18 May The Great and the Good of Sport Join Switch the Play To Talk Transition
The great and the good from across the sporting sector joined Switch the Play today (18th May) to reflect on the recent Duty of Care Review and to discuss the issues surrounding athlete transition.
Representatives from an array of organisations including BBC Sport, British Athletics Commission, English Institute of Sport, the PFA, Manchester United and Wakelet gathered for a networking lunch at Hotel Football in Manchester.
Switch the Play Director Beth Tweddle shared her own journey from elite athlete to business woman and encouraged those still part of professional sport to think about life beyond:
“It’s never too early to start thinking about what happens when your career ends. My Mum and Dad recognised early on how important it was to keep my education going and that helped encourage me to start planning long before I actually retired. But even so, it was still a tough time. I remember in that first year after 2012 I was still going to the gym every day, still training even though I wansn’t competing. When something has been your whole life it is hard to walk away from it.”
As well as running a series of masterclasses Switch the Play launched Switched On, a new support service for athletes run in partnership with Wakelet that provides peer to peer networking opportunities and helps members identify transferrable skills and make the most of opportunities outside the sector. It is available to athletes at all stages of their career.
Non-Executive Director Chris Brindley drew on his significant experience in the commercial world as Managing Director of Metro Bank and National Sales Director at British Gas to drive home the importance of preparation:
“There are three certainties in life; death, taxes and the end of our career! I know from my experience that you are going to spend more time in my world, the commercial world, than you are as an athlete, and we want you not just to be ready for that, but fully equipped and empowered to make the most of what lies ahead. Sportsmen and women have so many top qualities that are highly valued in business. Elite athletes are dedicated and disciplined, they are great time keepers, and often great team players – all things as a boss you want on your team. We are just about helping people realise and make the most of that.