On July 3, 2020, UNISPORT-Italia (the network of 44 Italian universities interested in sport, and proactive member of EAS) organized the last virtual cafè before the summer break. This event focused on good practices of university sports, including dual career policies and services. 

Specifically, Rector’s Delegate for sport Francesco Calvetti presented the Polytechnic of Milan, and Rector’s Delegate for sport and Member of the National Council of the University Sport association-CUSI Claudio Bertoletti presented the University of Bergamo.

The event was a significant opportunity to debate new models of university sport governance and to envisage the implementation of good practices at a higher educational level.

In autumn UNISPORT Italia will propose new events to exchange information useful for the development of university sport. At present, all the past virtual meetings are available on the UNISPORT-Italia new youtube channel UNISPORT ITALIA

May 8 – The dual career of athletes.
May 15 – Sport reopens in safety. The University’s contribution to Italian sport.
May 22 – Safety in sports practices.
May 29 – COVID-19 & University sport, the European approach to the crisis.
June 5 – E-learning and training, the recipe of the young athletes of the future.
June 12 – Sport meets innovation: a fast-growing sector for R&D opportunities.
June 19 – Social responsibility and university sport.
July 3 – Case studies: Good practices of university sport management

On June 19, 2020, EAS was invited as an observer to the 6th meeting of the European Commission Expert Group “Skills and Human Resources Development in Sport”. Due to the COVIS-19 restrictions, the 6thmeeting of the 26 XG HR Members nominated by their respective Member State and the 10 invited observers from invited pan-European sports organisations and networks was held in a virtual room coordinated by Nais Rigolett of the EC Sport Unit. The meeting consisted of three sessions.

IN THE FIRST SESSION, Yves Le Lostecque, Head of the EC Sport Unit, provided a thorough update from the Commission, starting from the development of the ERASMUS+Sport calls for proposals, which are now summarized in the informative brochure on 107 funded pilot projects and preparatory actions in the field of sport for the 2016-2019 periodTo note, out of the 37 ongoing projects, EAS is actively involved in:

  • AMID (590400-EPP-1-2017-1-AT-SPO-SCP; 2018-2020) for the provision of evidence- and eminence-base guidelines on student-athletes who relocate/migrate to pursue their academic and/or sport careers (; 
  • EMPATIA (590437-EPP-1-2017-1-SI-SPO-SCP; 2018-2020) for the development of an online educational programme for parents of dual career athletes (; 
  • DONA (2018-3716/001-001; 2019-2021), for the investigation, development and testing of a dual career club-based methodology to empower women’s volleyball players;
  • Ed-Media (2018-2078/001-001; 2019-2020) for a proactive shaping of a positive image of athletes as students;
  • More Than Gold (603346-EPP-1-2018-1-LV-SPO-SCP; 2019-2020) for developing dual career guidelines for higher education institutes; 
  • SOS (603266-EPP-1-2018-1-IT-SPO-SCP; 2019-2020) for structuring an innovative teaching module for physical activity teachers; and 
  • Starting11 (60313-EPP-1-2018-1-NL-SPO-SCP; 2019-2021) for the creation of the very first European Dual Career Toolkit for service providers (

In 2020, €70,8 million have been allotted for new projects and 1145 proposals have been submitted (18% Collaborative Partnerships focusing on “Education in and through sport”, including dual career). Results are expected in October 2020.

The Commission launched further calls for Preparatory Actions in the Field of Sport, and the #BeInclusive EU Sport Awards, with nomination open till June 30, 2020, and the three winners to be announced in November 2020 at a special awards ceremony in Brussels.

During the German Presidency, the next EU Work Plan for Sport will be negotiated and its adoption is expected in December 2020.

Finally, the Commission’s responses to Covid-19 crisis were presented, encompassing flexibility offered to the on-going projects, dedicated meeting on the future of the sport to be held in the second half of 2020, and a Study on the impact of the COVID-19 on sports sector to be published next September 2020.

THE SECOND SESSION focused on the achievements of the Expert Group and the way forward. Agata Dziarnowska, Policy Officer EC Sport Unit, summarized the activities of the XG HR, which were particularly focused on coach education, sports qualifications, and dual careers. The XG HR followed a working method mainly based on exchanges of best practices, active discussion on relevant aspects to be addressed, practical visits to get acquainted with the different national realities, and the finalization of the Guidelines Regarding the Minimum Requirements in Skills and Competencies for Coaches.

The effective cooperation and networking determined in the XG HR Members a solid feeling of having focused on the main sport priorities, of having improved the cooperation and coordination between the Member States and sports organizations, and of having introduced appropriate structures and working methods. Thus, resulting in a solid feeling of being part of a European Team in Sport emerged. Hopefully, the next EU Work Plan for Sport will consider the continuation of the Expert Groups and strengthen the European commitment in education in and through sport.

Martina Jeričević, Chair of Working Party on Sport, illustrated the activities of the Croatian Presidency in the field of sport despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the Croatian programme not only focused on the empowerment of coaches through the acquisition of skills and competences, but also on the impact of the pandemic crisis and the recovery of the sports sector. Furthermore, on June 25, the Croatian Presidency will host the Directors General for Sport video meeting, during which a new framework for further cooperation in EU sport and the role and influence of media in the sport will be discussed.

