Clubs and Universities that will be part of the consortium.
The European Commission has awarded funding to a consortium of 5 hockey clubs and universities in the European Union. The ‘STICK’ project, established by Atlética Terrassa Hockey Club, in Spain, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, has brought together 5 of the top hockey clubs across 5 member states, along with leading universities in partnership with their respective hockey clubs. The funding will allow these clubs to facilitate high-level academic and sporting careers for students in the Erasmus+ exchange program.
The STICK project, funded by the European Commission through the SPORT action of the Erasmus + program, aims to design a sports and academic exchange program within the framework of the Erasmus + program, seeking a solution to the difficulty of elite athletes to participate in Erasmus, without detriment to their sporting careers.
The project was selected in the autumn of 2017. Out of a total of 370 competing applications, the consortium was successful, along with 159 other applicants.
STICK will allow elite-athlete students to study at top universities, without sacrificing the world class playing and training environment that only top club hockey allows. The consortium has been awarded € 372,251 and will run for 2 years. The project is the first of its kind in European hockey.
The consortium of 10 partners comprises the following clubs and universities: Atlética Terrassa Hockey Club, coordinator and promoter of the project, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Beeston Hockey Club and Nottingham Trent University, in the United Kingdom; KHC Dragons and Universiteit Antwerpen, in Belgium; Pembroke Wanderers and Dublin City University, in the Republic or Ireland. A year on from Beeston Hockey Club’s official twinning with HC Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, the project is also joined by HC Rotterdam and Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
The requirements of the Erasmus + Program and elite sport rarely complement each other. However, if universities and clubs work together, it is possible for high-level athletes to not have to choose between their education and sporting career. The STICK project, which lasts two years, will be initially focused on field hockey, as a pilot sport, but the ultimate goal of the project is to extend this model of academic-sports mobility to all sports. In the long term, it is expected that the European Commission will implement this scheme of specific mobility for elite athletes and high performance in future programs.
Beeston Chairman, Graham Griffiths, commented, “A considerable amount of work has taken place across the clubs and universities in the consortium to receive such a high level of funding, which will benefit all the clubs and universities involved in the ‘STICK’ project. I would particularly like to thank our friends at Atlética Terrassa, for leading this project to its fruition. We are delighted to be working alongside the best universities and hockey clubs in Europe.”
The next stages will involve a series of meetings, the first one hosted in Barcelona on the 8th and 9th February. Representatives from both Beeston Hockey Club and Nottingham Trent University will be attending the kick-off meeting.