EU Projects

On July 1, 2020, the EMPATIA Team (Coordinator: University of Ljubljana; Partners: EUSA Institute, Ginásio Clube Figueirense, INSEP, CONI, Sport Ireland Institute, University of Coimbra, University of Limerick, University of Rome Foro Italico, and EAS) participated to a virtual meeting aimed to refine the education material of the online programme for parents of student-athletes, which has been developed on thorough evidence- (Tessitore et al., under revision), the eminence-based knowledge collected from 115 parents of dual career athletes (Giaka et al., under revision), and a concept mapping procedure involving 489 parents from six Member States (e.g., France, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Slovenia) to develop a dual career parenting education framework.

In the next months, the EMPATIA Team is going to collect the parents’ feedback on the usefulness of the educational programme before its official launch at the end of the project.

On June 15 and 16 the regular project meeting of the project “More than gold” was organized. It was initially planned to be held in Coimbra, Portugal, but due to the current Pandemic situation and travel restrictions, it was decided to organize the meeting virtually.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the process of finalizing both intellectual results, including ideas for guidelines design and other necessary improvements.

During the meeting, the results of the university survey were presented – the opinion of the university representatives on the possibility to adapt the guidelines in their organization. The results of a survey on feedbacks from COVID were also presented – how the Pandemic has affected the daily life of athletes’ dual sports careers – training and studying processes.

The main aim of the project “More than gold” is to create dual career guidelines for higher education institutions (HEI) and strengthen dual career policies in all EU countries, especially in the countries, where dual career policy is at an early stage.

“More than gold” is going to collect the best practices about different activities for students – athletes, which can help youngest students (for instance career centre services, psychologist services, mentoring program for young students etc.) to start studies.

On June 8-10, 2020 the Centres de Ressources, d’Expertise et de Performance Sportives – CREPS Toulouse hosted the Partners of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (coordinator), ADH, EAS, Sportlycée Luxembourg, TASS, and TW1N for the virtual meeting of the Starting11 project (60313-EPP-1-2018-1-NL-SPO-SCP). 

To stimulate national, regional and local dual career delivery in the EU, Starting 11 aims to create the very first European Dual Career Toolkit for service providers. 

During the three days, the Partners engaged in the refinement of tools in 4 areas of dual career service: 

“Management”, which focuses on promoting the political, theoretical and infrastructural know-how to implement and administrate dual career services; 

“Framework”, which targets programmes at a school and higher education level to contribute to conditions in which dual careers can successfully be realized; 

“Dual career counselling”, which aims at inter-personal counselling services to foster the coping, decision-making and planning ability of an athlete within times of fundamental change and transition; and 

“Communication”, which caters to the identification of efficient communication towards the most relevant dual career stakeholders. 

The meeting ended with a virtual tour of Toulouse!

More information on Starting 11 is available at

On Friday, June 5th, 2020, the weekly virtual coffee meeting of the UNISPORT Italia presented a the gender-specific approach to dual career “E-learning and training: The recipe for female youth athletes of the future”.

President Paolo Bouquet introduced the speakers Raffaella Masciadri (President of the Athletes’ Committee of the Italian Olympic Committee), Alessandra Ortenzi (Sport Web Journalist, Digital PR and Sport Strategist) and Federica Stradi (Scuola di Pallavolo Anderlini, Partner of the DONA project), who presented their unique and innovative efforts to address several essential development stages and major dual career transitions of female athletes.

The 42 participants were informed on the development of an e-learning education programme tailored for female athletes as well as the aims and progression of the DONA project focused on the holistic development of youth female volleyball players. During the general discussion, the opportunity to connect with other related projects to enhance the effective development of a dual career in Italy was envisaged. In particular, the expected outcomes of the Starting 11 (the European toolkit for dual career service providers) and the EMPATIA (the online educational programme for parents of dual career athletes) projects were particularly appreciated.

As a Member of EAS, the proactive dual career attitude of UNISPORT-Italia represents a valuable good practice to advance the European sports culture.

On June 5, 2020, Laura Capranica presented »The role of parents in the sports careers of young athletes« at the 4th International Scientific Virtual  Conference in Physical Education, Sports and Health organized by the Faculty of Physical Education, Sport and Health of the University St. Cyril and Methodius – Skopje, North Macedonia. 

Starting from European dual career issues, the findings of the EU-funded Collaborative Partnership EMPATIA (0437-EPP-1-2017-1-SI-SPO-SCP) in relation to the evidence- (e.g., the findings of the systematic literature review on parenting dual career athletes) and eminence-base (e.g., the outcomes of the focus groups and concept mapping researches involving parents of talented and elite athletes) knowledge were summarized. 

