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Partnership brings Europe’s top basketball players to Northumbria University

7th December 2016

Up to 80 professional basketball players from all corners of Europe will be coming to Northumbria University, Newcastle, next summer to help build a career beyond their playing days.

On the 8 July, both male and female players representing every European country will spend an intensive week of learning at Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School, which will culminate in a Leadership and Management degree from the University.

TIME-OUT is the first project of its kind that is designed exclusively for basketball players and has secured considerable funding from the European Union Erasmus+ Programme.  Northumbria was chosen by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Europe because of its international reputation for pioneering learning and academic excellence and in 2015 it was named UK Business School of the Year in The Times Higher Education Awards.

Throughout the duration of the 18 month-long TIME-OUT programme, participants will be based in various European cities including Newcastle, Prague, Geneva, Ljubljana and Budapest. Academic study will be through a mix of distance and block learning, with the first cohort spending a week at Northumbria in July 2017.

Adopting a “dual career” approach TIME-OUT aims to equip its students with the skills to transition from elite player to either a top international leader or business manager. While on campus they will be able to meet and train with Newcastle Eagles, dominant British Basketball League champions, who play at the University. They will also have the opportunity to work with the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), which is a funding partner of Sport England and also based at Northumbria.

TIME OUT Eagles -embedProfessor Fraser McLeay, Head of Corporate and Executive Development at Newcastle Business School, said: “Partnering with an organisation like FIBA Europe and bringing some of the world’s top basketball stars who have represented their country and played in top leagues like NBA in the United States is hugely prestigious. Like us they have ambitious plans to develop TIME-OUT well beyond the initial two-year plan and to offer it to as many elite players as possible. Our record of achievement and pioneering approach to business education, coupled with Northumbria’s status as one of the foremost universities in the UK for sport, makes us an ideal partner. It means we can fulfil the dual-career approach by helping them to develop top coaching skills but also really experience life as a business student while they are here.”

Former Spanish professional player Elisabeth Cebrian , TIME OUT Project Manager added: “Planning a career following retirement as a professional sportsman can be a daunting prospect across any different sport disciplines. Basketball is no exception and we are delighted to have found the right partner in Newcastle Business School to offer this exciting initiative”

Ann Wauters, a Belgian professional basketball player for Los Angeles Sparks, said: “I am in the autumn of my playing career and am preparing a new chapter of my professional career. It is hard to let go of something you have been doing pretty much your whole life and you are so passionate about. This new project gives me the opportunity to stay involved in sports in a different role and try to make - particularly women’s - basketball more professional.”

As well as achieving a Leadership and Management certificate/diploma from Northumbria University players will have the opportunity to earn a Basketball Management qualification delivered by FIBA and a Talented Athlete Support (TALS) certificate.

A second part of the project will involve placing newly qualified managers in their national federations or in other sports organisations, as well as setting up player development programmes linked to FIBA, the International Basketball Foundation (IBF) and the TASS support network.

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