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

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
Sportlycée Luxembourg, Workshop

Shaping sport-school environments in Luxembourg

Fueled by its EU Presidency which put Dual Careers on its sport agenda, Luxembourg has made impressive steps forward in their structural development of athlete support services. Since 2016, TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger serves as an external consultant of this national implementation process.

As a most important puzzle piece of the Luxembourgish dual career system, the Sportlycée Luxembourg is a public sport school with the mission to help talented athletes to combine sport and education on secondary school level. The national programme is run in cooperation with sport federations and the Federal Ministry of Sport.

Traditionally, the school has a strong ambition to continuously innovate its dual career environment. Bringing in European expertise is seen as a key factor for further development within the institution. In this context, TW1N was delighted to advise the first stage of the project "Projet d’établissement - Building block for a successful dual career". In an in-house workshop, we accompanied the school's experts in the areas of management, teaching, sport psychology and counselling to create effective communication strategies to convey the project to the talented athletes and their entourage, spanning parents, sport coaches and teachers.

Sportlycée Luxembourg, Workshop
The experts of the Sportlycée Luxembourg & TW1N