At present, two EMPATIA scientific contributions are under review at peer-review journals and another is going to be finalized in the next weeks. Furthermore, the EMPATIA Team (Coordinator: University of Ljubljana, SLO; Partners: INSEP, FRA; the University of Rome Foro Italico and the Italian Olympic Committee, ITA;, the University of Coimbra and the Ginásio Clube Figueirense, POR; the EUSA Institute, SLO; the University of Limerick and the Sport Ireland Institute, IRE; and the European Athlete as Student – EAS, the Dual Career Network, MLT) is currently implementing the online educational programme.

Dear EAS Members and Friends,
the EAS Executive Committee wishes you a healthy 2020 Easter!

Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic is strongly affecting our life, causing a great distress or other unforeseen situations.

This is the time to give!

In being aware that any support could make a difference and be greatly appreciated, many of us are actively involved in new processes at educational and/or sport levels to sustain the dual career of our youth. Hopefully, these novel approaches to the solution of unexpected difficulties will help us advancing in new directions once this terrible period will be over.

In the past years, this newsletter was intended also to update on the most recent EAS activities and to anticipate future ones. This year, we will limit the information only to recent past, because the situation does not allow us to have a clear picture of the future. Surely, we will keep you informed through our website ( and by emails.

Recent activities

January 13-14: The 3rd transnational meeting of the Dual Career for Women Athletes (DONA) ERASMUS+Sport Collaborative Partnership programme was held in Modena, Italy to discuss the current status of the recent activities of the project. DONA is coordinated by the Associació Esportiva Carles Vallbona (Spain) and involves the Malta Volleyball Association (Malta), the Scuola di Pallavolo Anderlini Soc. Coop. Sociale SD (Italy), the Associação Aventura com Carisma – Leixoes Sport Club (Portugal), Istres Provence Volleyball (France), the De SportMaatschappij Foundation (Netherlands), the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), and the European Athlete as Student (EAS) Dual Career Network (Malta).

January 24-25: The activities of EAS have been presented at the International Conference “When the School starts running” organized in Rome (Italy). The Conference was organized in occasion of the 21st Miguel’s Race (the 10-km Miguel’s Race involving around 10,000 participants.

January 30: EAS was present at 7th Erasmus+ Sport InfoDay organized by the European Commission and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) to update on the funding opportunities in sport, which include also cooperation on dual career.

February 6-7: Sport Ireland Institute hosted the meeting of the ERASMUS+Sport Collaborative Partnership EMPATIA in Dublin, Ireland, to finalize the content of the EMPATIA educational programme on dual career parenting. Coordinated by the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), the EMPATIA team involves the INSEP (France), the University of Rome Foro Italico and the Italian Olympic Committee (Ily), the University of Coimbra and the Ginásio Clube Figueirense (Portugal), the EUSA Institute (Slovenia), the University of Limerick and the Sport Ireland Institute (Ireland), and the European Athlete as Student (EAS) Dual Career Network (Malta).

February 24: The meeting of the Consultative Committee Bureau of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) of the Council of Europe was held in Paris, France to discuss the revised Terms of References and the draft agenda of the plenary meeting of the Consultative Committee. Chaired by Mr Jens Sejer Andersen – PLAY THE GAME, the Bureau includes the Vice Chair Mr Michal Buchel – FIAS, Mr Carlos Cardoso – ENGSO, Ms Paulina Tomczyk – EU Athletes; Ms Annette Wachter – EGLSF; Ms. Laura Capranica – EAS; and Mr Michael TRINKER, EPAS Deputy Executive Secretary.

February 26-28: The transantional meeting of the Starting11 ERASMUS+Sport Collaborative Partnership was held in Luxembourg to plan further development of the European dual career toolkit. Furthermore, the Starting11 platform has been launched (, coordinated by the Amsterdam University of Applied Science (Netherlands) in cooperation with the CREPS Toulouse (France), the German University Sport Federation (ADH – Germany), the Sportlycee Luxembourg (SplL – Luxembourg), the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS – England), and the European Athlete as Student (EAS) Dual Career Network (Malta).

The EAS website publicized two editorial activities: The call for contributions for the special issue of Cultura, Ciencia y Deporte, which aims to be a meeting point for research resulting from EU- funded projects withing the ERASMUS+Sport Programme; and the manuscript Career Development and Transition of Athletes: The International Society of Sports Psychology Position Stand Revised by Natalia B. Stambulova, Tatiana V. Ryba and Kristoffer Henriksen.

