Workshop 2 in The University of Thessaly, Greece

Event Date:

Address: Campus of The University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece

University of Thessaly (UTH)constitutes basic partner of the ESTPORT consortium with the twofold participation of both the Department of Physical Education, Sport Sciences and the Career Services Office(CSO)of the Institution. The Department retains extremely significant research experience since most of the faculty member are engaged in research projects and innovative activities of national and international impact, such as: authoring physical education books for Greek primary and secondary education, implementing innovative European projects (e.g. through FP7), incorporating published data into guidelines of international agencies such as the European League Against Rheumatology, editing international scientific journals and organizing international conferences. The enhanced profile of the Department ensures the smooth implementation of the ESTPORT objectives and the provision of the necessary added value.

In addition University of Thessaly has a clearly advanced presence in the ESTPORT project with the active participation of the Career Services Office (CSO). Since CSO is basically activated with problems related to labour market, jobs availability, and career issues, it will adopt a supplementary role in order to serve the needs and the objectives of the ESTPORT contributing in terms of addressing successfully issues related with the dual career of athletes.


Task identity: Workshop on Dual Career

The proposed deliverable activity: “Organization and development of the second Workshop on Dual Career issues and on the Sport Tutorship program “is part of the ESTPORT Working Package no. 2 (Development and Implementation of the Sport Tutorship programme). The basic theme of this 2ndWorkshop was "Challenges and Opportunities through a Sport Tutor Model for Students -Athletes “with basic objective to present the opportunity of a potential Sport Tutorship model for “active” students athletes of University of Thessaly.

What are the real challenges for the students? What are the real problems that are facing both during their “academic” life and after their sport career is finally over? What could be more beneficial and with significant added value for their sport performance during their studies?All these are only some indicative aspects that were carefully and successfully addressed during the 2ndworkshop.

Presenting the ESPORT project

According to the proposed activity description (as it has been determined in the project proposal) the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science of University of Thessaly (basic partner of ESTPORT project) has organized the 2ndWorkshop(5thNovember of 2015) of Dual Career in the premises of the Department following the successful implementation of the previous first workshop (8thMay 2015) with a significant big number of students–athletes as participants.

The basic goal of the workshop was to discuss in more practical aspect not only the problems that active Students-Athletes are facing but merely the way (how) that a potential Sport Tutor Model could provide considerable assistance during their student-life. However this was only the one part of the workshop since the majority of the students is worried about its successfully “transmission” after the completion of their first degree studies.

The participation exceeded all the expectations with almost 150 students while in the workshop participated as well students with different academic background. This is due to the fact that the University of Thessaly represents one of the biggest academic institutions in Greece with 18 Departments with a constantly increased number of students –athletes that are really “active” in their sport career and are facing similar (or even bigger problems)  during their studies.

The 2nd Workshop was launched with a brief presentation of the Scientific Coordinator of the project Professor Mr Koustelios who has presented to the participants the basic aspects of the ESTPORT project in order all the participants to be familiarized both with the concept and the objectives of the project. Mr Koustelios provided the input for the beginning of the discussion among the participants while the rest of the ESTPORT team (Ms Zournatzi and Mr Samantzis) both carefully addressed all the relevant career issues that students are facing and that the Sport Tutor Model could provide some significant assistance.

The workshop was really intensive where students-participants realized that for the first time during their sport life there might be an opportunity of an integrated institutional framework that can provide valuable assistance to them and the most important to facilitate their access to the labour market.

More particularly participants were encouraged to present all the obstacles and the barriers that the present “status” encloses. This presentation was really detailed where all the aspects of both the training and the academic life were carefully determined. There was an unquestionable consensus about the potential existence and the importance of a potential Tutor model.

However beyond this general agreement about the significance of the model several other issues revealed which provided the input for the next session of the workshop.

What should be the characteristics of this model? It’s practically content? What services could provide? Should be a physical person included or the usage of the technology could provide significant results towards to this direction? These were some of the basic aspects that dominated droning the next session of the 2nd workshop.

Significant conclusions and results were obtained after a thorough discussion in which all participants had the opportunity to capture their opinions and experiences helping to shape the characteristics and the content that the Career Sport Model should incorporate in order to be able to assist and help them for a smooth completion of their studies and a successful entrance to the labour market.

The workshop was concluded by summarizing the basic outputs and the suggestions of all the participants. All the students expressed their positive feelings and their enthusiasm of this opportunity (Sport Tutor Model) that would facilitate both their sport performance and their future career employment opportunities.


Key results of the Workshop


This second Workshop concluded in a deeper understanding of the importance of an integrated context of dual career for Greek students/athletes through the design and the development of the Sport Tutor Model as prerequisite condition to enhance and facilitate the access to the available career employment opportunities. The implementation of the event can be considered as very successful and it concluded to some significant assumptions about the importance and the emergency in the design and development of a Sport Tutor Model available for students–athletes of the University of Thessaly.

More particular:

a. All the participants agreed on the need of existence of a framework that could facilitate their sport performance during their academic years. They strongly believe that such an option could provide them more “freedom” during their practice in order to be solely dedicated to their sport engagement.

b. Following (a) students that participated to the workshop not only agreed for the existence of such a concept but also recommended that this framework should be “active” for their transmission from the graduate to postgraduate studies since they are facing significant difficulties at the moment.

c. They recommended a number of issues that should be incorporated and provided from the sport tutor. The diverse group of participants provided a clear image of the issues that a model should incorporate. Attempting to categorize them, students merely focused on 2 basic aspects; i) Organizational and ii)Educational.

As far as it concern the organizational issues they believe that the existence of a Tutor would “save” for them some valuable time avoiding all the relevant administrative issues (registration, books, etc.). The educational aspect was of great interest since students expressed their interest for a model that could assist them during the exams during the assignments’ preparation. This was commonly accepted as the first priority for the students since all agreed such a provision of assistance from a potential Sport Tutor Model could help them to be solely aligned to their sport “orientation”.

d. All the students that participated in the workshop agreed that due to their “heavy” schedule (studies and practicing at the same time) they are missing significant amount of information that is related with their decision for postgraduate studies.  The existence of the Sport tutor model could assist them not only for their decision for Master degree selection but also for the preparation needed for the submission of the relevant application.

e. For the same reason mentioned above (d) all the students require an integrated support in terms of career/employment services. The “building” of an appropriate curriculum vitae with the relevant cover letter, the preparation for a job interview are aspects “unknown”for them. Subsequently the existenceof an experienced person that could support them towards the employment direction would increase their possibilities for smooth transition to the labor market.

f. Some more fundamental issues were slightly addressed and merely those regarding the fundamental aspects of the proposed model. In order to be able to “capitalize’ its unquestionable positive influence the Model should be considered as a permanent academic service which will be provided to the students-athletes that meet specific criteria. Subsequently some additional issues concerning the “profile” of the appropriate tutor emerged since not all the academic staff contains the required skills and competences.

g. A big debate emerged concerning the “status” of the model. Whether the sport tutor would be represented by a physical presence (under scheduled visits) or whether it might be applicable to be supported through technology (a dynamic platform). In both cases the (+) and (-) where carefully stressed and justified. Although the existence of an electronic application sounds more applicable however it was generally accepted that the “physical” meeting would be multiple beneficial for both sides.

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