TASS/TALS – UK
Over 14 years of experience
-Over 4,800 Athletes supported
-Over 1,000 Practitioner developed
-Over 50 Sports supported
-Over 100 Education Institutions supported
-180 Olympic/Paralympic medals
-Total investment over TASS lifespan of over £35 million
-£7 Million planned for the next three years
TASS Launched 2003 – First Awards 2004/05
-Atlanta 1996 – 1 Gold, 8 Silver, 6 Bronze – ranked 36th
-Professionalise the system – Investment
-Education, particularly universities where the old system
-Established an institute
-Recognition education still had to be involved
-Athlete in the system, USA, dropping out of education, facilities and expertise
Academic DC Opportunities
-Management & Administration
-Research and Expertise
Dual career Expertise
-Development and funding of Opportunities
-Embedded within Talent Pathway
-Commitment to Dual Career
-Local Coaching Infrastructure
-Management & Administration
-Exchange of Sporting Expertise
-Potential to Develop further
-Commitment to their Sport
-Commitment to their Education
1. What TASS is?
The Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) is a Sport England funded partnership between talented athletes, education institutions and national governing bodies of sport. We work together to bring the best out of our country’s most exciting young talent.
TASS helps athletes in education – aged 16-plus – to get the very best from their sporting and academic careers without having to choose between the two.
The TASS scheme helps athletes in education – aged 16-plus – to get the very best from their sporting and academic careers without having to choose between the two.
We support more than 600 athletes in 32 Sport England sports. Nominated each year by their national governing body (NGB), they are the cream of the crop. These promising athletes are all eligible to represent England and have been identified as performing at the top of the Sport England Talent Pathway.
TASS provides vital support services via a national network of experienced practitioners based at TASS Delivery Sites throughout England.
We are dedicated to retaining and encouraging dual career student-athletes. And a commitment to the continuous professional development of support staff is at the core of what we do and who we are.
TASS supports student-athletes through annual individual awards or sport-specific projects. We operate during the academic year from September 1st – August 31st.
BECOMING A TASS ATHLETE:
We work closely with each sport governing body (NGB), supported by Sport England, to identify suitable athletes for TASS support.
Talented athletes must be aged 16 and over, at the top of the Talent Pathway in their sport and also following a recognised education and/or training programme. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept applications from individuals.
TASS is an annual support programme and athletes may be re-nominated by their NGB during their time as a student-athlete. Athletes are accepted on a range of study options such as A levels, BTEC, foundation courses, degree programmes, home study, apprenticeships and distance learning.
The support from us doesn’t cost anything other than an agreement to commit to an agreed personal plan throughout the year.
2. TASS IN Source Sport, education and training in Europe – EU funded project - FINAL EBOOK
Source Sport, education and training in Europe – EU funded project
In April 2004, the British government launched the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), an initiative which makes sport-specific awards to talented young athletes between 16 and 25 who are in education. The annual budget is around £2m. The awards are revised every year and athletes can benefit for a maximum of three years, in conjunction with other grants and bursaries, such as those offered by universities.
Over the last ten years, partnerships have been formed between universities and professional sport. Degree courses have been created to attract sportsmen and sportswomen. These courses are seeing significant growth and diversification, both on site and in distance learning. More recently, full university curricula have been organised by professional sport itself, such as the University College of Football Business, which was created and funded directly by a group of football clubs, in association with the federations and leagues and with Buckinghamshire New University. Everything relevant to sport can be found in the 17 degree courses, and Masters degrees will soon be offered.
All this shows that the United Kingdom offers a lot of different structures and approaches in the matter of the dual career plan. With these new areas of collaboration between different bodies, the British scene looks like one of the best examples of changes in strategies for developing the dual career.
Our core services are delivered by a network of qualified support staff based at your designated TASS Delivery Site (TDS).
TASS works in partnership with a network of academic institutions across England to provide you with a comprehensive programme of support – helping you to maximise your potential and balance a dual career.
