Gold in Education and Elite Sport

Research project (ongoing) - In this EU project, the professorship is looking at ways of promoting and supporting good governance principles and dual careers for sportspeople (EU project).

The project aims to connect a pool of 9 400 dual career athletes across 9 European countries with 45 researchers and lead practitioners to define a set of key competences for a successful dual career.

The project

The project Gold in Education and Elite Sport (GEES) is funded by the European Union’s Erasmus + Sport Program.

It involves a consortium of internationally renowned dual career researchers and practitioners. Nine countries from the North, East, South and West of Europe contribute through institutions such as Universities, Sports Institutes or National Olympic Committees.

The aim of GEES is to boost athletes’ employability through the optimization of their competences and the development of the services supporting them.

Main goals

The quality by which athletes are able to combine their athletic career with their educational pathway through secondary and higher education impacts not only their educational and athletic development but also their vocational development and employability during as well as after their athletic career.

This project develops and implements guidelines (cfr. EU Guidelines on Dual Careers of Athletes, 2012) by focusing on the need to enhance:

  • athletes’ competences for developing their own dual career pathway and
  • the quality of dual career support experts/services provided to athletes preparing, managing and/or finalizing a dual career ‘education and sport’ pathway

It will:

  • describe the competences, instruments and methods required by (a selection of) ±5.000 12-to-18 year old and ±4.400 18-to-25 year old athletes to successfully prepare, manage and finalize their dual career ‘education and sport’ pathway
  • develop a profile of competences as well as instruments and methods required by (a selection of) 525 dual career experts/support providers working with athletes in a dual career ‘education and sport’ pathway

Results will be disseminated via a website, social networks, articles/presentations, reports and dedicated workshops and conference. This project is innovative and has an added value at EU level as it:

  • provides competence profiles for athletes and dual career support providers as well as instruments and techniques to optimize dual career support services
  • is conducted by a consortium of internationally renowned experts from research as well as from dual career services in elite sport from nine countries from North, East, South and West of Europe, and
  • provides the basis for a European framework of reference for athletes’ competences regarding this dual career pathway and competences of dual career support providers allowing for a European guide within existing or newly to be developed dual career services within the Member States

Final symposium

The final international symposium took place on December 8th 2016 at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. Apart from reflections of international dual career experts on the results, the value and implications of the GEES project, parallel workshops where participants learned how specific tools and instruments are used in working with dual career athletes were organized. The symposium ended with a round table gathering with researchers, dual career support providers and an olympic medalist. 

From the Professorship Sport-related educational Theory Anne Spitse took part in this project.

Type International comparative research
Extent 2 years
Funding EU: Erasmus en Sport 2014
  • INSEP, France
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel / Bloso, Belgium
  • NOC*NSF / Windesheim University of Applied Sciences , the Netherlands
  • CONI, Italy
  • UAB, Spain
  • University of Ljubljana / Olympic Committee of Slovenia
  • Gdansk University Marek, Poland
  • Swedish Sports Confederation / Halmstad University
  • University of Stirling / TASS / University of Loughborough and the sportscotland Institute of Sport, UK
Status Complete