The day was centred around bringing athletes together from a variety of sports, including Football, Netball, AFL, Basketball, Rugby Union, Tennis and Rugby League, to network and share experiences with their peers and industry experts.
The group participated in presentations about their personal brand, values and perspective and industry leaders spoke to the collective about the inherent skill sets of an athlete and how this translates to the workforce.
Almost 50 current and former athletes, spanning across multiple sports descended on Melbourne to better navigate career transition as part of the Australian Athletes’ Alliance (AAA) inaugural Athlete Development Day
Former Australian Opal Alex Bunton, who recently retired from professional basketball, was full of praise for the pilot event.
“As athletes, I think everyone does struggle with identity when they finish sport,” she said
“To have days like this - where it’s not so much focused on telling you to get a job or telling you to be a certain person - its letting you make your own decisions from information that’s given to you and gives you that opportunity to be someone.”
And current Melbourne Vixen and former Australian Diamond Caitlin Thwaites spoke about the benefits of athletes combining to share their personal transition experiences.
“The networking and cross pollination across different sports throughout the day has been really insightful to know, outside of your own sport’s bubble, that there’s so many of the same issues that are cropping up and experiences people are having that are the same.”
To have days like this - where it’s not so much focused on telling you to get a job or telling you to be a certain person - its letting you make your own decisions from information that’s given to you and gives you that opportunity to be someone.Former Australian Opal Alex Bunton
Jacob Holmes, General Secretary of the AAA said;
“Success for us is starting the conversation with the players, for them to feel like there’s a network around them, through the players’ associations, not just within their own sport but within the Australian Athletes’ Alliance movement, that is there for them, and has the capacity to be around them for this journey.
“Hopefully it’s a smooth journey but if it’s not, then we are here to support them through that and be around them through that.”
The Australian Athletes’ Alliance – “the Triple A” – is the peak body for Australia’s elite professional athletes. The AAA represents over 4,000 athletes through Australia’s seven major players’ and athletes’ associations: