What is Dual Career (DC)for athletes:  

What is Dual Career for Athletes (Definition): 

The combination of sport and education to is grounded on two fundamental human rights: The right of educationenshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1948) and the right to play (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child1989) to ensure the holistic development of talented and elite athletes.  

The European Commission defined dual career as “the requirements for athletes to successfully initiate, develop and finalize an elite sporting career as part of a lifelong career, in combination with the pursuit of education and/or work” (European Commission, 2012). 

Dual Career is a long term-process aiming to support the successful development of athletes in sport as well as in academics/work to allow them a holistic development and to adjust effectively to the postsport career (Stambulova et al, 2009; Stambulova and Wylleman, 2015) 

Recently, 86% of elite student-athletes identified their parents as the most relevant supporters of their dual career (Condello et al., 2019), although effective dual career parenting would differ in relation to the athlete’s sport and educational stages and needslocal/national/international sport and educational dual career organizations, and parental experiences and visions. 

What is Dual Career for Athletes (Structure): 

Dual career is a multi-faceted domain involving several actors (e.g., individuals, stakeholders, organisations, and Governments) with specific roles, responsibilities, and interactions in the establishment of a positive support for the student-athlete. To pursue a successful dual career, athletes not only have to be strongly motivated to rely on personal resources, but also need a supportive entourage based on a well-structured cooperation system at meso (e.g., relationships with parents, peers, teachers, coaches, sport managers), macro (e.g., organization of sport clubs/federations and educational institutions), and global (e.g., international, national, regional, local governing bodies policies) dimensions (Figure form Capranica and Guidotti, 2016). 

Due to specific cultures and organizations, in Europe and worldwide multiplicity of national approaches to dual career emerge in relation sport and education/work requirements. Therefore, the recognition of the student-athlete’s status and the provision of dual career programmes and services differ significantly.  

In light of the national/international mobility of athletes, it is imperative for parents to be aware of different dual career settings and cultural challenges student-athletes could face when relocating 


What is the relevance of a sport and education career? 

Dual career is a strategic objective of the European Union (European Parliament, 2015; 2017), in recognition of the significant social, economic and cultural roles of educated athletes as prominent  

European citizens and future emerging leaders. In 2012, the European Commission published the Dual Career Guidelines for athletes in English, available also in Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Romanian, Slovak, and Slovenian. 


What are the challenges for DC athletes and their parents? 

What are the challenges for DC athletes 

Dual career is challenging for both the athletes and their parents. Several physical, cognitive, emotional, and social aspects change during the developmental phases and transitions of a student-athlete’s life (Wylleman and Reints, 2010)When the combination of the sporting career with education/ employment presents persisting conflicts not to be resolved by a well-established dual career entourage, the student-athlete is challenged to choose the sport or academic/work drop out. 

Indeed, elite athletes greatly value the support of their parents in helping them finding special arrangements to combine their sport and academic/work careers and other essential aspects of life to reach their full potential in life (Condello et al., 2019). 

What are the challenges for DC parents 

Parents use various ways to nurture, guide, aid, care for, and assist their talented athletic progeny to combine their academic and sports careers. It is not always easy to provide an effective parental support for dual career in light of a complex and evolving dual career scenario. 

To provide dual career vision, encouragement, economical and logistic support for dual career athletes in specific sport and educational/work contexts, it is crucial for parents to be informed on the available dual career structure, policies, best practices, opportunities, challenges, and cultural evolution, as well as the benefits of parental involvement to support adequately their student-athletes. Educated dual career parents would be empowered to speak up about their role in the holistic development of their student-athletes and to contribute to the advancement of a European Dual Career culture. 


In engaging in an educational programme on the challenges and benefits of dual career paths of student-athletes, parents could be more aware of the necessity to establish permanent networking with relevant dual career actorand other dual career parents to coordinate efforts, and to follow the progress of dual career actions and policies at local, regional, national, and European levels.  


Dual Career in different countries 

Dual Career for athletes varies in relation to the national, regional, and local academic and sports contexts. The research report on the Dual Career framework in Europe (AUAS et al., 2016) provides National profiles of Dual Career systems in the Member States (the link https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/e06e5845-0527-11e6-b713-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-110888454 or pdf of the report to the call for tender report to be inserted). 



AUAS, Birch Consultants, TASS, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and European Athlete as Student Network (2016). Study on the minimum quality requirements for dual career services. Research report. Available at https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/e06e5845-0527-11e6-b713-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-110888454 

Capranica, L., & Guidotti, F. (2016). Research for cult committee qualifications/dual careers in sports. European Parliament: Directorate-General for internal policies. Policy Department. Structural and cohesion policies: Cultural and Education. Available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/573416/IPOL_STU(2016)573416_EN.pdf 

Condello, G., Capranica, L., Doupona, M., Varga, K., & Burk, V. (2019). Dual-career through the elite university student-athletes’ lenses: The international FISU-EAS survey. PloS one, 14(10), e0223278. Available at https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0223278 

European Commission (2012). Guidelines on dual careers of athletes – Recommended policy actions in support of dual careers in high-performance sport. Available at http://ec.europa.eu/assets/eac/sport/library/documents/dual-career-guidelines-final_en.pdf. 

European Parliament (2015). EU sport policy. An overview. Brussels: European Parliamentary Research Service. (978-92-823-7903-5). Available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/IDAN/2015/565908/EPRS_IDA(2015)565908_EN.pdf. 

European Parliament (2017). European Parliament Resolution of 2 February 2017 on an Integrated Approach to Sport Policy: Good Governance, Accessibility and Integrity. Available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P8-TA-2017-0012&language=EN&ring=A8-2016-0381. 

Stambulova, N., Alfermann, D., Statler, T., & té, J. (2009). ISSP position stand: Career development and transitions of athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 7(4), 395-412. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228656551_ISSP_Position_stand_Career_development_and_transitions_of_athletes 

Stambulova, N. B., & Wylleman, P. (2015). Dual career development and transitions. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 21, 1-134.  

Wylleman, P., & Reints, A. (2010). A lifespan perspective on the career of talented and elite athletes: Perspectives on highintensity sports. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 20, 88-94. Available at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01194.x 


The relevance of a sport and education career 

Videostoriessomething like https://www.whatchado.com/en/stories (maybe one from each country) 



1) Definition of dual career 

2) why education is important for an athlete 

3) why dual career guidelines are important 

4) why parents should know dual career guidelines 

5) how parents could use dual career guidelines to support their child 

  • Policy maker(s) (Agata Dziarnowska, EC, done) 
  • Former athlete(s) (Andreas Küttel, Ski Jumping champion, done) 
  • Athlete(s) 
  • Coach(es) 
  • Parent(s)