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TIME-OUT - adopting a dual-career for professional athletes

Organisation Overview - International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Europe

FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, is the world governing body for basketball. Founded in 1932, it now brings together 213 National Basketball Federations from all over the world. FIBA’s mission is to develop and promote the game of basketball, which counts more than 450 million players and fans.

The Challenge

Many athletes dedicate years to training and competing in their chosen sport. While others are building skills, knowledge and careers that can last them a lifetime in work, the situation is often very different for athletes. At the end of their playing careers they face what can be a big challenge in deciding what to do next. FIBA Europe, like many sport governing bodies around the world, knew better help and support was needed so that basketball players could plan their future careers more successfully through leadership and management education.


FIBA Europe chose to partner with Northumbria University, because of our international reputation for pioneering learning and academic excellence. Together we created TIME-OUT, the first programme of its kind designed exclusively for basketball players, to help build a career beyond their playing days. TIME-OUT is a year-long blended learning course, delivered with UK contributing partners including Newcastle Eagles Basketball Club and the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS). 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. To develop the programme we secured €385,000 in funding from the European Union Erasmus+ Programme.


As a result of this ground-breaking partnership, Northumbria and FIBA have planned and commenced delivery of a two year programme to tackle what is one of the key challenges facing professional basketball athletes. The first stage of the project was delivered in the summer of 2017, when 80 players from all corners of Europe attended a dynamic and successful residential course at Northumbria University. Players achieve a Leadership and Management certificate/diploma from Northumbria University and are provided with the opportunity to earn a Basketball Management qualification delivered by FIBA and a Talented Athlete Lifestyle Support (TALS) certificate.

The second stage will see newly qualified managers placed in their national federations or other sports organisations, where they will undertake career management development programmes, linked to FIBA, the International Basketball Foundation and the TASS support network.

“Planning a career following retirement as a professional sportsman can be a daunting prospect across most sports. Basketball is no exception and we are delighted to have found the right partner in Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University to offer this exciting initiative.” Kamil Novak, the FIBA Executive Director Europe

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