Network expansion boosts options for student athletes

Manchester Metropolitan University’s Chloe Wilcox (Clive Mason:Getty Images Europe)

TASS is growing its network of support for talented athletes and expects to help more than 550 athletes this year – a record number since London 2012.

One key element of the network expansion is the addition of five new TASS Delivery Sites: Southampton Solent University, University of Bristol, Buckinghamshire New University, Canterbury Christ Church University and Manchester Metropolitan University.

The new quintet of institutions will allow greater access for talented athletes to pursue a course or qualification of their choice and increases the total number of Delivery Sites across England to 31.

TASS athletes regularly attend their local site to receive specialist core services including physiotherapy, lifestyle support, nutrition, strength and conditioning and psychology.

The new academic year will also see four new Sports team up with TASS, having not been involved with the Scheme in the previous year. Archery, fencing, short track speed skating and swimming will all be offering TASS places to athletes at a talent level in the sporting pathway.

Moreover, TASS’ help will be available to the largest number of talented young people in the last five years due to a new programmatic approach.

Partnerships with the National Governing Bodies of select sports including The FA, Pentathlon GB and The RFL, will provide bespoke support programmes allowing groups of athletes from the same sport to receive services together.

London 2012 Olympian, Chloe Wilcox, has been working on a TASS-supported water polo project at Manchester Met since July this year.

A TASS alumna herself, having received support during her studies in 2010/11 and 2011/12, Wilcox is keen to enhance the support available to talented athletes at the new Delivery Site.

She explained: “I’m really excited to be involved with TASS as a practitioner, having done the ‘full circle’ and being able to give back to sport.

“In my new job I’ll be working directly with the Performance Sport student athletes in a Lifestyle Advisor role, as well as being head coach for both water polo teams competing in BUCS.

“It’s brilliant that Manchester Met is now a TASS Delivery Site as we are aiming to show that there is support available for dual career athletes to succeed and reach their potential both academically and in their sporting career.

“For me, transferable skills like time management, planning and self-motivation have been invaluable at helping me transition between being a full time world class athlete and starting my new career.

“It’s hard to fully appreciate when you are still in the ‘bubble’ of being an athlete  how much these skills will set you up for a successful career after sport, but they really have enabled me to smoothly transition into my role at Manchester Met.

“To the new athletes joining the Scheme for the first time this year, I would advise them to engage with the program as much as possible, to fully understand what is on offer and to make sure you make the most of it while it is there!

“From experience I know it’s so important to start planning and be prepared for any transitions that are looming, whether it be moving away from home to university or a change of coach.  These are key moments in your career that will shape your future so be prepared!”