At all times, entering into a prestigious organisation such as the BOA is an honour, for AWF President Chris Vidal and AWF Vice President Ash Smith, a second visit in as many months has the AWF team marching towards their goals. Head of the BOA Athletes Career Program, Kate O’Sullivan welcomed Chris and Ash into the BOA headquarters to further understand the global solution provided for athletes through the AWF dual career pathway.
LONDON UK, FEBRUARY 12TH, British Olympic Association
With dual career pathways being a
key topic worldwide, the BOA are proactively addressing the issue to remain at the forefront of activity and development of their athletes following a successful London 2012 Games. The BOA have acknowledged the severity of athletes struggling for a successful careers after sport, and are already planning career fairs to introduce retiring athletes to potential employers.AWF Vice President, Ash Smith spoke passionately about the topic, “the current Athlete Career Programs (ACPs) implemented by the IOC and NOCs alike, are providing a fantastic career development training platform for current and retiring Olympians. The issue lies far deeper. If uneducated elite athletes are struggling for careers after sport, what hope do those not reaching Olympic level have? We must act now, and work together with the BOA (and other NOCs) to ensure more athletes are following a true dual career pathway. These athletes must not be forced to choose between education and sport, solutions are available and AWF can provide them”.
Kate O’Sullivan of the BOA asked “where were you guys five years ago? We have a real depth of retiring Olympians that would have benefited from this program”. Fortunately, post Rio 2016 less athletes will be facing this issue due to the assistance now being implemented by AWF. These comments by Ms. O’Sullivan prompted AWF to draw more attention to current Olympic and professional athletes. “A core focus for the development of our dual career pathway is to provide online university courses for Olympic and professional athletes, allowing them the required flexibility to perform at their best” stated AWF President, Chris Vidal.
AWF have been short listed to present to the BOA Athletes Commission on March 18th, where the AWF dual career pathway can be reviewed by current British Olympians who represent the voice of all UK athletes.