The European Dual Career Toolkit launched at STARTING 11 Conference

A festival of dual career: Delegates from 17 different countries attended the STARTING 11 Conference on 12 May 2022 in the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium, co-hosted by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences & TW1N.

Policy-makers, programme coordinators, sport coaches, researchers, academics, teachers, psychologists, career counsellors, lifestyle advisors, player development managers, and of course athletes: The variety of dual career stakeholders gathering last week in Amsterdam is living proof for the steadily growing importance of the dual career topic in the European Union.

“I am following the project since the very beginning, and I was looking forward to this conference for a long time.”
Kristiana Kazandzhieva, Bulgaria

In his keynote, TW1N CEO & Founder Wolfgang Stockinger lid the EU dimension of dual careers, both from an athlete and an environmental perspective. He presented dual career development environments as “interactive patterns of beliefs, expectations, motives, disciplines, communication processes, services, ethical standards, traditions, and cultures”. Transforming a theoretical dual career concept into effective action is consequently a complex task, likewise on athlete, practitioner and programme level.

Launch of the European Dual Career Toolkit

More than a third of EU member states rate their status & development of dual career arrangements as negative (European Commission, 2017). When asked for the reasons, these are 3 main implementation barriers mentioned (STARTING 11, 2019):

  • A lack of policy and formalised programmes,
  • a lack of dual career awareness, understanding in combination with a limited stakeholder engagement,
  • and a lack of counselling programmes in place.

This is exactly where the EU-funded project STARTING 11 comes into play. Its European Dual Career Toolkit assists institutions in sport, education and the labour market to implement effective dual career services for athletes. As a digital ecosystem of dual career practice, the toolkit is based on these aforementioned concrete barriers, roots in the practice of some of Europe’s leading institutions in dual career support, and is translatable into different dual career development environments. The toolkit is now freely accessible on starting11.eu.‍

A self-tailored day

The festival format of the conference gave the delegates the chance to “customize” their own conference. At the event, they could move freely between thematic areas based on which offers were most relevant to their dual career practice:

  • 3 different Tool Workshops areas helped to get to know the European Dual Career Toolkit in detail. STARTING 11 experts explained how selected tools could be applied in the daily dual career work. International practitioners provided associated examples of dual career practice.
  • The Athlete-Student Stories area saw the world-class athletes Larissa Klaassen (Paralympic Cycling), Cees Juffermans (Short Track) and Johan Kenkhuis (Swimming) share game-changing moments of their dual career.
  • The Speed-Dating & Networking area served as an open space for attendees to meet and exchange. On top, Stadium Tours gave the chance to go explore one of the most iconic buildings in European sport.

In the closing Round Table discussion led by Cees Vervoorn, the panellists Florencia van Houdt (European Commission – DG for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture), Larissa Klaassen (Paralympic Cycling), David McDermott (Liverpool John Moores University), and Laurent Carnol (National Olympic Committee Luxembourg) reflected upon future steps the dual career topic was required to take in the EU. Increasing the sport coaches’ buy-in and active support for holistic athlete development was addressed by several panellists and members of the audience.

“I learned a lot and I really love that the toolkit that was presented today is very hands-on.”
Joost van Westing, The Netherlands

Watch the official aftermovie

Our STARTING 11 Conference Aftermovie captures the essence of the event which, thanks to athletes, practitioners and policy-makers, turned into an international celebration of dual career.

Ⓒ STARTING 11 YouTube

 

 


ENOSS Conference 2021 united professionals from 30 countries

Presenters from 3 continents, participants from 30 different countries: The virtual ENOSS Conference 2021 united the world of sport schools and talent development models.

In the COVID-19 crisis, institutions across Europe were asked to come up with new strategies to navigate their systems through wild waters. The ENOSS Conference "Back on Track : New Ways" of the European Network of Sport Schools on 1-2 December 2021 aimed to help sport and education institutions share, discuss and exploit the manifold innovation that has been created across the globe during this difficult period.

Making it possible for a maximum amount of European practitioners to join, #enoss2021 took place online. Simultaneously, the conference managed to create a most interactive virtual event to enable practitioners to exchange expertise and experience – even in digital form.

Live from Luxembourg

Two rich days of keynotes, workshops and a round table marked the cornerstones of the second ENOSS Conference. Hosted by Sportlycée Luxembourg & TW1N, the event gave stage to innovative international approaches in 3 core areas, selected prior by the European dual career community itself via an online survey:

  • System Development - Thriving in the shadow of Covid: New ways of searching for both recovery and innovation: How dual career systems can use the pandemic as an incomparable opportunity to shape their growth.
  • Psychology & Counselling - Dancing on the tightrope: New ways of fostering well-being: How dual career systems can provide resources for student-athletes to develop a balanced lifestyle in the light of change and challenge.
  • Talent Development - Re-imagining dreams: New ways of accompanying dropouts: How dual career systems can take responsibility to help student-athletes discover meaningful opportunities after changing their education or sporting pathway.

