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Education a home run for future-focused athletes

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Sporting codes across the globe postponed their seasons in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19 across more than 210 countries and territories. From A-League, to AFL, cricket to surfing, the sporting world came to a grinding halt to protect the wellbeing of players and fans alike.

This pause in play left Australia’s most talented on the field with an abundance of time off the field. With sporting careers on hold, the restrictions have created an opportune time to pursue an academic one. If approached with the right mindset and same commitment that a professional sporting career demands, the current restrictions present an opportunity for players to learn new skills, keep the mind active and secure new qualifications that set them up well for an eventual life after sport.

Cricket NSW is one organisation taking the lead in supporting their players to take up study at this time. Lachlan McBain, Player Development Manager, said:

While we play our part to flatten the curve, we’re encouraging our players to use the time off the field to broaden their knowledge by pursuing tertiary education. Online learning gives our players the ability to access a range of courses that will hold them in high regard after their professional sporting careers, all from the comfort of their homes – it’s a fantastic opportunity.

From Olympians to AFL players, cricketers to rowers, Swinburne Online’s early pivot to tailored online learning has seen many sportspeople upskill through its platform. Half-day professional to postgraduate courses, online learning fits nicely into the new ‘time’ available to sporting codes and other similar businesses looking to support their employees to fill skills gaps or gain new skills to aid career development.

And the buck doesn’t stop with the sporting industry. From local to Federal government, the requirement to effectively use time for training and skills development has not gone unrecognised. In an early press conference, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced, “it’s important we do things while we address this that does not impede a longer-term position. In fact, use the time for training, skills development, investment.” Less than a week later, City of Melbourne announced a $1 million package for businesses to provide training and support for employees.

While the current circumstances has forced many companies to pivot or halt their operations to suit a new working environment amidst government restrictions, essential services on the frontline presented an opportunity to upskill their existing cohort and attract career changers. Early childhood learning centres were given a lifeline to stay open and continue operating, proving the industry’s importance to those looking for a meaningful career transition in wake of the pandemic.

For those working from home, companies had to rethink their ways of working to suit an unprecedented set of circumstances. Companies looking to enable their workforce to make the most of their remaining time at home may consider redistributing budgets from office to L&D, proven to drive motivation and increase productivity.

Irrespective of the industry, the COVID crisis forced a rethink of what constitutes ‘business-as-usual’. As we transition from crisis to the new normal, Swinburne Online is expertly placed to assist employers with employees needing to take this time to rethink their skillset, retrain, and make the time available work hard as a learning opportunity.

Swinburne Online is a pioneer in providing high quality, industry-leading online education. The suite of highly scalable courses available can be tailored to provide direct, tangible benefits to businesses shifting their model in light of COVID-19. Online study can address major learning and development requirements quickly through professional development courses or set individuals on the right path to a new career – and be supported on this journey.