Published

24 November 2021

University of East London (UEL) is leading the way with supporting talented athletes in education in England, as recognised by having its accreditation renewed by an innovative Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) initiative.

The Sport England-backed programme supports young sportspeople on the talent pathway to have the opportunity to gain qualifications alongside their sporting pursuits, follow other interests, as well as further their personal development.

By formally recognising an institution’s commitment to supporting student-athletes, the TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme aims to allow athletes to reach their potential in education alongside achieving success in their sport.

Referenced within the Education section of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s Duty of Care in Sport Review published in April 2017, Accreditation shows that a college or university can support students following a dual career route.  Backing the scheme, she said, "I believe we have a duty to help young people to achieve their potential, whilst prioritising their welfare, wellbeing and education.

"For the vast majority of athletes, skills and formal qualifications are needed to help them find alternative careers, either alongside their sporting activities or once their sporting days are over.  For me, the TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme is a vitally important measure to ensuring all athletes have the chance to pursue an education and enjoy a more well-rounded approach to life."

As a Dual Career Accredited Site, UEL is part of a network that delivers core support services to more than 600 student-athletes each year.

These support services include physiotherapy, nutrition, lifestyle support, psychology strength and conditioning and a private medical scheme, as well as academic flexibility policies.

TASS National Director, Guy Taylor, said, "Dual career support is at the forefront of what TASS does and that's why the Accreditation Scheme is so important for us in recognising those institutions who place precedence on their athletes' education too."

For student-athletes, the academic flexibility policies may mean they have the opportunity to access online notes or resources, can arrange catch up sessions with teaching staff, or even reschedule deadlines or exam dates in exceptional circumstances.

Meanwhile for UEL, having TASS Dual Career Accredited Site recognition will ensure we continue to attract a greater number of talented athletes and continue to build connections with other local sporting institutions.

Will Ashby, High Performance Sport Manager at UEL, said, "I'm proud that our hard work is being recognised. Our services continue to allow athletes to become the best version of themselves in a sporting sense, whilst giving them the academic skills to succeed with their other aspirations in life.

"We've seen alumni like Lawrence Okolie, Bianca Williams and Adam Gemili go on and achieve great things. We have so many talented athletes at UEL and I'm excited to see where current students like Emily Martin, Derek Kinlock and Phoebe Spicer to name but a few, go in their careers."

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