“As this year’s host, we wanted different professional backgrounds to come together in this conference. Looking at our programme, we were proud to present such a variety of topics and experts. Bringing in sport school perspectives from other continents was the icing on the cake of this event.”
Pascal Schaul, #enoss2021 host

Envisaging the 2030 sport school

In the conference keynote, South African expert Ruan Schlebusch took a close look at modern fundamentals of student-athlete support. Do these look different in a post-Covid world to what they did in 2020? He proclaimed that the time we were in was a golden opportunity for institutions to reflect, reset and move forward to make a positive impact in their unique setting.

“In this time of rapid change, there must be inevitable rapid change in the student-athlete support landscape too.”
Ruan Schlebusch, #enoss2021 keynote speaker

Behind the scenes of #enoss2021

Bringing together a consortium of experts representing versatile professional backgrounds, the round table “Envisaging the 2030 sport school” lid up spaces of dual career support with particular potential for optimisation, leering at an ideal institutional picture of the future.

“Sharing an ethics of support across the different stakeholders within their system, building an overall concept and then living this concept is key for sport schools and talent development models.”
Raymond Conzemius, #enoss2021 panelist

Thank you to every participant for making #enoss2021 a most colourful mix of international ideas and perspectives.

Photo courtesy of tilowiedensohler.com

EHF Katarina Pandza

On 27-29 October 2020, the European Handball Federation (EHF) will host the European Handball Online Summit. TW1N is delighted to be among the international speakers.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of initiatives for Grassroots Handball were shut down or not able to proceed. Therefore, the EHF wants to provide the handball community with a new type of event that was especially created to target the Grassroots Handball community.

TW1N Keynote EHOS

For the grassroots

The European Handball Online Summit will be organized as a virtual event. The aim of the summit is to transfer expert knowledge to the handball basis. Renowned European experts in different fields of practice (spanning youth training, sponsoring or marketing) will share their knowledge with officials, coaches, club and federation coordinators as well as athletes. TW1N founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger is invited to address the dual career keynote.

Find detailed information on the EHOS at the official summit website.

© Anze Malovrh / kolektiff

Nations' and clubs' representatives from all over Europe met in Vienna, Austria for the WHF Conference for Strengthening the Women’s Handball Network. In a joint approach with the European Handball Federation, TW1N was honoured to present the commonly developed RESPECT YOUR TALENT programme to the international public.

The conference provided updates on the European women’s handball strategic objectives. Within these, RESPECT YOUR TALENT takes on an important role. The programme assists (here: female) talented athletes to better cope with the current demands of competitive youth handball, and, proactively prepare for the upcoming demands of professional handball.

To this end, in the programme’s pioneering approach, the world’s best handball players supported by leading field experts inspire and instruct young athletes covering topics such as dual career, well-being, integrity of sport, media or sports law.

TW1N is responsible for the methodical and dedactical concept of RESPECT YOUR TALENT. Find more information on the programme here.

 

RESPECT YOUR TALENT Keynote
TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger at the WHF Conference 2020 © EHF
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 16 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 16 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 further 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

Cape Town Stadium aerial

Talent sport has gained a new dynamic in the last decade. The roads young athletes take on their dual career journey are increasingly bumpy and curvy. In this context, diversity, holistic athlete support and the system's approach to winning are systemic factors which substantially impact the personal pathways of youngsters. This counts for sport schools in Europe as it counts for sport schools in Africa. Last week, TW1N had the honour to address two keynotes at the ISSC Conference of independent sport schools in Cape Town, South Africa.

In his first speech, TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger illustrated the EU sport policy in the areas of dual career and talent development, presenting selected topic-specific examples of European approaches. Following, his second keynote zoomed in on the individual talent, offering alternative angles on junior athlete support by translating central ideas of Viktor Frankl's logotherapy into dual career contexts:

"Human life finds its meaningfulness in relationships, or better: relatedness. Relatedness to oneself, to others, to one's own actions. In dual career terms, meaning requires the constant re-definition of the personal relatedness to the extensive investments talents are willing to make. This link is the main precondition for a development that lives up to the potential slumbering within a person. If this link is not established, personal as well as athletic development will not only be limited but stays dependent of external factors. This cannot be the standard of talent development systems. Such systems are asked to build strategies that bring young people in touch with their actions and very own abilities which actually enable them to pursue these actions sustainably and successfully."

Wolfgang Stockinger
Founder & CEO of TW1N

TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger at the ISSC Conference in Cape Town, South Africa