Windhoek — Namibia's four-time Olympic silver medalist Frank Fredericks shared his personal experience on career planning with local athletes earlier this week.
The former Namibian sprinting sensation teamed up with Adecco Group Senior Vice President for the IOC Athlete Career Programme, Patrick Glennon, during the presentation of the career-planning course in Windhoek. According to Fredericks balancing education and sport is key to a successful post-athletics career. An interesting analysis he presented during the course showed that after turning professional and training full-time, his personal race results did not improve significantly from when he was studying part-time. Fredericks further highlighted the fact that of the close to 10 000 athletes participating in the Olympic Games with the dream to win a medal, not more than 304 athletes won a gold medal. "For many of the athletes who don't win a medal or don't make the qualification for the Olympics, this could mean the end of their sports career. Only with adequate education will athletes be able to build a future for themselves in the corporate world."
Glennon also made the participants aware of how many positive traits and experiences athletes have, which they can bring to the table in their post-athletics careers. He outlined ways how athletes can effectively communicate these attributes to potential employers. The course agenda included the preparation of a career game plan, tips about networking and its importance, as well as advice on the preparation of a CV and interviewing skills that will support athletes to achieve their dream after sport.
A total of 65 athletes and coaches from various sports codes attended the course, including Olympians Gaby Ahrens (shooting) Dan Craven (cycling) Beata Naigambo, Helalia Johannes (both athletics) and Mejandjae Kasuto (boxing). The Athlete Career Programme is a global initiative by the world governing body IOC. It is currently focusing on southern Africa and is also due to make stops in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lusaka and Gaborone.