Switch the Play appoints Athlete Transition Co-ordinator

Switch the Play has strengthened its team with the appointment of Emily Lake as Athlete Transition Co-ordinator.

Emily Lake

27 Jul Emily Lake appointed as Athlete Transition Co-ordinator

Switch the Play (StP) is delighted to welcome Emily Lake to its team as Athlete Transition Co-ordinator in a role that will provide essential support and guidance to the social enterprise as it increases the work it undertakes in supporting athletes as they prepare for life outside of sport, with an holistc view to transition.

Emily brings to the role an impressive amount of passion and experience in the field of athlete lifestyle support. Prior to joining StP Emily was Sport Science and Medicine Administrator for the Rugby Football Union (RFU) where she provided operational, administrative and project support for both the Sports Medicine and Sports Science departments, including working on concussion and welfare education initiatives across the professional game.

In 2016 Emily graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University with a distinction in Applied Sport Psychology MSc. Her First Class Dissertation was titled: Exploring Career-Ending Injuries in Professional Rugby Players: A Loss Perspective. This piece of work saw Emily conduct in-depth research among rugby players who had been forced to retire from sport through injury. She is also currently working towards qualifying to be a Talented Athlete Lifestyle Support Advisor.

Emily explains her passion for athlete support, “Sport and particularly rugby has always played a key role in my life. I began playing rugby at the age of 4 and later got involved in coaching, officiating and managing teams. Sport then influenced my academic career, my interest in this area sparked from my master’s research which explored professional rugby players’ experiences of career ending injuries. I heard stories of the impact this had on individual players, the struggles they faced and inspiringly, how they overcame them and began to move forward with their lives. Ever since, I have wanted to be a part of the solution, putting the research into practice and supporting the cause.”

Drawing from her own research within this field and using the expertise of StP’s team of academics and associates, Emily wants to push the topic of elite athlete support higher up the sport, media and political agendas, encouraging sport to prioritise holistic athletic development and athlete wellbeing.

Emily adds, “There is a need in sport to be more proactive than reactive in our approach to athlete welfare. We need to make preparing for and developing a life outside of sport part of plan A, rather than seeing it as a plan B and something that can be addressed at the end of an athlete’s career. By building support and advice into athletic programmes from the beginning, sport can spend time developing the person behind the athlete too. This will not only benefit athlete’s when they transition out of sport but is also likely to have a positive impact on their performance. There is a growing field of research supporting the idea that ‘better people make better athletes’. We must move away from the misconception that focusing on this area is a distraction to athletes and instead make an integral part of an athlete’s development plan.”

For more information about Switch the Play and the work it does supporting the forgotten majority, including talented juniors, student athletes and elite athletes, please visit www.switchtheplay.com.