The PARAdig project description

During the last ten years, much valuable work has been done under the Eurasmus+ Programm and the European Commission to promote dual career (DC) for young talented and elite athletes. The concept of DC reflects the challenge of combining the duality of developing one’s sports skills and potential with continuous education and work. The rounds and pressures of competitions, overseas tournaments, and regular training can be overwhelming, leading athletes themselves, their closest social circle, and sports organizations sometimes to neglect their education and other skill sets and qualifications. The strenuous efforts of the EC have done much to rebalance this tendency by emphasizing the prospects of the athletes when they retire from the sport. 
While all EC documents and implemented projects note that the inclusion of athletes with disabilities is expected within a policy that promotes access to sport for all at all levels, there are still various kinds of barriers to achieving this aim. Notably, the socio-economic burdens put on the families of athletes with disabilities. The prominent showcase for those who have broken through such barriers is the Paralympic Movement. 
For years, it has been a challenge for athletes in the EU Member States to combine their sporting commitments with the need to receive adequate education for a smooth transition after their sporting careers and subsequent employment. However, with the growing focus on the inclusion of people with disabilities in sport (initially inspired by the Paralympic Games) and improvements in the accessibility and design of sports facilities, an increasing number of people with disabilities are playing sports and becoming professional athletes. These athletes face the same problem with the schedule of their sports commitments. Still, they have several additional obstacles to deal with in both the training process and in the process of preparation for employment.

Back to Top