As the centrepiece of Dutch elite sport, TeamNL unites 29 national sport federations. This week, TW1N was invited to advise their labour market programme TeamNL@work.

While schooling and higher (or adult) education still dominate the European dual career discourse, systematic work-sport solutions and the professional support of athletes’ transition into post-athletic life remain subordinate topics. Fortunately, there are exceptions to be found in the EU.

TeamNL@work, implemented by the Dutch Olympic Committee*National Sports Federation (NOC*NSF), aims to target these topics systematically. TW1N is honoured to deliver consulting services for the programme. This week, we conducted a “TW1N Masterclass” on athlete employability and transition support in the National Sports Centre of Papendal.

A bit of dual career philosophy

As dual careers of athletes are complex patterns of movements, transitions and environments, support programmes rely on their ability to see the big picture and get behind systemic interlinkages. In this regard, leaving well-known sport grounds can help.

Philosophical ideas such as those from Søren Kierkegaard, Niklas Luhmann or Martin Buber secretly carry big (athletic) potential. How to de-cypher these ideas and practically relate them to the topics of proactive career development and professional transition support, served as the functional side note of our 2 topical Masterclass modules. 

From work-sport solutions to labour market integration

What is the motivation of organisations to consider elite sport-friendly workplaces? What does it require from a company to include active elite athletes in their staff pool? How can inclusion conditions within the labour organisation be adapted so that the work performance of athletes is connectable to the systemic logic of the free economy AND allows the compatilibility with the systemic logic of elite sport? In the first part of our workshop, these questions took centre stage, while the afternoon was dedicated to the personal dynamics of athletic retirement. How can dual career service providers professionally prepare athletes for their sensitive transition into the job market?

Thank you to the NOC*NSF and its TeamNL@work partner institutions, Stichting Sporttop, de SportMaatschappij, UWV and Fanbased Foundation for your involvement.

NOC*NSF, TeamNL, Masterclass
Wolfgang Stockinger (TW1N) with Wanda Schapendonk and Marjolein Miltenburg (NOC*NSF)