Recognising the skills of top-level athletes
Sports Compétences is a jointly designed programme from the FDJ and the “Collectif Sports” association. It is both a programme targeting professional top-level athletes and a certificate for companies that take an active part in these athletes’ employment.
As a responsible corporate citizen and a major actor in French sport, the FDJ has been supporting young athletes in their careers for over 30 years with the Challenge programme. As we were present before the athletes reached the peak of their career, it was logical for the FDJ to support them afterwards, so that they could meet the challenge of what to do next. That is one of the aims of the Sport Compétences programme, designed jointly with Collectif Sports, an association with a lot of experience in this area, directed by Véronique Barré.
Sport Compétences has a dual objective :
- Making athletes aware of the skills they have developed during their sporting career, and consolidating them so that they can be used in the world of work.
- Showing businesses that professional top-level athletes have more to offer than their image.
Every athlete who takes part in the programme will benefit from individual monitoring: initial interview; development of the knowledge linked to all the skills identified by the athlete; observation of how each skill is used in the work setting (observation placement in a business); written presentation of the analysis brought to bear on each skill to be attested.
The attestations of skills are given to the athletes following a final oral in front of a jury made up of members of the steering committee and representatives from businesses.
The Sport Compétences certificate brings together the businesses that take an active part in employing these athletes through the programme. It is awarded to businesses that offer funding for the programme or funding to support athletes in the Sport Compétences programme.
The programme is thus entirely funded by businesses that want to be involved in helping top-level athletes find employment. To date, 8 athletes are being supported by the Sport Compétences programme. Six of them will participate in the first juries on December 13th. They will attempt to obtain the certificates of competences which they will be able to feed their CV and to make state in their future steps towards the employment.
“Stepping back and taking stock of the career”
Mathias Boucher, Judoka in the programme, French champion in 2015 and French team champion in 2018
What to do after a sporting career is largely a personal matter. In Sport Compétences, I like the idea of stepping back and taking stock of the career, firstly by talking about it. It is quite intimate and personally I think it is one of the first bricks in constructing a future or a new career. The scheme helps athletes to be aware of their own qualities. It is useful to know who one really is. I am half way through the programme and I have chosen to work on 4 skills: “Autonomy and self-development”, “Adaptability”, “Decision making” and “Define a strategy and turn it into action”. At the moment I am developing the first two and I can see that many of my experiences have reinforced my competence in these skills, which are very much sought after by businesses nowadays. For example, when you are in a judo combat, you have to adapt to your opponent every second, change your movements, change your attitude… These qualities are very useful in everyday and work life.”