Athletes to benefit from launch of Sport Skills 4 Business

Posted 17th Feb

Aspiring athletes are being given the tools to prepare for life after sport thanks to a pioneering initiative.

Sport Skills 4 Business (SS4B), which aims to bring the two worlds of sport and business closer together, is the brainchild of Nino Severino – chairman of The Elena Baltacha Foundation and former British Number One and Olympic coach.

The charity was set up to continue the legacy of Elena Baltacha who lost her battle with liver cancer in May 2014.

Nino Severino at the launch of Sport Skills 4 BusinessContinuing on the success of the Foundation’s work in giving children, from all backgrounds, the opportunity to learn to play tennis, Nino launched the SS4B initiative at Suffolk New College on Thursday, February 13.

He said: “Many athletes, across all sports, often do not make it to levels where they earn a living, and so need a parallel career.

“This is where Sport Skills 4 Business emerged as a concept.

“By creating a unique development programme of skills honing, mentoring and industry visits, to enable talented athletes to learn how their transferrable skills, will ultimately support them finding a career in or out of the sporting world.

“The tennis world governing body, the WTA supports the initiative, offering an Arena of Opportunity element to the programme, where all the SS4B athletes can identify job roles within the global operation. Whether that is physiotherapy, psychologist, media, finance or sports law among others. They will also be offering remote mentoring from their base in Miami for the athletes.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to access a particularly motivated talent pool both through support and volunteer mentors.”

Athletes at the launch of Sport Skills 4 BusinessAround 40 athletes ranging from county through to world class are already involved with the SS4B athlete development programme which will give them an understanding in team integration, the athlete switch from in and out of sport, mental strength and goal planning.

One of those athletes is Ipswich tennis prodigy Justice Hall whose life has been changed by The Elena Baltacha Foundation. Another is Ellie Cornforth, a Great Britain international gymnast, who has been working with a mentor at Birketts LLP

At Thursday’s launch, the first module of the programme, The Champion Blueprint, was unveiled along with the platform in which athletes can access each module and communicate in a safe place with their fellow SS4B members.

Nino added: “These athletes will be supported and educated throughout with their business mentors.

“We are so incredibly grateful for the companies that have already come on board with SS4B including Cake People Development, Prettys Solicitors LLP, Ashton Legal, Gallagher Insurance, Birketts LLP, Ensors and The Adecco Group.

“In the years to come, they will all help many of our athletes become business owners or chief executives of corporate companies.”

Any businesses interested in finding out more about SS4B, how to get involved and benefit from the programme, should email  Nino.      

by Lindsay Farish-Carradice