European Projects

One of the main pillar of EAS is the commitment and support of all the European Collaborative Partnerships focused on dual career. In particular, this is a brief update on the projects where EAS is currently involved:

AMID (590400-EPP-1-2017-1-AT-SPO-SCP) 2018-2020. Coordinated by the University of Salzburg (Austria), the project aims to provide evidence- and eminence-base guidelines on student-athletes who relocate/migrate to pursue their academic and/or sport careers. Despite due to the Covid-19 the transnational meeting scheduled in March 2020 was cancelled, during this final phase of the project the Partners will collaborate to produce recommendations to provide approaches to the stakeholders from sports, politics and education based on the information deriving from a literature review, focus groups, interviews and surveys. Further information is available at

EMPATIA (590437-EPP-1-2017-1-SI-SPO-SCP) 2018-2020. Coordinated by the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), the focus is on the roles of parents as supporters of dual careers of their children. The online educational programme is in its final developmental phase and was supposed to be tested next May during dedicated national workshops with the parents. Due to the Covid-19 constraint, possible adjustments will be necessary. Further information is available at

DONA (2018-3716/001-001) 2019-2021. Coordinated by the Associació Esportiva Carles Vallbona-AEC (Spain), DONA aims to investigate, develop and test a dual career club-based methodology for enhancing women’s volleyball players. During last months, DONA has smoothly progressed with awareness raising events organized in Granollers, Istres, Modena and Zebbug. The Partners designed and delivered the monitoring structure of the pilot programme and feedback will be collected at the four Partner clubs during the implementation phase.

Ed-Media (2018-2078/001-001) 2019-2020. Coordinated by the University of Kaunas (Lithuania), Ed-Media aims to proactively shape a positive image of athletes as students. At present, the findings of thorough gap, desk, SWOT and PESTEL analyses on dual career carried out in the participating Member States are directing the development of specific recommendations.

More Than Gold (603346-EPP-1-2018-1-LV-SPO-SCP). 2019-2020. Coordinated by the University of Latvia (Latvia), at present MTG is developing dual career guidelines for higher education institutes. Recently, more than 60 European universities provided their opinion on the priority and feasibility of specific recommendations for the development and implementation of dual career.

SportOpensSchool (603266-EPP-1-2018-1-IT-SPO-SCP). 2019-2020. Coordinated by CUS Pavova (Italy), SOS developed an innovative teaching module for physical activity teachers based on three main pillars: health education; fair play education; and development of skills and abilities. The Covid-19 emergency is affecting also the implementation of the project, with the transnational meeting to be held in Portugal to be rearranged.

Starting11 (60313-EPP-1-2018-1-NL-SPO-SCP). 2019-2021. Coordinated by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences-AUAS (Netherlands), the project aims to create the very first European Dual Career Toolkit for service providers. After the transnational meeting held in Luxembourg at the end of February, to inform on the advancement of the project activities Starting11 launched its official website

Save the date

April 21, 2020 is the extended deadline for submission of ERASMUS+Sport applications within the Call for proposals 2020. This funding opportunity is addressing dual career among its priorities.

September 17-19, 2020 in Hamburg (Germany) the 17th EAS Conference 2020 will be held next under the organization of the University Sport Service Hamburg. This event is the European dual career knowledge-hub and the best opportunity to disseminate the findings of the EU-funded projects and activities carried out on behalf of athletes as students.

Send a virtual hug to your Dual Career friends during the COVID-19 emergercy

In support of our community dedicated to improving the well-being of athletes as students EAS is actively responding to the COVID-19 emergency. You can fight the COVID-19’s stay-alone-period by sending a “virtual hug” (by e-mail, WhatsApp, social media) to a good friend or a good colleague of yours. This could be a good opportunity to share your commitment in dual career and to engage new members of our Network.

A special thank for the loyalty and commitment of the EAS Executive Committee and the Members of our Network in supporting the advancement of a European dual career culture.

