Dual Career Research

‘Dual career’ is the term used to describe the two components of a student-athlete’s development; sporting and education demands.

TASS works to enable dual career pathways, thereby removing the pressure on talented athletes to choose between education and sport, allowing them to excel in both.

The Scheme is recognised as a forerunner in the area of dual career support, and as such is keen to collate new research into the concept.

Current TASS scholar and Talented Athlete Advisory Group member, Emma Vickers, has shared an overview of her PhD, focussing on student-athletes transitions during university.

Meanwhile, Loughborough University’s Emily Deason, has completed the first year of her PhD, a systematic review of the literature available on on dual career.

TASS is also the industry partner for two further research projects: Nicola York’s academic assessment of TASS funded athletes and Steven Marshall’s research at Northumbria University.

TASS Potential: Schools Pilot Project

TASS Potential is a pilot scheme in partnership with Teesside University and Canterbury Christ Church University to recognise and support talent in schools. The project provides a valuable introduction to the services that are part of a TASS Award through bespoke workshops for youngsters aged 11 to 16. The universities are working with four schools respectively, and a total of 40 talented student athletes.

All athletes benefitting from the project have been identified as at the talent level for their age, and show potential in Olympic or Paralympic sports that are not traditionally supported in the schools’ sports programmes. Teaching provides students with a taster of the TASS support services such as strength and conditioning, psychology and nutrition.

The long term goal of TASS Potential is to educate talented school children about balancing life as a student athlete and prepare them for a Dual Career. Teesside University began delivering the programme in January 2017, with Canterbury Christ Church University following suit in March.

Ladies European Tour Project

We’re currently working with the Ladies European Tour (LET) to create a Dual Career Advice Service for players on tour. The project is in progress following a TASS visit to the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters in September 2016.

Whilst on the trip, TASS Institutions Lead, Kirsty O’Connor delivered a workshop to the rookie players explaining the concept of Dual Career, as well as surveying the athletes’ needs.

The results of the survey will now be used to inform and develop a proposal for the LET’s Dual Career Advice Service based on similar programmes delivered at home and abroad.

British Army Partnership

TASS has teamed up with the British Army to provide support services to a total of 32 talented army athletes.

Launched in September 2016, the project follows a pilot scheme in boxing and shooting, and now covers a variety of sports at a number of delivery sites.

Backed by Major Heather Stanning, the partnership means we’re working closely with the Army Elite Sport Programme (AESP) in supporting a selection of the army’s top athletes.

LTA Player-Coach Programme

The Player-Coach Programme has been running since January 2016 in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and supports six talented tennis players across five delivery sites.

The athletes are all currently competing on an international circuit whilst studying to qualify up to Level 4 LTA coaching qualification.

The 20-month programme gives the players a fantastic opportunity to combine a full time tennis programme whilst developing their coaching qualifications, skills and experience.

Thereby supporting the transition of athletes from playing to coaching, whilst also enhancing the tennis coaching provision across the TASS network.

Orienteering at Sheffield Universities

Since Spring 2016, TASS has been part of a unique four-way partnership with British Orienteering, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University to enhance the support for the existing ‘Sheffield Centre of Excellence for orienteering’.

The support consists of a bespoke programme including physiology and sports science testing for orienteering athletes who are studying at either of the city’s two universities.

The programme is proving to be an invaluable support for the nine talented athletes in a non-Olympic sport that receives limited funding.

Water Polo Project

TASS is once again working in collaboration with Water Polo to develop support for the sport’s talent pathway.

Six age group level athletes have been selected to receive full TASS Awards in 2016/17 with the aim to nurture talent in a sport that receives little funding.

The project has also been beneficial in establishing a partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University who are now working as a water polo specific delivery site.

Volleyball at Petroc College

In early 2017 TASS is launching a FE programme to support six talented volleyball athletes at Petroc College.

The pilot project will be delivered through a workshops focussing on the three key services: strength and conditioning, psychology/lifestyle and physiotherapy.

Workshops are being developed by Volleyball England lead practitioners and there’s expected to be a total of fifteen sessions.

The project aims to support athletes earlier in their pathway and to develop a programme and materials which could potentially be rolled out nationwide.

Golf at Hartpury College and University

We’ve teamed up with Hartpury College FE Golf Academy to provide additional support for 24 athletes aged 16-18 who are studying at the college.

The pilot project, which began in November 2016, aims to support the development of Hartpury HE Golf Academy programme.

This support will be achieved through the enhanced development of the FE golfers, leading to higher retention rates of more talented athletes.