Olympians and Artistes Need Help

It has always been very clear to me that there are at least two major groups in our society which desperately need careers support but get far too little. Musicians and sports people both generally have time limited and unpredictable careers with a ‘cliff edge’ at the end. They start young, often their lives are dominated by their vocation whilst still at school. Their careers are often over by 30 years of age. If they sustain an injury or their form dips or personal issues arise then often retirement hits much earlier.

Clearly planning during their careers for life after sport or music is a smart thing to do.

I’m not referring to the small band of rock star and football millionaires but to lower division professional footballers, athletes and others who don’t make sufficient money in their short careers to live in comfort for the rest of their lives. People like Olympic Badminton player Gail Emms. Gail suffers from a lack of income, mental health issues and a failure to adapt successfully to life after professional sport.

There is support available for many athletes but as Ms Emms highlights – it is often short term and at the wrong times. Sports people and musicians tend to be geographically diverse and charities aimed at these groups tend to focus on funding tools (such as instruments) or poverty relief. Both of these aims, while laudable, do little to achieve long term security.

My firm JGA provides careers support for thousands of people each year, we have looked for ways to support these groups but have found little interest in funding projects. There is some market in providing financial products to them but this is in part because financial products pay commission so there is an incentive to ‘sell’ them. Unfortunately careers support costs.

If you have any ideas about how JGA can help Gail Emms or people like her or mechanisms to fund programmes then do please get in touch with me on 020 8426 2666.