New Dual Career course launches for sixth forms and colleges


A pioneering new training course has been introduced by TASS to equip sixth forms and colleges with the expertise and skills to better support gifted student-athletes.

The Talented Athlete Support in Transitions and Education (TASTE) qualification has been designed to help further education institutions to implement a ‘dual career’ structure.

The first TASTE course took place yesterday and Tuesday, with nine Dual Career Co-ordinators from sixth forms and colleges across the country in attendance.

The aim of the dual career set-up is to nurture the two components of a scholar’s development; sporting and education demands, allowing them to achieve their full potential in both.

Delivered by experts in the field, Kirsty O’Connor, Jack Grundy and Nigel King, the workshop pools together their extensive experience and best practice models.

Learners receive training in key units including ‘Your Dual Career strategy’ and ‘Application of leadership and coaching skills’, specifically designed for practitioners who support 16 to 18-year-old student-athletes.

On completion of the two-day workshop, attendees will have built their awareness of current dual career athletes’ demands, challenges and key transitions.

Furthermore, the course will develop the individuals’ skills to facilitate and lead an environment aligned to the TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme.

Institutions that become a Dual Career Accredited Centre recognise a commitment to helping student-athletes to balance their studies with a hectic sporting schedule, with the acquisition of a TASTE qualification being one element of this commitment.

Learners are able to continue their professional development in this area if they wish with the Talented Athlete Lifestyle Support (TALS) course, which is delivered in partnership with 1st4Sport.

Kirsty O’Connor, TASS Institutions Lead, is spearheading the TASTE course and Dual Career Accreditation Scheme. She explained:

“We’re dedicated to developing dual career support for talented student-athletes within the TASS Delivery Site network and beyond.

“That’s why working with sixth forms and colleges was a logical progression for us when expanding the number of academic institutions we are partnering with.

“It’s important that gifted young athletes are supported earlier in their pathway, but many further education organisations are lacking the training to put a system into place.

“We hope this course will provide that extra support and help to lay the foundations for an effective and lasting Dual Career structure within the participating colleges and sixth forms.”

Assistant Vice Principal, Paul Chapman, is co-ordinating the dual career support provision at LeAF Studio in Bournemouth. He said:

“Led by dynamic and enthusiastic facilitators, the course provided engaging activities that provoked focussed and meaningful discussion within the group.

“The best aspect was meeting a range of different individuals that all bring positive and proactive perspectives on how to support student-athletes to achieve their goals.”