In 2012, Touchstone Pathways developed a program at Geelong Football Club to provide post-sport career platforms for current and retired players. Now entering its 4th season, the program is acknowledged as the benchmark in this area.
The Program was successfully introduced into the Western Bulldogs in 2014 and in 2016 the Collingwood Football Club and the Victorian Jockeys Association adopted the Touchstone Pathways Program.
The Program is now available to over 150 professional athletes.
Touchstone Pathways is a structured program that builds bridges for athletes to transition into long term careers post retirement from sport.
The Program introduces athletes to:
– Workplace experiential opportunities
– Transition roles during and post retirement
– Targeted mentoring relationships
– CV development and interview coaching
– General business education including building networks, business plan development, and capability/skills/leadership transferability
Pathways complements existing organisational Welfare and Development programs and critically, success is based on the athlete transitioning into post sport careers, not on certificates, accreditations or participation awards.
In adopting the program sporting organisations can create competitive advantage by differentiating themselves from other sporting associations and/or clubs by materially contributing to the athletes’ welfare and personal development.
Sustaining the program will allow an organisation to be identified as a sporting body focused on the athletes holistic earning capacity and well-being.
Anecdotal evidence points to an increase in on-field performance through the athletes’ ability to get out of the professional sports bubble.
The program has demonstrated that athletes are able to gain greater control of their future and in so doing their future earning capacity is enhanced.
It also provides opportunities to get out of the sporting bubble with anecdotal evidence indicating that the athletes are able to perform better in the arena when they believe they have a career beyond it.
Athletes are able to connect with mentors in high trust environments, with the Pathways Program allowing a safe haven to be created where athletes can discuss their futures in a neutral setting.
Potential Pathways are as broad as those explored by the general population
Examples of career pathways created to date:
• Fire brigade
• Occupational Health and safety
• Organisational Development
• Graphic Design
• Management Consulting
• Mortgage broking
• Small business ownership
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