Your support package may include strength and conditioning, lifestyle, physiotherapy, psychology, nutrition, a medical scheme and an athlete personal award. These services are delivered by qualified practitioners based at or near to your place of study.
3. TASS IN Survey on DCA – best practices, Smart sport - Erasmus Plus Sport funded project
SOURCE : Survey on DCA – best practices Smart sport
In United Kingdom, there is a comprehensive sports specific and education specific Dual Career policy involving the world of sports, educational institutions, and a specific Dual Career organisation.
- Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) (16 year old plus) is the national lead on Dual Career development and advice and supports athletes during their dual career based on their sporting/academic achievements. Sport England TASS is a Government funded programme that represents a unique partnership between talented young athletes, National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGB’s) and the Higher (University) and Further (college/school) Education sector. TASS aims to help its athletes to balance academic life with training and competition as a performance athlete. The programme was established in 2003. Since 2004, when the first TASS awards were made, the scheme has invested over £24million into athletes and the supporting network around them, providing up to 6000 awards enabling thousands of talented athletes to fulfil their sporting potential and become medal winners of the future. This type of scholarship is reviewed yearly and athletes can apply for a maximum of three years. In 2015-16 there will be 400 athletes across 30 sports on TASS. In addition, flexible learning policies, support staff, strength & Conditioning facilities, physiotherapy services, lifestyle and psychological support are provided.
- Winning Students (18 years old plus) closely mirrors the TASS program and is supported by Sports Scotland
- English Institute of Sport provides Performance Lifestyle support for performance level athletes, which can include some support for education, however there principle area of activity is supporting athletes in planning for retirement.
- Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (16 to 18 years old) allows/supports an athlete to use there experiance and knowledge gained training to achieve recognise qualifications along side more formal education.
- University and other Education Institutions Scholarships on a ad-hoc bases a number of institutions offer ‘scholarships’ to individual athletes. This support can range for service provision, financial support, fee wavers, reduced entry requirements etc. Each is specific to the institutions and is normally conditional on the athlete representing the institution in competitions.
(Dual Career Quality framework - research report summery)
United Kingdom: Funded by the governmental organization UK Sport, the English Institute of Sports (EIS) is a nationwide network of services involving sports, education and profession related support. Trained athlete advisors are available to give guidance on topics such as individual study planning and employment preparation to world-class level athletes.
“The development of a range of flexible forms of education delivery is critical to meeting the needs of student-athletes in all types of education. Distance learning (or distributed learning) in particular may provide student-athletes with flexibility in terms of the timing and location of their sporting and academic activities. Student-athletes may equally profit from the development of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) in many educational institutes and the advent of cheap and functional means of providing tutorial support via the Internet. However, distance learning programs require a heavy investment of resources for the development and testing of materials prior to the launching of a module. Costs can be reduced if educational authorities and institutes develop platforms, curricula and programs together”. (EU guidelines for DCA).
4. TASS AND TALS - website of TASS / UK
Four education institutions are leading the way with supporting talented athletes in education in England, having been accredited by an innovative new TASS initiative.
TASS believes that every young person on a talent pathway should have the opportunity to gain qualifications alongside their sporting pursuits and have the chance to follow other interests and personal development.
And by formally recognising an institution’s commitment to supporting student-athletes, the TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme aims to allow athletes to reach their potential in education alongside achieving success in their sport.
Referenced within the Education section of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s Duty of Care in Sport Review published in April, accreditation shows that a college or university has the ability to support students following a dual career route. Backing the new scheme, she said:
“Having looked in detail at the talent pathway and the support available for talented young athletes in the Duty of Care Review I carried out earlier this year, I’m really pleased to learn that TASS are now accrediting education institutions.
“I believe we have to a duty to help young people to achieve their potential, whilst prioritising their welfare, wellbeing and education. For the vast majority of athletes, skills and formal qualifications are needed to help them find alternative careers, either alongside their sporting activities or once their sporting days are over.
