With FISU Education resolving to develop a robust Dual Career policy and programme, the German University Sports Association (adh) has strongly welcomed the move.
“It is a necessary step forward, one that we really appreciate and will be happy to contribute to with our expertise and support, said Joerg Foerster, Chairman of the adh Board. “We would like to help develop the strategy in this very important field of play.”
The adh is one of FISU’s most proactive member federations when it comes to Dual Career for university athletes. Their ‘Partner Universities of High Performance Sport’ project was launched way back in 1999 and has continued sturdily since then.
The contract that is signed as part of this project includes concrete commitment and services for student athletes, including flexible study schedules, blended learning, adaptation of exams to training and competition calendars, and general support for better study conditions such as accommodation.
The adh have also developed an academic paper which specifically examined political interest in the concept of Dual Career and its representation in federal ministries, parliament, as well as regional and local authorities. These projects, undertaken years ago have led to the evolution of a strong Dual Career programme.
“We have done a lot of research in that field since 1999, including several EU projects since the launch of the EU Guidelines for Dual Career in 2012,” continued Foerster. “In our work and communication, we always refer to that research and in fact, we have a concept developed for a new research undertaking now.”
Chairman of the adh Board stressed on the importance of this area of research and activity, especially for university sports federations like themselves.
“The members of adh are 200 institutes of higher education all over Germany. So, our federation is part of the education system on the one hand and also a member of the German Olympic Sports Confederation on the other. So, we are also part of the sports system. Therefore, we are convinced, that we are in the ideal position to be the link for Dual Career in both systems.”
According to Foerster, it is the long-term contribution of adh in this field that has led to them being recognised as a key partner in Dual Career by the other partners such as the universities, the German Olympic Sports Confederation and the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
This longstanding work has produced many prime examples of student athletes who have excelled in sports, studies and careers.
“We have many such athletes,” said Foerster. “But to name just a few, Sarah Köhler in swimming, Fabian Hambüchen in gymnastics, Andreas Hofmann in javelin and Katherina Müller und Tim Dieck in figure skating.”
FISU’s Dual Career strategy going ahead is to share knowledge and best practices among its member federations so that each learns from the other, and a comprehensive strategy is implemented across the university sports world, in the near future.