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News from ICDC project
 
INTERVIEW
ENRIC PARNAU
Academic tutor of the ICDC project
 
What is your role in the ICDC project?
Within the framework of the project, I am the link between the educational centres (Banyoles secondary schools and University of Girona) and the club, doing the academic follow-up on the talent participating, as well as managing any difficulties that may arise from the need to balance sport and academics.
 
 
What specific actions have been carried out in this area?
First of all, a workshop was held for talent in secondary school, with the aim of learning study techniques and organisational and time-management skills. Additionally, we held a seminar last November with speakers who discussed the benefits of the dual career and/or their personal experience. In this seminar, we had a very good turnout of school tutors. In the same way, we have periodically brought together tutors, parents and club representatives in order to resolve problematic situations or for routine evaluations.
 
 
Why is the club, which is a sport organisation, concerned about academic results?
For the project talent, it is true that an academic commitment is required. This requirement is part of the philosophy of the project, although our club has already been working in this line for years. The goal is to avoid having athletes set aside their studies and compromise their future. Nor is it positive that the children base their identity exclusively on sport, without taking into account other areas of life.
 
Additionally, several studies show the benefits of combining sports and studies, compared to those who decide to sacrifice one of the two.

What are the main difficulties the talent are facing?
Within the project, we have boys and girls who are committed to both their studies and sport. This means that in certain periods, their workload can be quite heavy when championships and exams coincide. Basically, I think it is positive to go through these difficulties because this forces them to get organised and learn new skills that will be beneficial in the future. On the other hand, sometimes we see boys and girls who are very motivated in their sport but not in their studies. In these situations, compromising and striving to fulfil obligations even though you are not motivated is another lesson they must learn, as in the future they will also have to apply this in other areas of their lives.
 
Please note the most important thing that the project brings and what you see should be improved.
The most important thing has been giving visibility and value to the dual career, so that all the stakeholders involved are aware of the benefits and can move in the same direction. In this sense, we must say that there is very good feedback and collaboration from the institutes and the University of Girona (with whom a collaboration agreement has been signed) in terms of, for example, changing exams dates when they coincide with competitions. With other educational centres, however, there is no cooperation mechanism.
YOUNG TALENT INTERVIEW
ADRIEN ESCOLANO
Aviron Perpignan
Hello Adrien, can you introduce yourself briefly?
Hi, I’m Adrien Escolano, I’m 17 years old and I’m from Perpignan.

Can you tell us your story as an athlete and a student?
I’m currently in my second year of scientific studies, I graduated Brevet des Collèges with honours and I’m starting my third year of scientific studies this year.
This is my third year of rowing. The first year, I participated in the France championship in quad skull as j16, even though I was j15, last year I stopped at the zone championship j16h1x, and this year I participated in the France championship  as j18h1x, even though I’m j17. In June 2018, in Brive, I was vice-champion of France in doubles with my teammate.

What’s a normal day during the season like for you?
During the season, my days are structured around school hours. I don’t have a set schedule. I train in the evening after school. I usually do 6 workouts a week, Monday being my only day off.
 

 
I cycle school and then my parents or uncle normally drive me to training.

What are your goals for the next few years?
As for school, my goal is to get my baccalaureate and then I have two choices: either do the exams for fire fighting and become a fire fighter, or become a professional sportsman and look for a  professional job with arranged schedules. As for sport, next year I want to achieve the best possible result in rowing. My priority is the short boat for my last year in juniors.

What’s your opinion about the project?
This project is very interesting. It’s allowed us to have support and feedback throughout the year, both for sports and at school, as well as in our personal life. We’ve had access to several interventions with people such as mental coaches, life coaches, physiotherapist, nutritionists, osteopaths, etc.
International Rowing Regatta
The International Rowing Regatta was held in Bled from 15 to 17 June, where rowers from all 3 clubs participating in the ICDC project were invited. Among other activities, young talents also participated in focus group activities. They were divided into three groups, mixing talents from different clubs. They debated on a given topic and after that, they shared their findings with others who improved the debate with their own views.

The topics for the focus groups were:
  • Positive aspects of rowing and a dual career project
  • My future
  • My skills
The atmosphere was very pleasant and fun, because the talents connected and because,  with humour, they discovered individual topics. Talents showed a great deal of maturity and responsibility, towards themselves and their plans for the future. The overall finding of all three focus groups was that with the help of a double career project, they learnt they can overcome every obstacle with hard work and therefore need focus and motivation, but they can activate and maintain it more and more.
Action: The importance of parents during the dual career: being the best support for your child (conference)

Throughout the programme, many actions have been taken that have influenced the different stakeholders involved in the dual career of the talent. In this case, it was considered necessary to devote this conference to providing information that is useful for the parents of these boys and girls when it comes to supporting them in their dual career. The speaker at the conference was Anna Viñolas, psychologist and expert in sports coaching, who is part of the project technical team.
 
Conference content
  • Presentation
  • Potential benefits of the dual career
  • What is the role of parents in the dual career?
  • What do your children need?
  • Guidelines and advice for being the best support
 
The speaker, Anna Viñolas, insists on the need for parents to avoid taking on roles that are not theirs; that is, to not invade areas that are already covered by specialist trainers and teachers. In other words, "just be parents". In this sense, the attitudes that can help them most are:
  • Motivate and encourage
  • Reinforce what they do well
  • Boost confidence
 Specific guidelines and advice to be a good support:
  • Show active interest in sports and studies
  • Promote the coach and the teacher as authority figures
  • Share that the main objective is that they enjoy what they do and develop as human beings
  • Help them focus on what they have to do and not what they have done wrong or only the results
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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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