“For me the TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme is a vitally important measure to ensuring all athletes have the chance to pursue an education and enjoy a more well-rounded approach to life.”
Of the quartet of TASS Dual Career Accredited Centres, two are further education institutions – LeAF Studio and Barnet & Southgate College – whilst two are universities – Southampton Solent and Sheffield Hallam.
The Dual Career Accredited Centres will be an important extension of the network of universities that already partner with TASS, delivering core support services to more than 400 student-athletes each year.
These support services include physiotherapy, nutrition, lifestyle support, psychology strength and conditioning and a private medical scheme.
While some of the existing services delivered focus solely on developing the young person’s sporting performance, a dual career support structure and academic flexibility policies will be central to the help available to athletes based at an Accredited Centre.
From each further education institution, a designated Dual Career Coordinator will complete the Talented Athlete Support in Transitions and Education (TASTE)course, equipping them with the skills to practice a dual career approach.
For the universities involved, the Talented Athlete Lifestyle Support (TALS) qualification – which was developed in partnership with 1st4Sport – will be achieved by at least one practitioner, proving their expertise in managing the balance between sport and education.
Additionally, all Dual Career Accredited Centres are set to receive a toolkit of resources to help provide practical dual career support and bring together all parties who work with the athlete.
For student-athletes, the academic flexibility policies may mean they have the opportunity to access online notes or resources, have a choice of assignments, are able to arrange catch up sessions with lecturers, or even reschedule deadlines or exam dates in exceptional circumstances.
Meanwhile for the institutions, the recognition of becoming a TASS Dual Career Accredited Centre is expected to be beneficial by attracting a greater number of talented athletes and building connections with other local sporting institutions.
Sheffield Hallam is one of 30 established TASS Delivery Sites that currently deliver specialist services a select group of talented athletes each year and is one of the first higher education institutions to have their commitment approved by the university’s Vice Chancellor.
Their new status as a Dual Career Accredited Centre is an enhancement of the university’s existing partnership with TASS and signifies the additional commitments made to dual career support.
The university was selected to participate in a pilot for the Dual Career Accreditation Scheme and TASS expects a number of existing Delivery Sites to follow suit in the new academic year.
Sheffield Hallam’s Sam Thompson is a national-level volleyball athlete who is currently on the university’s Performance Athlete Support Programme, as well as having benefitted from TASS support in the past year.
The LLB Law with Criminology student explained how studying at a university that is equipped to deliver dual career support has helped him. He said:
“Balancing the high workload of my course and the busy volleyball training and S&C schedule has proven to be a challenge.
“When I have felt under pressure due to coursework deadlines, a demanding workload and high training volume, I requested an extension for some pieces of coursework.
“The athlete support team made this process easy as possible for me, which in turn helped to reduce pressure and stress of balancing the various commitments I have as a student athlete.
“I also believe that the reduced academic stress has enabled me to focus more on volleyball, allowing me to maintain competing and training at a high level.”
TASS National Director, Guy Taylor, said: “We’re delighted to be awarding TASS Dual Career Accreditation to the first colleges and universities to complete the commitment process.
“Dual career support is at the forefront of what TASS does and that’s why the Accreditation Scheme is so important for us in recognising those institutions who place precedence on their athletes’ education too.
“We hope that the academic flexibility policies put into place for the accreditation will begin to develop an effective and lasting dual career structure within each institution.
“Congratulations to the first four Dual Career Accredited Centres and we look forward to working alongside many more outstanding colleges and universities in the near future.”
Sport England’s Director of Sport, Phil Smith added:
“Our future sporting champions shouldn’t have to choose between getting an education and excelling at their sport, but they are at risk of dropping out of one of them if they don’t get the right support.
“Since 2004, over 6,000 athletes have been supported via the Sport England-funded TASS scheme, 98 of whom went on to compete at the Rio Olympics.
“We’re excited we can now offer education institutions the opportunity to become a TASS Dual Career Accredited Centre, so they can access training and resources to help provide practical dual career support for athletes.”