Man running

Life after sport

Sport performers are driven, focused, and constantly aiming for success and excellence. A career in sport can start early, demand constant commitment, and then end, often without warning. 

Nigel Walker, national director at the English Institute of Sport and former Olympic hurdler and Welsh rugby international, recalls the end of his sport career. He says “for a period I felt ‘empty’, I had trained for six days a week since I was 19, for the most part around a full-time job”. He recognizes the value of post-sport assistance “it’s never too early to think about what life will look like after sport, since we don’t always get to choose when we retire – many careers are cut short”.

The daily demands of training and competing leave little time to considerwhat to do when it ends.Sport does develop transferable workplace skills but filling the competitive ‘void’ can be difficult, and in some cases, can lead to mental health and drug and alcohol problems. The loss of the ‘athletic identity’ that individuals experience cannot be understated. 

The Life after Sport programme will help sport performers and their families, friends, and trainers to find advice and guidance on the transition from a sport career. It will be a single point of information offering free online courses and an online support hub where individuals can share their experiences and challenges. With your support we can make Life after Sport into a dedicated resource to support individuals as they leave their sport behind and build new futures.

To register your interest to participate in this course, or to be notified when live please email tracy.grunwell@open.ac.uk

To help with funding and supporting this project please email tracy.grunwell@open.ac.uk or call Tracy on 01908 653694.

To donate now to the project please click here.

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