The two-year Mind the Gap project, co-ordinated by FIFPro, started on 1 January 2018 and aims at helping professional football players make the transition as smoothly as possible between the end of their professional sport career and a new career of their choice. The objectives of the project are to develop evidence-based practices and tools to optimize support systems for helping professional players to transition smoothly by developing and broadening adequate competencies. The Mind the Gap project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, brings together 14 partners from eight countries.
The initial phase of the Mind the Gap project consists of analysing the structures, measures and research related to supporting elite athletes in the transition from the elite sport career to the post-athletic career. Subsequently, qualitative and quantitative research will be carried out into the competences required by career support providers and professional football players in order to optimally prepare and go through the transition from elite sport to the labour market. Finally, based on the research results of the first two phases, the project partners will develop practical tools to optimize support systems for professional players to transition smoothly to a second career.
Mind the Gap Partners
The project brings together a total of 14 partners from 8 different European countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Ireland, Finland, Greece, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom). The partnership is coordinated by FIFPro under the leadership of Nienke van Gerven and consists of national player organisations in football and rugby, the U.K.-based Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The responsibilities assigned to the VUB within the project are led by Prof. Dr. Paul Wylleman and supported by Dr. Simon Defruyt and dra. Sofie Smismans.