College accredited by ground-breaking dual career scheme

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Loughborough College is leading the way in supporting talented athletes in education after being accredited for the third time by the innovative Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) initiative.

The Sport England-backed programme supports young sportspeople on the talent pathway to have the opportunity to gain qualifications alongside their sporting pursuits, follow other interests, as well as further their personal development.

By formally recognising an institution’s commitment to supporting student-athletes, the TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme aims to allow athletes to reach their potential in education alongside achieving success in their sport.

Steve Wilkinson, who leads the scheme for Loughborough College, said: “I’m really happy that we have been recognised for the fantastic level of support we give to our athletes. The programme has been going from strength to strength and assures students and parents that we are experts in supporting and developing talent.”

Loughborough College has 60 students currently enrolled on the programme representing a range of sports from rugby and water polo to triathlon, netball, handball, skiers and snowboarders.

TASS student Barney Corrall is a long jumper who has represented his country at international level. He said: “The TASS programme has helped me manage my college and training load by making sure I have the right support and adapting my college house to fit around my training.”

Referenced within the Education section of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s Duty of Care in Sport Review published in April 2017, accreditation shows that a college or university has the ability to support students following a dual career route. Backing the scheme, she said: “I believe we have a duty to help young people to achieve their potential, whilst prioritising their welfare, wellbeing and education. For the vast majority of athletes, skills and formal qualifications are needed to help them find alternative careers, either alongside their sporting activities or once their sporting days are over.

“For me the TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme is a vitally important measure to ensuring all athletes have the chance to pursue an education and enjoy a more well-rounded approach to life.”

As a Dual Career Accredited Site, Loughborough College will be an important extension of the network of universities that already partner with TASS, delivering core support services to more than 600 student-athletes each year.

These support services include physiotherapy, nutrition, lifestyle support, psychology strength and conditioning and a private medical scheme.

While some of the existing services delivered focus solely on developing the young person’s sporting performance, a dual career support structure and academic flexibility policies are central to the help available to athletes based at an Accredited Site.

For student-athletes, the academic flexibility policies may mean they have the opportunity to access online notes or resources, are able to arrange catch up sessions with teaching staff, or even reschedule deadlines or exam dates in exceptional circumstances.

TASS National Director, Guy Taylor, said: “We’re delighted to be awarding TASS Dual Career Accreditation to colleges and universities across England.

“Dual career support is at the forefront of what TASS does and that’s why the Accreditation Scheme is so important for us in recognising those institutions who place precedence on their athletes’ education too.”


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