The British Olympic Association (BOA), together with the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and UK Sport, are for the first time hosting an Athletes Career Fair. The Fair, which already has over 200 Olympians and Paralympians from 46 Olympic and Paralympic sports signed up to take part, is an opportunity for businesses, who recognise the transferable skills elite athletes have to offer, to meet and discuss possible employment opportunities with an Olympian or Paralympian.
Businesses who have already committed their participation – and in doing so also committed to offering work placements, if not a job - include Cadbury, EDF, Lloyds, IHG, Deloitte, British Gas, Red Bull and Glasgow 2014. The event, which is being supported by Adecco, DKH Legacy Trust and the English Institute of Sport aims to offer a range of support and advice to current, retiring and retired athletes with a traditional career fair running alongside a number of other services.
Athletes will be able to access the following services at the event:
- The Support Zone will offer advice to athletes on a range of issues from transition support to financial planning.
- The Discovery Zone will allow athletes to question professionals from the worlds of media, leisure, education, hospitality and the emergency services/armed forces.
- The Employer Zone will enable businesses to connect with athletes who are seeking a mix of full or part-time employment.
- Alongside this there will be a series of Workshops available to athletes on the day including Writing your CV, Interview Techniques and Networking.
Athletes offer a wide range of transferable skills, for example, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, the ability to perform under pressure and show the determination and dedication to succeed in every walk of life. Some of the athletes confirmed to take part are:
- Tim Baillie, canoeing, London 2012 Olympics gold medallist
- Tom Aggar, rowing, Beijing 2008 Paralympic gold medallist and London 2012 Paralympian
- Nyree Lewis, swimming, London 2012 Paralympic silver medallist and multi Paralympic medallist
- Heather Fell, modern pentathlon, Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallist
- Phelan Hill, rowing, London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist
- Karina Bryant, judo, London 2012 Olympics bronze medallist
- Helen Richardson, hockey, London 2012 Olympics bronze medallist
- Kate Dennison, athletics, London 2012 Olympian
- Emily Diamond, athletics, London 2012 Olympian
- Sam Weale, modern pentathlon, Beijing 2008 Olympian
- Montell Douglas, athletics, Beijing 2008 Olympian
Explained London 2012 Olympics canoeing gold medallist Tim Baillie:
“The Athletes Career Fair is a great place for me to meet a future employer who really understands where I come from and appreciates the qualities and expertise I will bring with me as an Olympian. Athletes have limited time to develop their longer-term career plans whilst training and competing at elite international level so an opportunity like this is very welcome. I believe you can always hone your skills so I will be sure to get some CV advice, visit the interview techniques workshop and get some taxation and expert entrepreneur guidance.”
Added Nyree Lewis, multi Paralympic swimming medallist and London 2012 silver medallist:
“The Career Fair is a great opportunity for athletes to receive advice and guidance for the future. After so many years dedicated to training and competing, it is reassuring to know that I might meet a future employer who understands my background.”
Commented Diane Tomlinson, Mondelez International HR Director for UK&I:
“For Mondelez International this is a perfect opportunity to continue our corporate support for Team GB and to do so in a very tangible manner. With our Cadbury brand we strived to keep Team GB Pumped in the lead up to and during the London 2012 Olympics this summer and we now want to motivate them off the field of play as well.
“World class athletes are high performers with the ambition to succeed in their career of choice, after their sport. So we will be coming to the Athletes Career Fair armed with a variety of interesting opportunities, searching for the perfect match in the Olympians and Paralympians who rocked our world during the summer of 2012.”
Said Andy Hunt, BOA CEO and London 2012 Team GB Chef de Mission:
“We are delighted that over 200 Olympians and Paralympians have already signed up for the Athletes Career Fair. The Fair gives first class businesses and organisations an opportunity to meet and employ some Olympic household names, including London 2012 Olympic canoeing gold medallist Tim Baillie and Beijing 2008 modern pentathlon silver medallist Heather Fell.
“The Athletes Career Fair is one way for us to help retired or retiring Team GB athletes apply their many skills in the world of business. It is also an opportunity for us to give something back to athletes after they gave so much to us during the summer of 2012 in the form of amazing Olympic performances.”
Added Tim Hollingsworth, BPA CEO:
“The Athletes Career Fair aims to offer tangible opportunities to athletes so those exhibiting in the Employer Zone have to be prepared to offer some work placements as a minimum requirement.
“Athletes offer a wide range of transferable skills, for example, great personal discipline, excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to perform under pressure. We firmly believe that athletes have the determination and dedication to succeed in every walk of life and will therefore be very attractive to potential employers.”
The 2013 Fair will take place on 17 January 2013 in Reading.
Companies and athletes wishing to sign up for the Athletes Career Fair should contact BOA Sport Engagement Manager Georgina Harland on Georgina.firstname.lastname@example.org or 07932 765 115.