Athletes2Businesses 2011

The European Commission awarded a grant to the project "Athletes2Business" (hereinafter called A2B). The EOC EU Office as lead partner implemented this project with ten participating organisations.

A2B aimed at creating an enabling environment/ framework for athletes by focussing on sports organisations, career programmes, formal education, and businesses to be able to make successfully the transition from sport to the labour market.

The project built upon the results and achievements of previous initiatives by incorporating recommendations delivered by the "Stuttgart Declaration-Workshop on Dual Career" during the German EU presidency 2007 and by taking into account the European Commission study on the training of young sports people in Europe.


Specific objectives of the project

The project aimed at:

  • Promote the concept of dual career in Europe by improving the knowledge base and sharing good practices

  • Identify good practices from an athlete's point of view of institutions providing both educational and sports training at tertiary level and athlete's career programmes

  • Identify and remove barriers that prevent athletes from engaging with education in particular at tertiary level

  • Improve the potential access for athletes to the labour market by specifying an enabling environment

  • Provide a starting point for a network offering know-how on the concept and implementation of dual career and support to interested parties


The participating organisations were an important part of the project management of A2B and co-implement it. The distribution of the workload and the list of tasks were presented, discussed and decided upon together among the participating organisations during the first project meeting. The tasks for implementing the project were identified and defined. Some tasks may have be delegated to organisation(s)/ person(s) and had to be carried out according to plan.

Your allocation of resources to the project A2B like personnel, travel and/or accommodation costs were reimbursed from its budget according to the rules set out in the signed grant contract between the European Commission and the EOC EU Office.

Your contribution to the project can mean e.g.:

  • Participation in the team meetings

  • Dissemination of products such as press releases, results etc.

  • (Co-) drafting the questionnaire

  • Sending out the questionnaire

  • Organisation of workshops

  • (Co-) drafting of guidelines (workshop report)

  • Organisation of and/or participation in study visits

  • Participation in final conference


The following activities were carried out in the framework of the A2B project:

  • Stock taking: The situation were analyzed by a questionnaire targeted to sport organisations, formal education institutions, career programmes and businesses. (The results of the European Commission's study on the training of young sportspeople in Europe were taken into account.)

  • Analysis: The collected data was analyzed and good practices identified.

  • Production of guidelines: Based on the results of the stock taking and analysis, tailor-made guidelines on dual careers was drafted for sport organisations, businesses, formal education institutions and career programmes.

  • Organisation of 4 workshops and 5 study visits: These workshops were complement the results of the questionnaire and provide input for the guidelines.

  • Final conference: Adoption of the guidelines, founding of a network in dual career

Throughout the project life cycle:

  • PR: Public relation tools such as press releases, press conferences, a website etc. were used to disseminate the information, communicational/ educational material and findings of the project.

Core elements of the project

  • Questionnaire: A questionnaire was designed and tailor-made to collect opinions of sport organisations, formal education institutions, career programmes and businesses.

  • Workshops: 4 thematic workshops on sport organisations, formal education institutions, career programmes and businesses were organized. The workshops were chaired by experts appointed by the project management. The project management was structure in cooperation with the 4 workshop experts the process of the workshops. A workshop guideline which has been developed beforehand had to be used to structure the workshops. Each issue/item of the workshop guideline had to be addressed during the workshop. However, the guidelines allowed enough flexibility and adaptability to the respective workshop situation.

  • Study visits: Guidelines (of the study visits) drafted beforehand define the objectives, activities and the expected results of the planned study visit. The study visits complemented the discussions on dual career in the various settings (sport organisations, formal education institutions, career programmes and businesses) during which qualitative interviews were held with relevant stakeholders. The destinations of the study visits were decided by the project team.

  • Final Conference: The final conference adopted the Final Paper comprising the workshop papers and recommendations on dual career.

Products of the project

  • Questionnaire and its analysis: The Questionnaire of the project was sent out to a wide circle of organisations (sport organisations, formal education institutions, career programmes, businesses) in whole Europe.

  • Homepage: A website A2B was set up informing both participants and the public about the project. The products of the project such as the guidelines were made available online via the website.

  • Guidelines: The guidelines (including recommendations and models of good practice) were the products of the workshops for sport organisations, formal education institutions, career programmes and businesses, which shall have been adopted during the final conference. Additional input for the guidelines provided also the results of the study visits.

  • Media work: The project team drafted press releases as well as press articles and disseminate them. The publication of the press releases increased the visibility of the project and made it known to the wider public.

  • Using own media channels: Furthermore, the project was communicated via the media channels of the participating organisations using the press articles produced in the project.

  • Final conference: In the framework of the final conference A2B, the results of the project were presented to European sport stakeholders. High profile figures in the public administration (Council, EC, CoR, EESC, EP, national ministries), the world of business and sport were invited to attend the final conference.

Project Management

The EOC EU Office was the lead partner of the project A2B and had to be informed about all the measures taken by the project partners in the framework of the project. The EOC EU Office itself informed all its partners about all the activities related to A2B.