A multiplier event called ENDURANCE DAY took place as part of the international project ENDURANCE, which focuses on strengthening entrepreneurial capacities in the sports community. The event occurred on 14.10.2022 at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport of Comenius University in Bratislava. Following the project's focus, ENDURANCE DAY was divided into two blocks.
The morning session was designed for experts, policy makers, and actors in the field of business and sports promotion. In addition to project presentations, attractive discussion panels were organised on the topics of entrepreneurship education for the sports community, entrepreneurship as a dual/secondary career, and innovative entrepreneurship in sports. Participants also had the opportunity for informal networking.
Innovative entrepreneurship in sport was presented by Martin Benko, who is the chairman of the Slovak Sports and Innovation Centre. In addition to his involvement in supporting sports innovation and creating a sports innovation ecosystem in Slovakia, he is also a successful entrepreneur in applying state-of-the-art digital and satellite solutions in sports.
Another interesting guest was Róbert Vittek, a former successful professional football player who is the second-best scorer in the history of the Slovak national football team. He talked about the end of his sporting career, the decisions he had to make to create a new professional career, and the support that helped him in this process.
The afternoon session was aimed at sport and business vocational education and training pupils, students, and the wider sport and business community. The ENDURANCE project and its results were presented in this session, which included inspiring speeches and guest speakers, followed by a discussion entitled From Athlete to Entrepreneur.
Guests who discussed with pupils and students were, e.g., Peter Hamerlík, a professional hockey player who was drafted overseas, where he played several seasons and recently completed his bachelor's degree at the Faculty of Management of Comenius University in Bratislava, or Štefan Čižmarovič, a successful tennis coach, the coach of the winning Fed Cup team of Slovakia in 2002, a TV expert and a sports entrepreneur with his own tennis academy.
The ENDURANCE DAY was packed with a rich programme, accompanied by a pleasant atmosphere and interesting debates of the participants, while the main mission of the day was to spread awareness about the links between sport and entrepreneurship that athletes can use to build their secondary/dual careers and the importance of education and preparation for life after the end of an active sporting career.
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