Switch the Play Foundation has unveiled a new platform to help sportspeople improve their emotional health and prepare for new careers once they stop competing.
Switch the Play is the only UK charity supporting all sportspeople to fulfil their potential through and beyond the field of play. It commissioned Frog Systems to create a platform that would be an online extension of the charity’s Switched On athlete support service. Switched On is a free service that helps athletes and players develop the skills they need to prepare for future careers while they are still competing.
Called Switched On Inspires, the new platform brings all the charity’s support services together alongside powerful video content from retired and current elite athletes as well as coaches and practitioners. At a time when more athletes are choosing to speak out openly, it also provides an environment where sportspeople can be honest about their mental health.
Rob Young, CEO of Switch the Play, said: “We are passionate about having a meaningful impact in empowering sportspeople to develop themselves and prepare for their future. The new platform offers resources when they are needed by an individual, and will sit alongside our free one-to-one support and careers pathway service. Sportspeople can access the online service and develop at their own pace, in their own time.”
There are many reasons a sporting career can end – retirement, injury, illness, mental health, end of contract – and former athletes often report feeling a loss of identity. Switched On Inspires showcases the wide range of assistance that is available to help them manage this change, from personalised development plans to masterclasses and financial advice.
Britain’s greatest ever female gymnast, Beth Tweddle MBE, is a Switch the Play Trustee and now owns and runs Beth Tweddle Gymnastics, engaging over 8,500 children per month in the sport. She is one of the athletes sharing their experiences on the new platform.
Beth Tweddle explained: “Gymnastics and elite sport taught me so many core life skills, however I worked hard alongside my training, investing my time in education and business, to ensure that when my gymnastics career ended, I had opportunities open to me and was in control of my future.
“These are the insights and skills that I’ll be sharing on the Switched On Inspires platform and I hope I get to help and guide as many sportspeople as possible in the UK through it.”
For more information, visit: switchtheplay.com.