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Commonwealth Champion Launches Career Support Scheme For Sports Stars

Thursday, 23 May 2013

A pioneering programme aimed at helping professional athletes make the transition from top flight sport to successful long-term careers has been launched by Britain’s greatest ever-female gymnast Beth Tweddle MBE.

The Athlete Career Enhancement Programme (ACE) has been set up by UK recruitment agency Search Consultancy - Glasgow 2014’s Official Recruitment Supporter - in order to help competitors bridge the often difficult gap between sporting and mainstream careers.

Supporting 14 athletes from across the home nations competing in Glasgow 2014, the scheme will match them to work placement opportunities with sponsors and businesses across theUK.

It will offer athletes who typically ‘retire’ at a young age placements with leading UK companies, businesses careers advice, workshops, and training - allowing them to benefit from the transferable skills between sport and business.

Athletes from across all sports and backgrounds aspiring to compete for their country at Glasgow 2014 are eligible for selection to the programme.

Open to up-and-coming or established competitors, including para-sport athletes, aged 18 years and over, the scheme will assist sportsmen and women who are keen to broaden their horizons, develop work and life skills, and explore future career ambitions in parallel with their training and competition schedule.

The ACE Programme is backed by gymnast Beth Tweddle MBE, whose achievements include being an Olympic Bronze Medallist, a triple World Champion, a six-time European Champion, a Commonwealth Champion and seven-time consecutive National Champion.

In addition to her sporting success Tweddle has always kept one eye on her future – setting up her own coaching company, Total Gymnastics, with fellow Olympian Steve Parry and graduating in 2007 from Liverpool John Moores University with a 2:1 in Sports Science.

Beth Tweddle MBE said:“I’m right behind this programme as it addresses a major issue facing athletes, whether they are already competing at the highest level or striving to get there. It’s easy for aspiring athletes to put all their eggs in one basket and focus on sport, but anything can happen and a serious injury can suddenly end a very promising career.

“That’s why I think it’s so important that young athletes keep their options open and continue to prepare for a career they can fall back on after they retire from competing. It’s something I’ve always been very conscious of due to gymnasts typically having very short sporting careers, so the fact that a major company like Search Consultancy is investing in helping sporting talent make the transition to the workplace easier is great news.”

Athletes wishing to secure one of the 14 places up for grabs will be nominated by their national associations, with selections taking place later this year.

Simone Lockhart, Managing Director of Search Consultancy in Scotland, said: “As a recruitment specialist Search is keen to support and inspire athletes to benefit from exploring future career paths.  Nearly all athletes will have to look at careers away from their sport at some point in their lifetime. Only a few are full-time and funded as professional athletes, many might already work part-time or are currently students in education. However, by applying the things they learn in sport their career opportunities are almost endless. 

“Companies will benefit from their skills too, not only are there advantages such as a boost to staff morale and company pride, but also deeper learnings from sport to business such as team work, goal setting, time management, and learning from success and failure. It really is a win-win for both parties.”

David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, said:“I welcome the launch of today’s Athlete Career Enhancement Programme and am sure athletes from the home nations who participate in it will feel the benefits in the longer term.

“Sport and elite competition is often a meaningful and important part of an athlete’s life journey and the skills and discipline acquired can be transferable with the right support and planning. Regardless of the phase an athlete is within their career, it remains essential for them to plan for the future whilst optimising current opportunities. The Athlete Career Enhancement Programme launched today will undoubtedly help athletes beyond the field of play.”




Notes to editors:


  • Search is one of theUK’s largest total recruitment solutions companies with 14 offices across theUK.


  • Search was inspired to become the Official Recruitment Consultancy to Glasgow 2014. As recruitment specialists Search is keen to support and inspire athletes to benefit from exploring future career paths.


  • With over 20 years experience in UK recruitment Search works across all industry sectors and is well equipped to support a diverse range of skills and career interests to place the right athletes with the right roles.


  • Search Consultancy is tasked with filling 1044 jobs for the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee prior to the start of the Games.
  • Search will recruit staff for 453 different job roles to ensure the Organising Committee has the required skills base to deliver an outstanding Games. 
  • Search has already recruited staff for 250 new roles for Glasgow 2014 during 2013, with 200 already placed during 2012.
  • The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving 71 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years. Glasgow 2014 will be the 20th Commonwealth Games and will be held from 23 July to 3 August. It will feature 17 sports in 11 days of competition with 261 medal events on show. The Games will play host to 4500 athletes and sell 1,000,000 tickets with the event aided by an army of 15,000 volunteers. Glasgow 2014 Ltd is the official name for the Organising Committee tasked with delivering the Games in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland.