*Content courtesy of Switch the Play (SwitchthePlay.com)*
Switch the Play (StP) has appointed former international badminton player and Sports Lawyer, Emma Mason, to its Board of Directors in a strategic role designed to help drive growth in the organisation as it seeks to become the recognised national framework of support for athletes to successfully transition out of their career in sport.
Emma understands first-hand the difficulty athletes face when forced to retire from sport early. At the age of 24 she suffered acute kidney failure which brought her sporting career to an abrupt end. Feeling a sense of failure at not achieving her sporting goals and with no concept of what career she could pursue after sport, Emma relied on the ad-hoc guidance of friends and family, plus the kindness of a few individuals from the world of elite sport, to help redefine her sense of self and embark on a new career outside of elite sport.
Today Emma enjoys directorships at several International Governing Bodies of sport as well as running her own sports consultancy business, but the journey has not been an easy one. Recognising that not every athlete has a trusted or effective support network, Emma wants to draw on her personal experience and work with the team at StP to affect positive change and maximise the potential of athletes exiting the sporting world.
Speaking about her new role, Emma says, “One of the main reasons I have joined StP is my desire to give back to the sporting industry which has given me so much. An elite sporting career is a privilege not available to many, and I am very grateful for the opportunities I was given.
“I chose to work with StP because in my opinion, though there are a number of organisations now working in the athlete career transition space, there are none as experienced, passionate or capable as StP. Fronted by former England rugby international Leon Lloyd, chaired by the Metrobank CEO Craig Donaldson, and with a Board that includes Britain’s greatest former female gymnast Beth Tweddle, I could not be more delighted to be joining the organisation at a key point in its development.”
When asked what advice Emma would give to young athletes, she said, “Work hard, celebrate your successes and learn from your failures but never forget that when you retire from sports you will still have 40 – 50 years of your working life left. See that as an opportunity but remember that the same rule of preparation applies to your career after sport as it does to your career in sport: failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
To find out how StP can help athletes or sporting organisations, visit www.SwitchthePlay.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.