24 athletes have graduated from the PwC World Class Leadership programme, an initiative supported by the English Institute of Sport (EIS) to help athletes with self-development, leadership and identifying transferable skills for life after sport.
The EIS Performance Lifestyle team, which provides individual coaching and mentoring to athletes, worked alongside PwC to deliver a programme providing tailored personal and skill development for elite athletes. Learning modules included business awareness, leading others and negotiating skills, and were delivered by PwC Partners and Directors, plus local businesses such as Ascot Racecourse, Thames Water and Austin Fraser.
24 athletes (12 hockey players, 9 rowers, 1 free skier, 1 freestyle skier and 1 Paralympic skier) have now graduated from the 18-month programme, celebrated with a graduation event in Reading. The athletes will continue to have ongoing mentoring support.
Hollie Pearne-Webb MBE, England and Great Britain hockey player, said:
“The programme has really helped me in a number of ways. It has shown me that athletes have a lot of skills that are invaluable in the working world, while also highlighting different opportunities that might be out there once I finish competing.
“The negotiating workshop was great and the sessions on motivation factors and giving and receiving feedback have definitely helped me as a hockey player. I think it’s really important that athletes recognise the benefits of developing skills they can use after sport.”
Earlier this year, the EIS launched the #More2Me campaign, an initiative to encourage athletes to improve sport-life balance and recognise the benefits of planning for a life after sport.
Emma Mitchell, EIS Performance Lifestyle Adviser for Great Britain Hockey, said:
“The PwC World Class programme is a fantastic example of the EIS Performance Lifestyle team working alongside a leading external company to help athletes develop skills that will not only help them with life after elite sport but can also provide significant benefits while competing.
“We’ve had incredibly positive feedback from the athletes on the programme, and it’s great to see them graduate as they continue to develop as exceptional people whilst training and competing for Great Britain.”
Sam Taylor, Partner at PwC, said:
“The programme has been an incredible experience for us as individuals and as an organisation to be involved in. We have seen first-hand the development of the athlete’s skills outside of their chosen sport and also the realisation and confidence that the unique skills they possess will be highly sought after by businesses once their professional sporting careers finish.
“The feedback from the athletes has been tremendous and to think we have been able to give something back to a group of young people who provide so much pride and happiness to our country is extremely gratifying. To share an insight into their life as an athlete and their preparations for Tokyo has also been a real privilege.”
The full list of the 24 athletes on the programme is: