PARAdig: Dual-Track Careers for Para-Athletes 

Erasmus+ Sport Collaborative Partnerships

Project title: Dual-Track Careers for Para-Athletes

Project duration: 01/01/2020 – 31/12/2021

For athletes in EU member states is still a vivid challenge to combine their sports training, events and competitions with their need to receive an adequate education with a view to developing a sports career-end strategy for their subsequent employment, something informed by the EU Guidelines on Dual Careers of Athletes.

With the greater focus on inclusion of people with a disability to take up sports (originally inspired by the hard-won success of the Paralympics) and the improvements to accessibility and the design of sports facilities, there are ever greater numbers of people with disabilities taking up sports, and becoming great athletes in the field.

These athletes face the same problem of timetabling their dual pursuits, but they have several additional obstacles to deal with (expand), in the process of training and in the process of getting prepared for employment. We believe that a new generation of “hybrid” mentor/trainers needs to be invested in, as part of the vision described under the Disability Strategy to Europe 2020.
 


There are roughly 80 million people in the EU member states that have some kind of disability; they divide into two categories:
• Definition 1: Those persons having a basic activity difficulty (such as sight, hearing, walking, communicating);
• Definition 2: Those persons limited in work activity because of a longstanding health problem and/or a basic activity difficulty

 


With PARAdig /Dual-Track Careers for Para-Athletes/ project the delivery team will primarily be dealing with Definition 1 and will apply this definition to people who despite their disability have, like the Paralympic athletes, had the “courage, determination, inspiration and sense of equality” to break through any supposed limits and achieved high performance as athletes.

 

This project will focus on a beginning-to-end process of mapping and tracking potential athletes who happen to have a disability to identify the parties who first notice their potential, who work on capacity building, who refer a candidate to local training centres, all the way to what happens after their athletic career is over and they need to start the process of integration and insertion into an employment.

Challenge of Partnership

The partnership will conduct important grass-root research  the ecosystem around the athlete with a disability, to find ways to get the system working more optimally, seeking ways to support families in the long run.

 

Research Outcome

The research will produce another output - the Handbook of Best Practices for professionals all over the EU. Finally, a dedicated Virtual learning Platform to orient the athlete transitioning to the workplace will be created to teach him/her all the basics of the Bussiness and Entrepreneurship world. 

EU Guidelines on Dual Careers for Athletes

"Dual-Track Careers for Para-Athletes" carries on from where the EU guidelines on Dual careers for Athletes leaves off in 2013 - pointing up the many problems faced by athletes with a disability,  the urge and mandate to be inclusive notwithstanding. 

Coordinator

Aetoi Thessalonikis

Partners

Mine Vaganti NGO

Croatian Paralympic Committee

Swedish Confederation  

Bulgarian Sports Development Association 

European Paralympic Committee 

National Sports Academy 

Champions Factory - Serbian Paralympic Committee