- Jo Faragher
Olympic medal-winning gymnast Beth Tweddle MBE helped to launch the programme today in Glasgow. It aims to help professional sportsmen and women bridge the gap between sporting and mainstream careers once they have retired.
The launch today aims to find 14 athletes from across the home nations competing in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It will match them to work placement opportunities with sponsors and businesses across the UK.
It will offer athletes who typically ‘retire’ at a young age placements with leading UK companies, businesses careers advice, workshops, and training – allowing them to benefit from the transferable skills between sport and business.
Open to up-and-coming or established competitors, including para-sport athletes, aged 18 years and over, the scheme will assist sportsmen and women who are keen to broaden their horizons, develop work and life skills, and explore future career ambitions in parallel with their training and competition schedule.
Simone Lockhart, managing director of Search Consultancy in Scotland, said: “As a recruitment specialist, Search is keen to support and inspire athletes to benefit from exploring future career paths. Nearly all athletes will have to look at careers away from their sport at some point in their lifetime. Only a few are full-time and funded as professional athletes, many might already work part-time or are currently students in education. However, by applying the things they learn in sport their career opportunities are almost endless.”
Marketing director Janine Parry added that the scheme would be as flexible as possible to fit around athletes’ existing commitments.
Tweddle commended Search for addressing a major issue for athletes, many of whom are so focused on professional sport that they neglect to forge long-term career plans. She said: “It’s easy for aspiring athletes to put all their eggs in one basket and focus on sport, but anything can happen and a serious injury can suddenly end a very promising career.”
Search is the official recruitment supporter of the Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Glasgow in 2014. The agency, which has offices all over the UK, will be responsible for attracting and recruiting more than 1,000 people in the run up to the opening ceremony in July next year.