Welcome to the first issue of the Bounceback Project Newsletter!
The project Bounceback ‘Developing an innovative learning approach to facilitate the integration of veteran/retired athletes into employment, business and entrepreneurship’ is an initiative co-funded by the Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Union, and launched in October 2020. The European Union provides a grant of EUR 230,158 for the implementation of the project for the period: 1st October 2020 – 30th September 2022. The project will be implemented by a series of partners, namely the University of Pannonia (coordinator), AEK Athletic Club, A.S.D. Società Sportiva Lazio Karate, Militos Consulting S.A., RNDO Limited (R&Do), and the University and Student Athletics Club of Veszprém (VEDAC). Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the project work started successfully with the Kick-off meeting.
OBJECTIVES AND DELIVERABLES
What we plan to do
The project’s main objective is to develop an innovative training approach for veteran athletes that will transfer the skills veteran athletes acquired during their sports career into skills useful for their success in the entrepreneurial and business world, and provide targeted support for veteran athletes who aim to become successful professionals in the labour market or entrepreneurs. This objective encompasses the following 4 specific objectives:
1. Match-make the mind-set, attitude, skills, competences of veteran professional athletes (of all different types) with the needs businesses have in soft skills in different sectors of the economy and develop guidelines on how the transfer of skills can take place from sports to other sectors.
2. Develop the learning materials and instruments that veteran athletes will use to transfer their skills to their new careers.
3. Ensure the practical hands-on applicability of the approach through pilot training sessions.
4. Develop policy recommendations to ensure the wide diffusion of the approach in the EU.
Innovative Aspects of the Project
The innovative character of the project can be discovered in four main milestones:
Firstly, the development of an innovative tool and an innovative methodology by providing research-based guidelines for employment and entrepreneurship tailored to veteran athletes, that is based on the transfer of skills already acquired and not entirely new ones, thus ensuring an entry into the business / entrepreneurial world.
Secondly, achieving an adaptation of the EntreComp framework for acquiring key competences for business careers/entrepreneurship for the world of sports and veteran athletes in particular who have the special characteristic of facing the challenges of retirement at a very early age and comprise an often overlooked yet steadily rising section of the EU workforce.
Thirdly, it develops a training approach based on the EntreComp framework tailored to the needs of veteran athletes for the first time, and taking into account the practical relevance of the training provided, it adapts the EntreComp framework for job seeking veteran athletes, and at the same time furthers an entrepreneurial mindset among citizens, and develops practically relevant specifications for the EntreComp learning outcomes.
Fourthly, it is innovative due to the absence of policy recommendations directly addressing the needs for professional development of veteran athletes in ways that transfer the skills they acquired in sports to other sectors.
ACTIVITIES PERFORMED TO DATE
As a first step to achieve the defined goals and harmonize the partnership, we held the first transnational project meeting on 19th October, 2020. Due to the pandemic it could only be realised online, but thanks to the use of modern digital tools the work went smoothly and effectively.
As a first step to achieve the defined goals and harmonize the partnership, we held the first transnational project meeting on 19th October, 2020. Due to the limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the meeting took place vitually, and thanks to the use of modern digital tools, the work went smoothly and effectively. The Kick-off meeting was organised by the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Pannonia with 6 Partners from 4 different countries who discussed besides financial, dissemination and management issues the overall process and the main milestones of the project but with particular emphasis on the preparation for the first Intellectual Output e.g. conducting desk research in EU countries, interviews with athletes and entrepreneurs, and development of the Match-Making Tool. The first stage of the research work has started with the involvement of partners, educational and IT experts, psychologists, and sports experts in more steps:
• as a kind of preparatory step, clarifying the definitions and creating a glossary for the project,
• developing the research/data collection instruments of the match-making tool,
• desk research in the professional skills development, in the sports sector, employment and entrepreneurship fields’ literature,
• a number of qualitative interviews of businesspersons/career consultants to develop an understanding of the most friendly-to-veteran athletes sectors and the key skills needed to succeed therein,
• a number of qualitative interviews of athletes to develop an understanding of the post-career prospects and needs of veteran athletes and, most importantly, the soft and hard skills they have acquired in the sports sector during their careers that can be transferred to different economic sectors,
• development of guidelines for the organization of focus groups with veteran athletes and businesspersons/entrepreneurs who will then decide how to “learn each other’s language” via further meetings and/or short visits to the workplace of the latter.
Developing an innovative learning approach to facilitate the integration of veteran/retired athletes into employment, business and entrepreneurship www.bouncebackathletes.eu
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use, which may be made of the information contained therein