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Young athletes no longer have to choose between sport and studying

A tennis ball
Copyrights: Acadomia (Photo)

Young athletes no longer have to choose between sport and studying

At the beginning of January, Sport and Citizenship and our partner Acadomia published a report on strengthening the dual career path for budding professional athletes.

Tomorrow’s champions are today’s schoolchildren. However, international studies show that a third of young athletes between the ages of 10 and 17 give up sport each year because they consider that doing sport takes up too much time and stops them doing other things in life (such as studying). If these talented young people are to have the chance of succeeding in sport and academic work, they should not have to choose between school and their passion.

It is now a legal obligation for professional sports clubs to implement a dual academic and sporting training programme. In reality they have access to few tools that take into account the nature of the young people in their charge, the restricted timetables and the short and medium-term objectives of each of the protagonists (club, player in training and the people around them).

In the light of this, Sport and Citizenship and our partner Acadomia, the leader in tutoring and educational support, produced a report looking into the situation of young athletes in the training centres belonging to professional clubs (CFCP). Five concrete recommendations have been drawn up with the aim of improving training for people who go on to become professional athletes, giving the basis of quality education to those that do not reach that level, supporting professional sport structures, which have a responsibility towards their young athletes, and widening the net to attract future talented young people.

The discussion benefited from the experience and expertise of various personalities in looking at these propositions, including Cyril Mourin, Advisor on sporting questions to the President of the Republic, Philippe Coléon, President of Acadomia, Baptiste Malherbe, Director General of the club AJ Auxerre, which has developed an innovative education scheme with Acadomia, Brigitte Deydier, Expert advisor on top performance at the national sport agency, Pauline Dubois-Graffin, Head of staff for Patrick Toulmet, the inter-ministerial delegate for developing learning in priority areas, Franck Leclerc, President of the FNASS, Philippe Diallo, Director General of UCPF and President of CoSMoS, Cédric Roussel, Member of Parliament for Alpes-Maritimes, Guillaume Naslin, General delegate of the Fondaction du Football, and Gladys Bézier, who is in charge of training questions for Paris 2024.

The 5 recommendations in the report:
  1. Put sport at the centre of the scheme and individualise the career path
  2. Redynamise the learning contract and encourage its use in the CFCPs.
  3. Create a public/private scheme to help fund the dual project
  4. Reaffirm the professional clubs’ duty of care for the social and professional well-being of the young athletes in training
  5. Get support from other sources: the unions and professional players have a major role to play

Report available on

[This article is from Revue 48 Combating the sedentary lifestyle from the think tank Sport and Citizenship]

Sport and Citizenship was created in Brussels in September 2007 and is the first European think tank which focuses on the analysis of sports policies and the societal impact of sport. Sport and Citizenship relies on years of expertise and enjoys recognition from public authorities and stakeholders in European sport. It is thus regularly consulted by international and European institutions, member states, the sports movement and civil society who recognise it as a privileged interlocutor in this field.


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Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 14:05