Many of us have a deep passion for sport. We all have had our heroes, our villains. We have all had moments of joy, moments of despair and moments of wonderment, both good and bad.
However, do we really understand what happens to sports players once they retire? Some do go on to have careers in the media and some move into coaching, unfortunately there are others who struggle to adjust to life after their careers end. They are still relatively young in age and facing a different direction in a new world can be daunting.
This is not just for players who have retired in their mid-30s, but those those much younger who have retired due to injury or other circumstances. EP is already in discussion with a number of 20 year olds on how this approach can support them.
Everyone is becoming more aware of the issue of depression amongst sports players after they retire but this is just one of the many issues that many face. They may encounter a loss of self esteem as suddenly they become less important, less respected. Some struggle financially with the natural change in their income.
However, so many of those that struggle do possess some exceptional core skills – in leadership, in work ethic and discipline, in networking, in business development, in developing team cultures and with people.
“Our view is that there needs to be a closer bond and relationship between sport and business so that there is a natural transition for those that seek to reinvent themselves and find a new sense of purpose, to contribute.”
Change will not just happen.
It does take time and it takes understanding and insight to see the real potential of what exists amongst the former players.
In the autumn we are developing a series of events which aim to bring together sporting players seeking to explore new avenues with employers that wish to understand more. Working with Simon Halliday, Chairman of European Professional Club Rugby and others we aim to help shape the process and plans going forward.
The best way of building the bond between business and former players is by interacting together in relaxed and social settings.
There is a genuine need to support those who have finished their careers at a young age and are working to reinvent themselves. They need employers that would be interested to explore options. They also need mentors, coaches and retraining. We can develop and provide this framework but we also need employers that want to engage.
There are many barriers to change and we need to work through the natural issues that will arise. However there is also a exceptional talent pool that could be developed and nurtured. Maybe together we can create change?
There is much to be done but we need to begin somewhere and this is a starting point.
If you are open to being involved and learning more, then please let us know. We are seeking to announce the various interactive events over the next few weeks and we would welcome your involvement.
For more information: Ben.Butler@epmagazine.co.uk