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The development and evaluation of training modules for dual career support providers

This IOC advanced research Grant was a 1-year project (01/06/2017 - 01/06/2018, completed). The grant of 20.000 USD allowed four partner organisations (VUB, Windesheim University, Halmstad University, Autonomos University of Barcelona) from four EU Member States (i.e., Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden) to develop and pilot-test education modules for dual career support providers. This research project was coordinated by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and funded by the IOC Olympic Studies Centre. 

The specific objectives of this study were: (a) to develop three evidence-based training modules for dual career (DC) support providers and (b) to implement and evaluate these training modules in four different countries. Two studies were executed to achieve these objectives. In the first study, three focus groups were conducted with a blend of DC experts, DC novices and former DC athletes working as DC support providers. Based on the focus groups’ outcomes, three training modules were finalised to be implemented within the European context: “DC support providers’ self-assessment and development of competencies”, “Empowerment of DC athletes”, and “Ethical principles for DC support providers”. In the second study, the modules were implemented in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, reaching in total 41 DC support providers. Based on feedback forms completed by the participants and teachers, and follow-up interviews with the participants, thematic analyses were conducted to provide an overview of the process and outcome evaluations of these modules. Finally, these evaluations were used to optimize the modules and make recommendations for DC support providers and other DC stakeholders.


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Further information

Project coordinator: Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Prof. Dr. Paul Wylleman

Research Assistant

Dr. Simon Defruyt


pdf fileIOC - Final report (886 KB)