Performance Lifestyle program - EIS - UK

19 November 2018
Performance Lifestyle program - EIS - UK

Performance Lifestyle program - EIS - UK

1. Performance Lifestyle program - UK

source : Athletes careers across cultures, edited by N.R. Stambulova and T.V.Ryba, London, Roultedge, ISBN 978-1-84872-167-8


In 2004, UK Sport rebranded the ACE UK program as the Performance Lifestyle program, which is still being implemented at the time of writing. The aims of the Performance Lifestyle program are similar to those of the ACE UK program but UK Sport, in renaming the program, wanted to ensure that performance was its main focus (Gilmore, 2008). The program focuses on athletic lifespan development and offers five different areas of service: integration planning (e.g. helping athletes to combine their athletic and personal lives through balanced lifestyles), educational guidance, career planning, transitional support, and training and development programs (e.g. providing education related to financial planning and dealing with media). In 2009, the English Institute of Sport took over the strategic lead role for the Performance Lifestyle Service from UK Sport (UK Sport, 2009).

According to UK Sport (2009), athletic lifespan development refers to three stages of the athletic career: athletes aspiring to be full-time athletes, full-time athletes and transitioning (retiring) athletes. Each regional institute (i.e. the English Institute of Sport, the Scottish Institute of Sport, the Sport Institute of Northern Ireland and the Welsh Institute of Sport) provides individualized education, career and life skills development services to eligible athletes based on their developmental stage. For example, for athletes pursuing full-time athletic careers, the program helps them to engage with their regular sports training through providing flexible part-time job opportunities to reduce financial concerns. If these athletes could be selected for a world-class program (Olympic-level full-time athlete), the regional organization might assist by helping to find new accommodation or dealing with other life changes. The program focuses on helping full-time athletes with their financial (e.g. sponsorship information), lifestyle (e.g. balanced lifestyle) and individual (e.g. flexible study or work options) development issues. Support for transitioning (i.e. retiring) athletes focuses on future options, including helping them to identify their post-sport careers and develop related strategies.

In considering the effectiveness of the UK's Performance Lifestyle program, Gilmore (2008) examined the Scottish Performance Lifestyle program. She interviewed seven Scottish former athletes and four Performance Lifestyle advisors from the Scottish Institute of Sport. The study revealed that athletes benefited from media training, financial assistance and career support. One athlete said: ‘The media training session was really useful, because it is not something that you have any experience of really’ (p. 254). Some athletes, however, did not engage with the program either because of lack of knowledge about the program or because none of the services met their specific needs. Performance lifestyle advisors believed that the program had a positive influence on athletes and perceived education support as the most helpful aspect and retirement support as the least useful dimension. Participants suggested individualization, developing rapport between athletes and program providers and providing proactive assistance as ways to improve the current program.

2. Performance lifestyle program - EIS




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