We wish all the best for the health and wellbeing of you and your loved ones. Yours sincerely,

Laura Capranica on behalf of the EAS Executive Committee

On February 24, 2020 the meeting of the Consultative Committee Bureau of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) of the Council of Europe was held in Paris, France.
The members of the Consultative Committee Bureau (Mr Jens Sejer ANDERSEN, Chair of the EPAS Consultative Committee, International Director Danish Institute for Sport Studies PLAY THE GAME; Mr Michal BUCHEL, Vice-Chair of the EPAS Consultative Committee, Chief Executive Officer International SAMBO Federation – FIAS; Mr Carlos CARDOSO, President European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation – ENGSO; Ms Paulina TOMCZYK General Secretary EU Athletes; Ms Annette WACHTER, Co-President European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation – EGLSF; Ms. Laura Capranica, President European Athlete Student – EAS; and Mr Michael TRINKER, EPAS Deputy Executive Secretary) discussed the revised Terms of References and the draft agenda of the plenary meeting of the Consultative Committee to be held on 9 June 2020 in Strasbourg, France, during which the elections of the new Bureau will take place.
Being one of the three statutory bodies of EPAS, the Consultative Committee aims to contribute to the implementation of its activities and the achievement of its objectives.
Reports of the Consultative Committee Plenary Meetings are available at

Luxembourg has been in the international media in the last few days mainly because of the switch to a free “public transport for everyone”. During the breaks of the three-day meeting of the ERASMUS + funded project STARTING 11, this sustainable decision was always an issue.

The main topic, however, was the further development and specification of the instruments for improving the situation of the dual career in the countries of the European Union.

In several workshops and small groups, the representatives of the seven partner institutions worked, among other things, in the areas of “advice in dual careers”, “framework conditions of dual careers” or “management of dual careers”.

It was exciting to see that the project partners, including the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) from England, met for the first time after Brexit, which will have no direct impact on the project. Because of a favorable transitional arrangement for the ERASMUS + program, it is possible that the very active partner from Great Britain can work as a full member until the end of the project.

That project unites leading European institutions in dual career research and practice, to create the very first European Dual Career Toolkit. The lead is taken by the Amsterdam University of Applied Science, Partners are:

– Athletes as Students Network (EAS – Malta)
– Creps Toulouse (CREPS – France)
– German University Sport Federation (adh – Germany)
– Sportlycee Luxembourg (SplL – Luxembourg)
– Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS – England)

Aim of the project is to develop tailored tools to the specific demand of dual career service providers in the EU member states. Using an integrated approach, STARTING 11 empowers key actors in sport, education and the labour market to provide high quality services to athletes in all stages of their sporting career, reaching from school level to the stage of retirement from sport.

EAS is represented in that project by Prof. Laura Capranica (Foro Italico) and Ole Keldorf (Eliteidraet Scole Aarhus – ESAA).

Call for papers: December 19, 2019. – Deadline: March 1, 2020. Publication: September or December 2020. – Editors: Antonio Sanchez Pato, Miquel Torregrosa and Elena Conde

Researchers have demonstrated the problems in the lives of elite athletes, who dedicate most of their time to training and competitions and have great difficulties in developing their academic career (Brackenridge, 2004; Conzelmann & Nagel, 2003). The adequate reconciliation of the sports career and academic life, allows the athlete to prepare an alternative working life outside the sports world as the withdrawal time approaches (Puig & Vilanova, 2006; Torregrosa et al., 2015; Wylleman et al., 2004).

The sporting withdrawal, as a common and inevitable moment for all elite athletes, occurs at an early age, when the person still has a large part of his life ahead of him, and the absence of a complementary training to the sport, prevents the use of capital sports obtained throughout his career (Puig and Vilanova, 2006).

The concept of dual career (CD) refers to the challenge of reconciling a sports career with studies or work, which is a source of concern for most elite athletes. For this reason, the European Union, in an effort to promote the development of sport in a socially responsible environment (EU Guidelines on the double career of athletes, 2012), considers the improvement of learning and education of athletes, through their university training with the objective of developing their skills and competences outside the world of sport (European Commission, 2007, 2012).

This special issue of Cultura, Ciencia y Deporte, aims to be a meeting point for research projects, the result of projects funded by the European Union with the Erasmus + Sport Program in recent years, which have aimed to promote the good governance in sport and support the implementation of the EU Guidelines in the dual career of athletes. More information here.


Brackenridge, C. (2004). Women and children first? Child abuse and child protection in sport. Sport in Society, 7(3), 322- 337.

Conzelmann, A., & Nagel, S. (2003). Professional careers of the German Olympic athletes. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 38(3), 259- 280.

Danish, S. J., Petitpas, A., & Hale, B. D. (1995). Psychological interventions: A life development model. Sport psychology interventions., 19-38.

De Brandt, K., Wylleman, P., Torregrossa, M., Schipper-Van Veldhoven, N., Minelli, D., Defruyt, S., & De Knop, P. (2018). Exploring the factor structure of the Dual Career Competency Questionnaire for Athletes in European pupil- and student-athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 35(S1), 1–18.

