Elite athletes and their entourage : how can athletes be supported before, during and after their sports careers? / Gudrun Doll-Tepper

Doll-Tepper, Gudrun

Edited by [s.n.]. [S.l.] - 2012

Recent initiatives on international and national levels within the Olympic Movement have emphasised the importance of the athlete’s entourage. Specific attention has been given to the social relations between athletes and members of their entourage at the different stages of their sports career. This paper presents some selected aspects and examples of the athlete’s entourage, highlighting in particular the initiatives of the International Olympic Committee, especially those carried out by the “IOC Entourage Commission”. In addition, recommendations of the 8th World Conference on Sport, Education and Culture by the IOC in cooperation with UNESCO are presented in order to stress the relevance of the topic on a global level. There is a need for a greater awareness of the roles and responsibilities of the athlete’s entourage, and this is reflected in specific initiatives in preparation for Olympic and Youth Olympic Games. Selected examples of the different stages of an athlete’s career are given. This begins at the early phases of a career, for example, in the context of the Youth Olympic Games as well as of elite sport schools, to the period of active participation in high performance training and competition with the challenge of combining a sporting career with education, the so-called “dual career”. During this phase, the crucial role of trained professionals who can serve as “career consultants” is highlighted. A special chapter on post-sport career developments presents current findings and initiatives. Examples of careers of athletes with a disability are given, also in the context of the role of the “significant others” of their entourage (e.g. family members, coaches and teachers). Particular challenges for athletes and their entourage are presented and discussed with regard to the fight against doping and sexual harassment and abuse in sport. The final chapter summarises current developments with regard to athletes and their entourage. It calls for a safe and supportive environment for the athletes before, during and after their sports career which is secured by all relevant individuals of their entourage.

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