How to manage the dual career for athletes is a recurrent question. During the past few years it has become a major preoccupation, both at the national and the European level. Various pieces of research have shown how hard it is for top-level sportsmen and sportswomen to combine a sporting career with their studies, despite the importance of this for their future. Intensive training schedules and national and international competitions make it difficult to reconcile the demands of their sporting life with their studies or their profession. Sport tends to take precedence, especially in sports where there are considerable rewards at an early age. The aim of the dual career plan is to encourage a dual success, not only in sport but also in academic studies, professional training and work. In order to do this, in 2013 the European Union (EU) published guidelines to highlight good practice in this matter and to try to improve the situation. These guidelines marked an important step forward in ensuring that the dual career has a solid basis at the European level. However, their implementation remains the responsibility of the Member States, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity and the support competence given to the EU in the field of sport. Although some States have been grappling with this problem for a long time, a certain heterogeneity is still evident today, depending on the culture of each State, and how it is organised and functions. There needs to be a long-term analysis of how the guidelines have been applied in national laws and regulations in order to assess their effectiveness.
The CULT Committe released a study carried out on training and dual sporting career. The aim of this briefing note is to provide background information on the current situation of the combination of elite sports and education/work (i.e., dual career) commitments of European athletes. Based on the analysis of the scientific literature on several dimensions of European student-athletes, the EU-funded projects, policy systems and best practices of dual career across eight European Member States, this note highlights challenges and recommendations for implementing policy actions to integrate university and sports in dual career paths.
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You can also find the publication realized by the Think tank Sport and Citizenship on dual training : Sport, Education and Training in Europe, a dual career for a dual life