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

 

 


A Festival of Dual Career - Register now!

12 May 2022 at the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium: Registration for the STARTING 11 Conference, co-hosted by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences & TW1N, has opened this week. 

Taking place at one of the most iconic buildings in European sport, the STARTING 11 Conference 2022 will introduce an innovative format by being organised like a festival. At the conference, attendees can move freely between thematic areas and parallel sessions. You are able to choose on-site which offers are most relevant to your dual career practice.

Explore the European Dual Career Toolkit first-hand. Attend presentations & workshops of international dual career experts and high-performance athletes. Or network with like-minded professionals from across the EU. Your conference, your choice!

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, the conference is free of charge. Find all information and register on the STARTING 11 conference page. Tickets are limited!

Photo © Roos Aldershoff

 

 


Conference day dual career

TW1N speaks at the European Sport Platform 2021

On 21-23 October 2021, the 4th ENGSO European Sport Platform was held in Vilnius, Lithuania. TW1N Founder & CEO Wolfgang Stockinger was invited to speak about "Dual career support in practice". 

Hosted by the Lithuanian Sports University and Lithuanian Union of Sports Federations, and organised in partnership with the European Lotteries (EL), European Association for Sport Management (EASM) and the EU-funded project CHAMP, the conference was dedicated to the theme "Inspire Innovation in Grassroots Sports". Dual career served as one core topic of the event.

In his speech, Wolfgang Stockinger showcased the innovative methodology of Respect Your Talent, a talent support programme co-developed by the European Handball Federation (EHF) and TW1N.  Alongside his presentation, he gave the organisers a flash interview on the importance of a dual career for athletes. Read the interview here.

ENGSO Speakers Card of Wolfgang Stockinger


STARTING 11 Conference

Postponement of the STARTING 11 Conference

Recent pandemic-related developments and predictions in many European countries and, linked, the institutional travel regulations of stakeholders in dual career have led to the postponement of the STARTING 11 Conference.

STARTING 11 strives for maximum impact and legacy. Correspondingly, our conference originally planned for 19 November at the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium does not only aim to present the European Dual Career Toolkit to the public. It furthermore incorporates practical workshops for dual career practitioners within an interactive and inter-cultural setting on-site.

To make it possible for a maximum amount of people to benefit from the event, we have therefore decided with a heavy heart to postpone the STARTING 11 Conference. Thank you to the substantial number of dual career practitioners who had already pre-registered for the conference. Your pre-registration stays valid. In November, we will announce the new event date.


Amsterdam Olympic Stadium STARTING 11

STARTING 11 Conference in the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium

We are delighted to announce that the STARTING 11 Conference will take place on 19 November 2021 in the historic Amsterdam Olympic Stadium, site of the Olympic Games 1928.

Get to know the value of the European Dual Career Toolkit first-hand. Attend free workshops delivered by acknowledged dual career experts. Network with like-minded professionals from across the EU. And experience one of the most iconic buildings in European sport. The STARTING 11 Conference 2021 will represent a unique platform for the international dual career and athlete support community.

Taking part is everything

Tickets will be limited. Therefore, secure your early-bird ticket by pre-registering for the event via email to info@starting11.eu. The full conference programme will be published in September 2021.


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.


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.


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

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