Author: jfoerster

On September 18-20, the European Athletes as Students (EAS) network in Falun gathered for a conference on elite sports and studies. This year’s theme for the conference was “Back to their future” and aims at having the best of elite student athletes in mind as the network started in Falun in 2004.
The conference was successful and in addition to interesting discussions, participants were welcomed by the municipal council Joakim Storck and the head of the Dalarna Sports Association, Peter Berglund. They also got a guided tour of the World Cup Museum in the big jumping hill at Lugnet and also an appreciated evening at Magasinet where a scholarship award took place.
Participants from 20 different countries came to the conference to discuss how higher education and higher education institutions can develop the opportunities to combine studies while having an elite sports career, says the project manager for the conference Marit Stub Nybelius.
The focus of the EAS network is on dual careers of student athletes. Double careers are very important for elite athletes to be able to train during their elite sports careers and have something to fall back on after the end of their sports careers.
 
At the MGAZINE on September 19, the “Bengt Nybelius Award was given”, a scholarship, which was established in 2013 by EAS in memory of Bengt Nybelius. Bengt Nybelius who was one of the founders of the EAS network.
 
This year’s recipient of the scholarship was Masar Gajak from Pristina in Kosovo.
On October 3, a delegation from the University of Latvia was visiting Greece for the launch event of a joint mentor training program developed by the Young Ordinary and Disabled Sports Athletes’ MENTORS (YODA MENTORS) project. The purpose of the meeting was to meet prospective dual sports career mentors as well as give guidance on the future of the training program.
 
The curriculum is developed within Erasmus + Sport. It aims to prepare professional mentors who will be ready to provide advice and support to athletes throughout their sports careers, from high school through to higher education.
 
Under the program, mentors from Latvia will provide support to both Latvian and foreign athletes, as well as Latvian athletes will have the opportunity to collaborate with experienced mentors from Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece. The dual sports career in Latvia is still at an early stage, so the project is expected to contribute to the development of the dual sports career at the University of Latvia – to support athletes who have opted for higher education alongside their professional sports career.
 
The next project international meeting will take place in January 2020 in Riga. EAS is represented within the YODA project by board member Dr. Ilvis Abelkalns.
 
YODA Mentor is an Erasmus + Sport project funded by the European Commission (see 603092-EPP-1-2018-1-IT-SPO-SCP).

The Sport Opens School (SOS) project continued with the second transnational meeting hosted by the Bacău County School Inspectorate in Romania on 25-26 September ,2019. The SOS project is co-financed by the Erasmus + program of the European Union to achieve the goal of develop an innovative teaching method for high school physical education teachers and then implement this new model in the 4 partner schools.

CUS Padova, project coordinator, and all partners (Italian National Olympic Committee – Italy; Bacău-Romania School Inspectorate; Instituto N.ª Sra da Encarnação – Ensino Cooperative, Benedita – Portugal; Newton Higher Education Institute – Pertini – Italy; Budapest VI. Kerületi Kölcse y Ferenc Gimnázium – Hungary; and European Athlete as Student network – Malta) met to discuss the drafting of the new teaching module, based on the literature review and research developed by the project team; to check the project website before publication; and to share information on the next training activity.

The entire project team is now focused on organizing the 3-day training activity that will take place next December at the CUS Padova facilities. On this occasion, high school physical education teachers will participate in training on the new physical education teaching method, addressing the 3 main subjects of the module: Physical activity and health; Fairplay and integrity; Skills for life (life skills) and for employability.

The partners from the DONA project met  September 26 and 27 in Amsterdam for training meeting. The project targets female volleyball athletes between 12-20 years old, covering the several important development stages including major changes on academic, athletic, psychological, social and professional levels. EAS was represented by Prof. Mojca Doupona-Topic.

At the meeting partners elaborated Pilot Programme which was very good prepaired by De SportMaatschappij Foundation. Later this year, 250 athletes will be directly involved in the pilot program, through the 4 participating sports clubs.

Partners also talked about the selection of the ambassadors. Each club selected two such persons.  Ambassadors are persons who are, or have been, active within the club and have experience with a dual career or with facing difficult transitions. They are good with younger athletes and like to help them with possible struggles.

INFORMATION about DONA

DONA is based on the ERASMUS+ Collaborative Partnership program of EU. It is coordinated by the Associació Esportiva Carles Vallbona (Spain) and involves the Phoenix Sports Club (Malta), the Scuola di Pallavolo Anderlini Soc. Coop. Sociale SD (Italy), the Associação Aventura com Carisma – Leixoes Sport Club (Portugal), the De SportMaatschappij Foundation (Netherlands), the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), and the European Athlete as Student (EAS) Dual Career Network (Malta).

DONA aims to:

  • decrease female athletes’ dropout from sport clubs;
  • prepare athletes from an early age for the different transition periods ahead with developing the needed skills and competences;
  • increase the number of professional and elite female volleyball players by retaining talents at clubs and supporting their DC development;
  • make young athletes and their families aware that it is possible to aim for both educational and sports career;
  • help them finding the right balance between sports and education with providing them the needed support services;
  • prepare these athletes for their upcoming challenge to be successful in the change from elite sport to labour market – for the “career after the career”.

On September 12-14, 2019 the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) hosted in Rome the 4th meeting of the EMPATIA project, co-funded by the European Union’s Erasmus Sport programme and coordinated by the University of Ljubljana.

