Beginning the 2019, marks the first year of implementation of the athlete support service program at handball clubs BM.Granollers, Club FENIX Toulouse, and IK Sävehof and its monitoring and evaluation of academic partner Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. During this year a set of roles, profiles, processes, and activities are being organized for testing the methodology that AUAS defined for the three clubs, basing on their particular needs and environments.
Project partner, European Handball Federation, responsible on helping the dissemination and communication the work done at H4DC, interviewed the three Dual Career Managers and project coordinators responsible to implement these programs (Pep Blanchart of BM.Granollers, Fabien Roy of FENIX Toulouse and Stefan Albrechtson of IK Sävehof) along with Melanie Klemann from AUAS responsible of the evaluation of this implementation, to discuss the main findings and results achieved through the experience they had during this day. Below, a summary of these results DC managers discussed:
Pep Blanchart explained that the first major problem that the club faced was communication. This was the first time for the club to work on Dual Careers as a structured way from the club, previously the club worked by attending individual cases and explaining the objectives and goals of why the club's vision on helping and enhancing education and employability combination with practicing sports was not easy at the first time:
At the beginning of the implementation, we had trouble engaging stakeholders as we could not effectively communicate what we were trying to do and why we need their help. As communication improved, we saw better engagement in the activities we organised. Athletes also showed more interest in taking part in the project. It is very important to know and understand an individual situation in your club to provide the right support to make this work.
Thanks of this project, the club could start signing new agreements with educational centers and increase awareness of the situation of their sports talents among external stakeholders as universities and private sector companies but also inside the club, as they could present such an important topic and which benefits can a well-structured program can offer.
Fabien Roy from French club Toulouse, also agreed of the importance of sports talents motivation on taking part in this project.
The athlete remains the first motor of his future. No matter what we implement, the athlete is in charge of his career change. They are interested in the subjects we are trying to implement, however, there is some reluctance because they are delicate subjects and some prefer not to think about it and focus on their playing career.
Bringing together all stakeholders involved in the Dual Careers of the athletes is very crucial for starting new agreements and look for new job/internship opportunities. By organizing a wide range of activities, workshops with experts on different fields and individual meetings, the club could start delivering solutions and improvement to athletes situations and conclude that there is a future after H4DC in Toulouse:
The project made us realise that we have enormous potential and that we should value dual careers more.
As their partners, Swedish club also set up a comprehensive model in their structure with different roles as Tutors, Career Counselor and Managers that are in connections with sports talents and partners and educational centers that already had worked together before. The Swedish club also had some experience in dealing with athletes Dual Careers and plenty of resources to offer to those who may face some difficulties. As BMG and Toulouse, they use their already build a network of contacts and partners to look for new agreements and job opportunities.
One of the singularities of the model defined by AUAS was the separation of the program into three different target groups in order to address specifically their needs. This separation was based on age and personal transitions all athletes face. Stefan Albrechtson, general manager of IK Sävehof conclude this:
We realised that there is no point of starting at an early age. There is just not enough interest. It is better to start at the age of 17 or older.
Until the end of May, three handball clubs will continue on testing this model and looking form more findings and conclusions that will lead to the writing of policies and best practices documents of implementing a Dual Career program at any sports club in Europe. All these documents will be presented in a final conference on 12th June in Granollers.
Jelena Bagaric from EHF, was responsible to conduct these interviews and you can read the full articles here:
- H4DC project overview: http://www.eurohandball.com/article/032088/Handball+4+Dual+Careers%3a+supporting+players+on+their+academic+and+professional+paths
- BM.Granollers practices: http://www.eurohandball.com/article/032099/H4DC+in+practice%3a+BM.+Granollers
- FENIX Toulouse and IK Sävehof experiences: http://www.eurohandball.com/article/032117/H4DC+in+practice%3a+FENIX+Toulouse+Handball+and+IK+S%C3%A4vehof
Gold talents and Bronze talents of @BMGranollers gather together to share experiences and visions on #DualCareers , Future expectations and personal motivations. @EuSport @Erasmus_Project pic.twitter.com/gKZu7tYO7w— Handball4DC (@Handball4DC) 26 d’abril de 2018
Au lendemain de leur victoire contre Saran, les joueurs du FENIX en mode @Handball4DC pour une session d’information sur la reconversion professionnelle et notamment l’utilisation des réseaux sociaux professionnels. pic.twitter.com/Rqp7xD5sCt— FENIX Toulouse Handball (@FENIX_HB) 24 de maig de 2018
?At @IK_Savehof facilities, meetings and activities are being organized for stablishing the #DualCareer suport service model that H4DC aims to outline alongside with handball clubs @BMGranollers and @FENIX_HB and collaboration of @HvA , @EHF and @FESIsport #ErasmusPlus pic.twitter.com/EFOC6TwQWt— Handball4DC (@Handball4DC) 9 d’abril de 2018