STICK Project presents final proposal for a bespoke Erasmus+ experience for student athletes

Oriol Roca

On 19th November the STICK Project Consortium of 5 European clubs and universities presented its recommendations for a revision to the Erasmus+ program for student athletes to a number of stakeholders, including the European Commission, the European Hockey Federation, national associations, sports clubs and universities. The event took place in Brussels, Belgium.  

During the event, the STICK Project Consortium fielded a number of questions from potential stakeholders, and announced its desire to see the project incorporated within the new Erasmus+ programme, which will run from 2021-2027.

The aim of the 2-year pilot project, coordinated by Atlètic Terrassa Hockey Cluband the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, was to facilitate high dedication athletes to go one step forward on their dual career as students and athletes, combining the Erasmus exchange mobility with sport competition, which has often been very complicated, so far. The project was supported by the consortium partners consisting of Beeston Hockey Club and Nottingham Trent University from the United Kingdom, Pembroke Wanderers Hockey Club and Dublin City University from Ireland, KHC Dragons and Universiteit Antwerpen from Belgium and Rotterdam Hockey Club with Erasmus University Rotterdam from the Netherlands. When adapting the current Erasmus mobility programme, one of the project’s challenges was to reconcile the demands and needs of universities as well as those of the student-athletes and their respective clubs and federations.

The pilot programme focussed on field hockey. However, the project is able to be implemented in any sport.

The project co-ordinated a pilot programme, which is currently being tested during this academic year. Oriol Roca from Atlètic Terrassa Hockey Club is currently playing for Beeston Hockey Club, and studying at Nottingham Trent University.

The event in Brussels was chaired by Dr.Màrius Martínez, Vice-rector for International Relations of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, followed by a scientific approach to Dual Careers by Dr.Miquel Torregrossa from the same university.Mireia Galí, STICKProject Coordinator from Atlètic Terrassa Hockey Club and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, introduced the project along with the pursued aims and activities that have been carried out. Audrey Byrne, from Dublin City University, Dominique Vosfrom KHC Dragons and Chris Campbellfrom Nottingham Trent University explained the results from the university international offices, the clubs and the university dual career services perspectives, respectively. To conclude, David Passmore, Dual Career Expert at Dublin City University and Coach of the field hockey U21 ladies’ Irish national team and at Pembroke Wanderers Hockey Club, closed the presentation with the final conclusions and recommendations for the implementation of the project.

Any sport or university which is interested in implementing the project’s academic-sporting mobility scheme can use the guide on the project’s website, www.stickproject.eu. In future, the European Commission may implement the project’s recommendations in whole or in part.

David Griffiths and Cellan Griffiths led the project on behalf of Beeston Hockey Club.

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