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How one charity helps athletes build new lives after the competing stops

Posted on: 09 February 2024 by Carrie Dunn

Many sports people never have the chance to choose when their careers end, but Switch the Play was formed to give them hope

Every wannabe sports star thinks they will be the best and that their future is bright – but few take a moment to consider alternatives.

The Switch the Play Foundation is the UK’s only charity aiming to support people in making the transition into life outside of sport, enabling them to fulfil their potential after they have finished competing.

“If you haven’t prepared, that cliff edge is particularly challenging,” says Rob Young, chief executive of Switch the Play.

Few athletes make enough money to retire on during their sporting careers – nor is their profile likely to be high enough to ensure a future of media appearances, speaking engagements and endorsements. Young says that according to recent research by the BBC, more than 60 per cent of top female athletes in the UK earn less than £10,000 from their sport.

Those elite sports people who need to find a second career might also find themselves struggling to come to terms with it. Even those whose careers have progressed smoothly are unlikely to leave sport on their own terms, says Young – more than 70 per cent of athletes have that decision made for them by the end of a contract, deselection from an elite squad, or a serious injury.

Read the rest of the article via The Telegraph.

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