Guy Taylor, National Director of the UK Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), offered his expert’s contribution and his critical view of the past experiences and future directions of the XG HR. Thus, the general discussion highlighted a widespread appreciation for the tremendous work accomplished by the EC Sport Office and provided advice and expertise to the Commission in relation to the preparation of policy initiatives and the upcoming EU Work Plan for Sport.

Following the closing remarks of the meeting, a virtual drink was organized to wish a bright future to the European sport. A special thank for her valuable contribution to the European sport was given to Agata Dziarnowska, who is leaving the Sport Unit at the end of the month to a new position at the Commission. Indeed, Agata Dziarnowska represented a solid pillar of the Sport Unit and a tireless supporter of a European sports culture based on education in and through sport, and always an outstanding speaker at the EAS Annual Conferences.

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.

EAS Executive Committee members meet online

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, on May 13th the Members of the Executive Committee of the European Athletes as Student met online to discuss the following issues:

  • EAS President’s contribution to the FISU Healthy Campus project – (;
  • meeting of the Consultative Committee Bureau of EPAS-Council of Europe;
  • approve the 2019 activity and financial report of EAS;
  • update on the progress of the on-going EU-funded projects AMID, DONA, ED MEDIA EMPATIA, More Than Gold, SOS, Starting 11;
  • EAS involvement in the 2020 applications for Collaborative Partnerships in dual-career;
  • possible activities to be featured during 2020;
  • EAS Conference 2020 (Hamburg) organisation possibility and potential solutions;
  • EAS ExCom members agreed that the next online meeting will take place in June.

The EAS Members of the Executive Committee appreciated that the Executive Agency of EACEA will provide responses to possible coordinator’s report of any negative impacts of the COVID-19 on EU-funded projects implementation



UNISPORT-IT promotes dual career at the Italian university level

On May 8, 2020, the Italian University Sports System Network UNISPORT-IT organized the first webinar on the dual career of student-athletes. More than 50 people representing their respective Universities, the President of the Athletes Committee of the Italian Olympic Committee (Raffaella Masciadri), the President of the EAS network (Prof. Laura Capranica) and the Italian Olympic Committee delegate at Unisport-IT (Paola Mora) attended the webinar confirming the paramount importance and relevance of dual career in Europe.

Prof. Stefano Bastianon (University of Bergamo) presented a thorough description of the relevance dual career and the state of the art in the Italian university system, which includes 89 universities. Based on a survey administered in 2018, out of the 71 responding universities, 22 declared to have adopted a formal dual career programme, 17 declared to have adopted only some measures aimed at facilitating the dual career of student-athletes, 7 declared to be about to adopt a dual career programme and 29 declared to have adopted no programme.

Support services offered to student-athletes were organized in 9 categories:

  1. financial support (scholarship, fee exemption);
  2. learning support (tutoring, E-learning);
  3. flexibility (exams schedule, lessons schedule);
  4. gap year;
  5. ECTS;
  6. part-time;
  7. accommodation facilities;
  8. sports facilities;
  9. job placement.

In particular, tutoring resulted from the most common service provision (19 out of 22), whereas before the COVID-19 pandemic only 3 Universities offer E-learning. Lastly, Prof. Bastianon prioritized three main aspects to be addressed in the near future:

  1. monitoring (e.g., number of universities involved in dual-career, support services offered to student-athletes, the actual number of student-athletes, level of academic performance of student-athletes);
  2. development of a dual career culture among the stakeholders (education sector, sports sector, financial sector);
  3. elaboration of national guidelines on dual-career particularly focusing on the eligibility criteria of student-athletes to dual-career programmes and the minimum quality dual career services for university dual-career programmes.

During the general discussion, the EAS President invited the participants to follow the progress of EU-funded projects relevant for a dual-career at the university level, particularly focused on:

UNISPORT-IT ( is a member of EAS with the aim to:

  1. promote and strengthen the role of sport in scientific research as a source of inspiration in all academic disciplines and in interdisciplinary projects;
  2. promote new forms of education (formal and informal) that use sport as a tool for developing transversal skills;
  3. promote sport as a tool for social inclusion, integration, overcoming the ideological and cultural barriers linked to gender and nationality;
  4. make sport an integral part of the university experience, as a factor of sociality, aggregation, sense of belonging and as a tool for healthy and sustainable lifestyles.

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

In light of the current sport psychology research and knowledge on the athletes career discourse, Natalia B. Stambulova, Tatiana V. Ryba and Kristoffer Henriksen recently published on the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology the revised ISSP Position Stand on Career Development and Transition of Athletes published in 2009 (Stambulova, Alfermann, Statler, & Côté, 2009).
This scientific contribution presents a brief update on the evolution of the athlete career discourse and its current structure; describes the emerged trends in the research on the athlete career and the evolution of the career assistance; and offers ten postulates, which summarise major new developments and future challenges within the athlete career discourse in sport psychology.
The relevant contribution of European research fostered by the European Guidelines on Dual Career of Athletes and the European ERASMUS+Sport collaborative partnerships is highlighted.
The paper is open-access and available at
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).

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.