The 5th meeting European Commission Expert Group “Skills and Human Resources Development in Sport” was held in the Castello of Buonconsiglio of Trento, Italy on November 5-6, 2019.

Dr. Yves Le Lostecque, Agata Dziarnowska, and Nais Rigollet welcomed the national Delegates of the Member States and the Observers, provided the updates of the European Commission in the sport field, and moderated four sessions encompassingDual career; Education of coaches; Qualifications Skills in Sport; and the Italian sport system. Furthermore, before the meeting the Participants visited SPIN Italy, the world’s biggest accelerator for creating successful sports start-ups, in Rovereto. 

During the session on Dual Career, Prof. Paolo Bouquet (University of Trento) informed on the initiatives of UniSport Italia, the network of the Italian universities; Prof. Stefano Bastianon (University of Bergamo) illustrated the dual career system in Italy and presented the potential of the TopFit judgement of the Court of Justice (June 13, 2019 case C-22/18) on European dual career (see also Eurojus 2019, 4, pp. 81-85) ; and Prof. Laura Capranica (EAS President, University of Rome Foro Italico) illustrated the role of EAS in the development of a European dual career culture, and urged the Delegates to support the development of national guidelines and the involvement of dual career national stakeholders in Collaborative Partnerships relevant to their contexts.

Initiated by the conference of EAS held in Falun the Faculty launched the first activities related to the dual career of athletes. During the XXII International scientific conference „FIS COMMUNICATIONS 2019“ (17 – 19 October 2019) organized by the Faculty, a panel discussion with the topic “Dual career of athletes” was held.

Special guests of that panel discussion had been Dejan Savic, Head Coach of Serbian water polo national team and former water polo player, and Predrag Danilovic, president of the Basketball Federation of Serbia and former basketball player.

During his playing career, Dejan Savic won two Olympic bronze medals (Sidney 2000 and Beijing 2008) and one Olympic silver medal in Athens 2004. As a coach of the national team he won the 2016 Olympic Games, the 2015 World Championship, three European Championships (2014, 2016 and 2018), and six World League titles.
Predrag Danilovic also had a great sports career. With the national basketball team, Danilović won the gold medals at the the 1989 Euro Basket, 1991 Euro Basket, 1995 Euro Basket and the 1997 Euro Basket. He was also a member of the silver medal winning national team of Yugoslavia at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. After his successful sports career he started to work as administrative staff. From 2007 to 2015 he served as the president of Basketball Team “Partizan” and from 2015 to present he is the president of Basketball Federation of Serbia.

During the panel discussion guests spoke about their experience related to the education of athletes, about the problems of managing educational duties and sports career duties, about the educational role of sport and possibilities of integration of athletes in common life activities and society after finishing sports career.

This panel discussion was one of the first activities in Serbia devoted to the dual career of athletes. Extensively discussion with a lot of questions from the audience are the certain clue that this field has potential for development in Serbia. Faculty of sport and physical education in Nis presented his role as a leader in the development of the dual career of athletes in Serbia with distance learning master studies program for athletes.

Report given by
Nenad Stojiljkovic

Looking for new project opportunities?

The European Commission has published the new Erasmus+ Programme Call for Proposals and the new Erasmus+ Programme Guide for 2020.

The documents provide an overview of the possibilities for projects to be funded by the European Union within the Erasmus+ programme.

2020 is the last year of the current European Union programme for mobility and cooperation in education, training, youth and sport. The expected budget of over €3 billion, an increase of 12% compared to 2019.


October 29, 30 & 31th  in Cartagena (Spain), experts from Spain (UCAM), Poland, Albania, Macedonia, Italy, Greece and Cyprus participated in the Transnational Meeting of the European Erasmus + Trainer 1.0 Beta project.

Project led by the Polish association IRONMAN does have as organizing partner, UCAM Cartagena.

The project is based on promoting the dual career (Studies-sport) given the secondary importance for athletes between 14 and 18 years. For these reasons, the general objective of the Trainer 1.0 BETA project is to promote positive behaviors among young athletes, focusing on obtaining their first technical knowledge of the sport as coaches.

It aims to raise awareness and raise awareness of the need for young European athletes to think of an “exit strategy” within the world of sport, identifying and formalizing a form (Trainer 1.0 BETA model), which is validated at EU level by experts in education and training and sports federations. The project will test the Trainer 1.0 BETA model in different EU countries by training pilot experiences in sports training, aimed at young athletes, interested in professional training as a sports technician in football, Basketball, Handball and Volleyball.

This training includes in the program for young trainers, a seminar / workshop dedicated to individual professional planning. The program of this workshop will be prepared on the basis of previous projects, already implemented and validated by Erasmus + Sport Collaborative Partnerships. The project attempts to establish local promotional campaigns, coordinated at EU level, capable of identifying a “testimony” (level athletes) and “using it” as a model for young generations, oriented towards communication and social networks, aimed at promoting sports culture and the need to think about an alternative career after sport.


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.


DONA is based on the ERASMUS+ Collaborative Partnership program of EU. It 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).

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.