Switch the Play Hosts Athlete Transition Think Tank with Sporting Legends

Switch the Play CEO, Leon Lloyd, and Chairman, Craig Donaldson (CEO of Metro Bank), chaired the first in a series of significant Positive Transition Think Tanks designed to create a Duty of Care framework to support future generations of sporting heroes.

26 Jun Switch the Play Hosts Think Tank with Sporting Legends

Switch the Play’s CEO Leon Lloyd, and Chairman Craig Donaldson (CEO of Metro Bank), chaired the first in a series of significant Positive Transition Think Tanks designed to create a Duty of Care framework to support future generations of sporting heroes.

The private dinner was attended by multiple European, Commonwealth, Olympic and World Champions as well as professional sports people, collectively representing a diverse range of sports and creating a rich pool of knowledge.

Leon Lloyd, StP CEO says, “It was a real privilege to hear the personal stories from some of Great Britain’s most notable sporting heroes. This was a positive discussion about the processes, actions and people that had helped smooth their transition out of sport. It gave us a glimpse into what future sporting legends might need from key stakeholders in their sporting career – be that clubs, parents or NGB’s. It has also helped us set a new bench mark in athlete transition.”

As a collective, the group agreed on three key areas of focus:

1: Early intervention

Guests concurred that the earlier an athlete started to prepare for life outside of sport, the better equipped they would be to cope with the high and lows at the end of their career, whether planned or not.

2: Parental support

Parents provide a significant support network for elite athletes and would benefit from more information about the journey along the talent pathway – especially those who were not athletes themselves.

3: Academic Education

Continuing with education alongside sport and developing an individual’s own identity away from sport, were identified as essential factors to successful transition.

Leon adds, “It was an enjoyable evening of debate. One of the stand out insights for me was how everyone agreed that handling the disappointment of missing out on major sporting accolades and medals helps to develop a healthy emotional resilience. It also provides the psychological tools required for individuals to bounce back from the challenges that life after sport can present.

“Athletes need to realise that the world doesn’t owe them a job when their sporting career comes to an end. They need to take responsibility for their own destiny and be more aware of the opportunities and the network that surrounds them. Becoming a well-rounded individual who understands their transferable soft skills will also stand them in good stead.”

Switch the Play will now progress with key action points from the debate and looks forward to inviting its next group of former athletes and influencers to its second Think Tank in November.

Switch the Play runs a series of Masterclasses designed to educate and support athletes during and after their careers. These are available for individuals, clubs or associations. If you would like to be informed about our next dates, please register here.