To structure of the on-line dual career parenting educational programme in light of the evidence and eminence findings on dual career parents, Matteo Bovis (CONI, ITA), Antonio Tessitore and Masar Gjaka (University of Rome Foro Italico, ITA), Anne Templet, Jean-Luc Patoret (INSEP, FRA), Ciaran MacDonncha, Gary Ryan, and Giles Warrington (University of Limerick, IRE), Carlos Goncalves (University of Coimbra, POR), Ana Rolo and Rute Costa (Ginásio Clube Figueirense, POR) Laura Capranica (EAS, MLT), Andrej Pisl (EUSA Institute, SLO), and Mojca Doupona and Kinga Varga (University of Ljubljana, SLO) engaged in a fruitful discussion.

The EMPATIA project, will last till December 2020 and Laura Capranica will present its progress at the 2019 EAS Conference to be held in Falun, Sweden, on September 18-20, 2019.

The partners from the transnational project EdMedia, including the EAS, met 2 ending august 2019 at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Sport for a second meeting of the project. The meeting gave fruitful perspectives for the future.
Funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, EdMedia aims to positively change the attitude towards an athletes’ dual career in the media.
 
The action plan of the project includes conducting a comprehensive analysis of related scientific articles and examining how an athletes’ dual career image is formed by media, before analysing the gap between the current practices and the EU guidelines on dual career of athletes.
The project involves representation from eight partners spread across Europe. The project’s coordinators from Sports University Lithuania; University of Rome Foro Italico, Italy; Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Lași, Romania; The University of Valencia, Spain; Sport University Cologne, Germany, University of Ljubljana, Slovania; European University Sports Association (EUSA) and EAS.
On September 8-12, 2019 the 4th meeting of the AMID project was hosted at the Gaeta Aragonese Castle and at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio.
 
Cristina Cortis, Loriana Castellani, and Alice Iannaccone (University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, ITA) and Andrea Fusco (CUS Cassino, ITA) welcomed Herbert Wagner and Philip Fuchs (University of Salzburg, AUT, Coordinator), Mojca Doupona and Marta Bon (University of Ljubljana, SLO), Niko Niemisalo, Heikki Hannola, and Hannele Keranen (Lapland University of Applied Sciences, FIN), Patrice Giron and Jacob Kunert (University Sport Service Hamburg, GER), and Laurence Blondel and Laura Capranica (EAS, MLT)
 
During the meeting the Project’s findings on dual career for migrating athletes have been discussed and future activities have been planned.
 
The AMID project, co-funded by the European Union’s Erasmus Sport programme, will last till December 2020 and Herbert Wagner will present its progress at the 2019 EAS Conference to be held in Falun, Sweden, on September 18-20, 2019.

Only few places are still available, to participate at this outstanding meeting of experts in dual career from all over Europe.

The 16th EAS Conference will engage dual career experts from all over Europe to discuss the role of education in elite sport, present outcomes and progression of dual career projects, and develop new partnerships and initiatives for future collaborative partnerships.
Do not miss the chance, to join the 16th annual EAS Conference and General Assembly in Falun/SWE at Dalarna University to get an idea on the state of art in that special field of European Sport policy.

Best practice and running EU funded projects on dual career will be presented through that three days in the heart of Sweden. Take the chance to exchange and learn from colleagues in your field of interest. Based on ERASMUS+ STaffExchange you can apply for financial support from EU.

The deadline to register for the conference is September 5, 2019 at https://axacoair.se/go?aT2rWxId

In creating the www.icdc.eu pilot program not only scientific sources were consulted. Best practices in Dual Career have also been researched. To identify the best practices in Dual Career, work visits have been paid to Olympic Committees, elite sport centers, elite sport clubs, schools / universities and other institutes. At all these organisations key players (amongst others managers, coaches, Dual Career support providers, athletes, etc.) have been asked their opinion on effective Dual Career support in sport clubs.

The project “Innovative Clubs for Dual Careers” focuses on developing optimal conditions for Dual Career and improve the Dual Career awareness at sports clubs, good coordination regarding education and sports clubs, developing a Dual Career team with specialists and corresponding Dual Career support. These are the important pillars of the project and in the study we have focused on successful practical examples that focus on the aspects of these pillars. Given the fact that the Dual Career concept is not always firmly anchored in sports clubs, inspiration was deliberately sought in other domains and organizations as well. The starting point has always been that a working method or structure can easily be integrated into the practice of a sports club.

The 4-pillar scheme shows the pillars underlying this project and therefore also the study. Each pillar is further explained in a chapter in this guidebook. For each pillar, relevant scientific insights are discussed and the best practices that form the basis of the pilot programme and can inspire more sports clubs to professionalize their Dual Career policy are explained. Each building block in each pillar represents a paragraph of that chapter. Each chapter concludes with a best practice in which the most important elements of the pillar are highlighted in ‘In the spotlight’. These highlighted best pratices together form the Champions League for sports organisations in Dual Career!

On Jun 27-til 28 2019 the second international partner meeting took place in Murcia. This meeting was attended by representatives of the University of Latvia (Latvia), the project’s lead partner, while the consortium of partners consists of Alexandru Ioan Cuza University (Romania), Catolica San Antonio de Murcia University (Spain), Coimbra University (Portugal), University degli Studi G. d’Annunzio Chieti – Pescara (Italy) and The European Athlete as Student (Malta).

On behalf of EAS Laura Capranica (EAS President, University of Rome Foro Italico) and ExCom Member Ilvis Abelkalns (University of Latvia) participated.
To contribute to the development of a dual career culture in Europe, the project aims to collect and systematize policies and best practices to develop Dual Career Guidelines and Methodologies for higher education institutions (HEI).

At the meeting the activities in the previous stage of the project were was carried out. The group discussed the results of the focus groups and of the high-performance athletes, and analyzed the questionnaires. The project team got acquainted with the UCAM sports infrastructure.

The project will last for 2 years and is co-funded by the European Union’s Erasmus Sport program