Professional sport organisations Athletes support programs in UK
1. Professional sport organisations Athletes support programs in UK
source: Athletes careers across cultures, edited by N.R. Stambulova and T.V.Ryba, London, Roultedge, ISBN 978-1-84872-167-8
Apart from the national Performance Lifestyle program, three other athlete support programs have been provided, each by a professional sports organization.
In 2000, the Welsh Rugby Union adapted UK Sport's ACE UK program for Welsh professional rugby players (Welsh Rugby Union, n.d.).
The England and Wales Cricket Board provided an athlete support program in three main areas (education, career and lifestyle) to English and Welsh professional cricket players.
The Professional Rugby Players' Association developed a Player Development program for English professional rugby players, including personal development, life after rugby, lifestyle balance and education support (Gilmore, 2008).
2. The UK’s Professional Cricketers Association’s personal development programme
source: IMPROVING DUAL CAREER SUPPORT Best Practice, Good Governance & Innovative Ideas for Player Associations - EU Athletes - European elite athletes association - “It draws upon the experiences of the members of EU Athletes during their INNOVATIVE IDEAS, GOOD GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES& BEST PRACTICE
exchange visits across Europe in 2014 and the dual career conference for Player Associations in Helsinki in 2014. “
2.1. The UK’s Professional Cricketers Association’s personal development programme has two major aims:
-To improve the performance of cricketers through easing and minimising potential distractions during their playing career.
-To better prepare cricketers for life after cricket.
The first of these targets is a direct benefit to the club and will help improve players’ performance and reduce problems. Typical examples can be running alcohol awareness courses and providing training in social media, two areas that can cause major problems for players and their employers.
2.2 The Jockeys Education and Training Scheme (JETS) in the UK runs a successful dual careers award every year which has been covered on television. This award is for the jockey who has made the best career transition and includes a financial bursary for the winners to assist with training costs. An important part of the award is the high profile it gives to jockeys preparing for life after sport and it also very importantly taps into athletes’ competitive streak by making dual career preparation a competition with short term winners.
2.3. The Professional Players Federation in the UK ran some innovative research into how athletes coped with the transition to life after sport. This research gained national prominence in the media showing that many athletes struggled to feel in control of their lives in the two years after finishing playing. One of the key factors identified in making a successful transition was how well the player had prepared for life after sport.