A case study of a Sports School Scholarship Programme: Student-Athlete Perceptions of the Talent Development Environment and Dual Career Development Environment

Published: 25 March 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/mm3y7dg32c.1
James Earle


Abstract Purpose: Sports scholarship programmes are a common feature internationally for organisations to attract and retain sporting student-athletes. The current study presents student-athlete perspectives of the talent development environment (TDE) and dual career development environment (DCDE) of a sports school scholarship programme. Methods: A case study design was adopted to analyse student-athlete perspectives of a sports scholarship programme using the talent development environment questionnaire (TDEQ-5) and dual career competency questionnaire (DCCQ-A). Results: Overall, the TDE was perceived positively, with long-term development and alignment of expectations the highest subscales. Support network was the lowest perceived subscale. All dual career (DC) competencies were considered important by student-athletes however, results showed that student-athletes possession of DC competencies were significantly lower than importance in 88% of competencies. Emotional awareness was the subscale that required the most development. Conclusion: Student-athletes perceived the TDE positively yet felt the sports scholarship programme could develop their DC competencies further. Organisations offering sports scholarships should ensure stakeholders recognise the demands of a DC by monitoring the value of such programmes. Resources should be allocated to target the holistic development of its student-athletes preventing sports scholarships solely being an organisational marketing strategy.


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Talent Development Environment: The talent development environment questionnaire (TDEQ; (Martindale, Collins and Daubney, 2005) has been extensively used in the literature to evaluate a TDE from an athlete’s perspective (Cupples, O'Connor and Cobley, 2020; Curran, MacNamara and Passmore, 2021; Gangsø et al., 2021; Gesbert, Crettaz von Roten and Hauw, 2021) and was therefore chosen to evaluate the TDE of the sports school scholarship programme. Recently, Li et al., (2015) redesigned the TDEQ to include only five factors (TDEQ-5), 1) Long-Term development (LTD), 2) Holistic Quality Preparation (HQP), 3) Support Network (SN), 4) Communication (COM) and 5) Alignment of Expectations (AOE). The TDEQ-5 is scored on a 6-point Likert scale, anchored by, 1 = strongly disagree and 6 = strongly agree. Current student-athletes were administered the TDEQ-5 (Li et al., 2015) via school email and completed anonymously online using Google Forms (Sutter and Klein, 2007). Dual Career Environment: The dual career competency questionnaire (DCCQ-A) (De Brandt et al., 2018), was used to examine how the sports school scholarship programme afforded student-athletes resources to successfully navigate a DC. It’s rationale was based on its implementation across multiple student-athlete European DC environments (Linnér et al., 2019; Perez-Rivases et al., 2020). The DCCQ-A explores four competency factors, 1) dual career management (MC), 2) career planning (CP), 3) emotional awareness (EA), and 4) social intelligence & adaptability (SC). It uses a 5-point Likert scale where student-athletes assess their importance of DC competencies (1 = unimportant; 5 = very important) and to what extent they possess these competencies on a second Likert scale (1 = very poor; 5 = very strong). Student-athletes completed the DCCQ-A 4-weeks after the TDEQ-5, via school email and completed anonymously online using Google Forms.


Sport, Adolescent Development