Starting from athletes' sport skills to help them develop a plan for life after sport.

The EU needs to facilitate veteran athletes in their efforts to utilize the skills they acquired in their career in sports so as to succeed in other sectors of the economy as entrepreneurs or employees. Despite the fact that the sports sector comprises a rapidly and steadily rising section of the EU labor force representing more than 1.7 million people (Eurostat, 2018), the EU has so far not managed to ensure that this workforce will enjoy a smooth transition after retirement from the sector to (self) employment and / or entrepreneurship in other domains.

What is missing, so far from EU efforts is a tailor-made to the athletes’ needs strategy that can teach them how to “translate” the skills and competences they developed in the sports sector into skills and competences that can be applied in selected domains in which veteran athletes have the greatest potential to succeed as employees or entrepreneurs.

The project BOUNCEBACK is an initiative co-funded by the European Commission Erasmus + program and involving sports and academic institutions towards a clear objective:

To boost the integration of former athletes into employment, business and entrepreneurship.

This is done through an innovative learning approach aiming at transferring the skills acquired during a sports career into tools which are useful in the entrepreneurial and business world.

Former athletes in Hungary, Cyprus, Greece and Italy will be directly supported in creating the connection with the work sector, thus allowing the project to develop a case-based strategy for future use.

Athletes are examples of a series of soft skills which can be transferred and adapted to non-sports business environments.

Those transferable skills of training, working hard and striving to reach the top of the game are highly desirable in the world of business. Skills associated with sports professionals include disciplines, teamwork, leadership, motivation, decision-making, performing under pressure, ambition, goal-orientation and resilience.

This project aims to support athletes in identifying these skills and making a smooth transition into a non-sports career so as to bounce back to success!



The project’s goal is to develop an innovative training approach for veteran athletes that will 

a) support them in transferring the skills acquired during their sports career to the entrepreneurial and business world, and 

b) provide targeted support to identify their desired career and access work opportunities

This goal encompasses the following 4 specific objectives:

  1. Match-make the mind-set, attitude, skills, competences of former professional athletes with the needs businesses have in terms of soft skills in different sectors of the economy
  2. Develop learning material and instruments that former athletes will use to transfer their skills to their new careers
  3. Ensure the practical hands-on applicability of the approach through pilot training sessions
  4. Develop guidelines and policy recommendations to ensure a wide dissemination of the approach in the EU.
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