Defruyt, S., Wylleman, P., Torregrossa, M., Schipper-van Veldhoven, N., Debois, N., Cecić Erpič, S., & De Brandt, K. (2019). The development and initial validation of the dual career competency questionnaire for support providers (DCCQ-SP). International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 0(0), 1–18.

European Commission (2007). White Paper on Sport. Brussels: Directorate General for Education and Culture.

European Commission (2012). EU guidelines on dual careers of athletes: Recommended policy actions in support of dual careers in high-performance sport. Retrieved from

Morris, R., Cartigny, E., Ryba, T. V., Wylleman, P., Henriksen, K., Torregrossa, M., Lindahl, K., & Cecic-Erpic, S. (2020). A Taxonomy of Dual Career Development Environments in Europe. European Sport Management Quarterly. doi: 10.1080/16184742.2020.1725778

Puig, N., & Vilanova, A. (2006). Deportistas olímpicos y estrategias de inserción laboral. Propuesta teórica, método y avance de resultados. Revista internacional de Sociología, 64(44), 63-83.

Sánchez- Pato, A., Calderón, A., Arias-Estero, J. L., García, J. A., Bada, J., Meroño, L., … & Mallia, O. (2016). Diseño y validación del cuestionario de percepción de los estudiantes universitarios-deportistas de alto nivel sobre la carrera dual (ESTPORT). Cultura, Ciencia y Deporte, 11(32), 127-147.

Sánchez, A., García, J. A., Rosique, P. (2018). Modelo de carrera dual para el deportista-estudiante. En A. Sánchez, E. Isidori, J. L. Arias-Estero, & Bada, J. D. (Coords.), Modelo de carrera dual universitario. El caso de los deportistas-estudiantes. Cendea de Cizur: Aranzadi.

Sánchez-Pato, A., Isidori, E., Calderón, A., & Brunton, J. (2017). An innovative European sports tutorship model of the dual career of student-athletes. Guadalupe: UCAM.

Schweiger, G. (2014). What Does a Professional Athlete Deserve? Prolegomena: časopis za filozofiju13(1), 5-20.

Torregrosa, M., Ramis, Y., Pallarés, S., Azócar, F., & Selva, C. (2015). Olympic athletes back to retirement: A qualitative longitudinal study. Psychology of Sport and Exercise21, 50–56.

Torregrossa, M., Regüela, S., & Mateos, M. (2020). Career assistance programs. In D. Hackfort & R. J. Schinke (Eds.), The Routledge international encyclopedia of sport and exercise psychology. London: Routledge.

Wylleman, P., Alfermann, D., & Lavallee, D. (2004). Career transitions in sport: European perspectives. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 5(1), 7- 20.

On February 6-7, 2020 Sport Ireland Institute hosted the meeting of the ERASMUS+Sport Collaborative Partnership EMPATIA at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus Abbotstown in Dublin, Ireland.
The EMPATIA team is coordinated by the University of Ljubljana (SLO), and involves the INSEP (FRA), the University of Rome Foro Italico and the Italian Olympic Committee (ITA), the University of Coimbra and the Ginásio Clube Figueirense (POR), the EUSA Institute (SLO), the University of Limerick and the Sport Ireland Institute (IRE), and the European Athlete as Student (EAS) Dual Career Network (MLT).
The aim of the meeting was to finalize the content of the EMPATIA educational programme on dual career parenting. The programme is based on the outcomes of the previous phases of the project, which provided a thorough evidence- and eminence-base knowledge on the educational needs of parents supporting their talented and elite progeny. These findings have been also submitted for publication in scientific journals to contribute to the development of a dual career culture in Europe.
The EMPATIA educational programme will be made available on the online platform developed by INSEP, with the aim to allow parents to be acquainted on the relevance and challenges of dual career parenting, as well as to provide useful tools and information. Furthermore, short videos of experts will present main aspects of dual career.
In the next months French, Irish, Italian, Portuguese and Slovenian parents will test the preliminary version of the online EMPATIA educational programme, which will be further implemented according to the provided feedbacks.

The EMPATIA project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union as a Sports Collaborative Partnership. Its aim is to promote and implement dual career, especially targeting parents and guardians of talented and elite athletes who have primary responsibilities in supporting the combination of sport and education careers of their progeny for a holistic development as future European citizens and employees.

For more information on EMPATIA and topic of dual career, please visit the official website, or follow the project on Facebook and Twitter under @EmpatiaSport.