Academics from one of the UK’s top universities for employability and student satisfaction, Leeds Trinity University, have successfully secured funding for a new, innovative research project, which aims to develop a new learning model for elite sports students.
The new project, called Developing a European Sport Tutorship model for the dual career of athletes, will be developed over the next two and a half years and is being led by the Universidad Catolica di Murcia (UCAM) in collaboration with four other universities; Leeds Trinity University, University of Thessaly, University of Malta and Universita Degli Studi di Roma.
The aim of the research is to identify a learning method that can be utilised by athletes to encourage success in both their academic studies and sports careers.
Once the formal model, which will be known as the EU Sports Tutorship Programme, has been successfully developed the academics involved intend for it to be generalised to make it accessible to other universities in Europe.
Dr Julie Brunton, Leeds Trinity University’s head of Sport, Health and Nutrition, who is leading the project in the UK, said: “We’re really excited to be contributing to the development of an innovative learning model for elite sports students – to have the chance of developing research in collaboration with four other universities from across Europe is a fantastic opportunity.”
In the majority of cases student athletes are required to dedicate more time towards developing their sporting career rather than their education and other aspects of their lives.
Trying to achieve a healthy balance between academic and sporting commitments can often be difficult for student athletes to cope with. This has led to the development of initiatives in Europe, which aim to assist student athletes effectively manage their time equally on their academic and athletic activities.
Julie added: “By developing a more flexible learning model that can be adapted to the needs of student-athletes, we’re creating a way in which their potential can be harnessed in both sporting and academic fields, therefore strengthening their post-competition career prospects.”