of dual career services adds up to more than 120.000 in every Olympic cycle. From talented level and elite sport to the transition to post-athletic life, the quality of provided dual career support services are of vital importance to athletes.

STARTING 11 caters to close the gap between policy, research and practice. Positioned between the EU Guidelines on Dual Careers of Athletes and local/regional/national dual career stakeholders wanting to adopt these guidelines, the project contributes to professionalize the European dual career environment. Essentially, the European Dual Career Toolkit aims to facilitate the implementation of dual career services by providing a set of self-applicable tools to key actors in sport, education and the labour market:

  • Sport: National Olympic Committees, high performance centres, sport federations, clubs, sport academies, player unions
  • Education: Sport schools, universities, further education institutes, training institutes for sport coaches
  • Labour market: Job agencies, public employers of athletes, private employers of athletes
  • Other: Lead agencies on dual career

Implementation support

The European Dual Career Toolkit provides the aforementioned key actors with a variety of tools to better support their athletes in all stages of their sporting career. Our freely accessible toolkit will be published in December 2021 on www.starting11.eu and is composed of a variety of practical tools spanning four main dual career service areas:

  • Management focuses on promoting the political, theoretical and infrastructural know-how to implement and administrate dual career services.
  • Framework targets programmes at a school and higher education level to contribute to conditions in which dual careers can successfully be realized.
  • Dual career counselling 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.
  • Communication caters to the identification of and efficient communication towards the most relevant dual career stakeholders.

By means of the toolkit, STARTING 11 aims to have a structural and durable impact on dual career implementation throughout the EU. The project’s integrated approach shall ultimately result in the up skilling of dual career practitioners, increased employability of athletes and a multi-directional raise of awareness across sport, education and the labour market.

References
  • European Commission (2012): EU Guidelines on Dual Careers of Athletes
  • European Commission (2016): Study on the Minimum Quality Requirements for Dual Career Services. Research report
  • European Commission (2017): Report on the state of play concerning the implementation of the EU guidelines on dual careers of athletes