Matthew Hoggard MBE (England cricket team, 2000-2006)

hoggardThe experience I’ve had working with ACT has been absolutely amazing! One of the main reasons that my experience has been so positive is because both ACT and OSTC FX understand that I am obviously not a finished article and they have given me a bit of leeway.

Before retirement, you eat, sleep and drink your sport and you can perform under pressure with millions of people watching as that is what you are accustomed to. Within a new role like mine with OSTC FX, the confidence and training from cricket goes out the window and it doesn’t mean anything. You have to start again and start to learn that you do have transferable skills that can be used in business, this has been my biggest takeaway from my experience transitioning with ACT.

Gareth Thomas (Wales & British Lions)

gareth thomasIn sport I wanted to get up every day and achieve something, whether it was to lift heavier weights or make bigger tackles. Now, although the goals are completely different, it is very much the same. Now I want to get up every day and ensure that I’m constantly learning and that I’m always better at my job than I was the day before.

Working with Athlete Career Transition means that I can ask the questions and lean on someone for support when I need to (which I do) because I am totally new to this world. It’s nice to have people who are able to advise you on what is probably going to happen and where you are going to next. For me, more than anything it is the security that I need and also the constant communication between us gives me an understanding of where I should be going and what I should be aiming and striving for.

In addition to the day-to-day support, through the extensive profiling that ACT do, I’ve learnt an awful lot about myself. It really helped me to understand what I could take from the sporting world in order to be successful in the working world as well.

Derek Redmond (British Olympic runner)

derekI met Andy and Steve a fair few months ago at another event and we got chatting about the similarities between business and sport. Although I have been retired from athletics for the best part of twenty years, they have actually recently helped me to get involved with a company (OSTC FX) outside of sport into a position and new challenge that I’m really enjoying.

Daffydd James (Wales & British Lions)

I didn’t consider retirement during my playing days because I was very focused on being the best I could be, preparing for the games and seasons ahead.

I really wasn’t prepared for hanging up my boots. I was unlucky with injury and suddenly retirement came about all too quickly. To be honest I felt that I had another few years left in the tank at the top level, but that’s the way it goes. Suddenly the situation got very daunting very quickly.

I then teamed up with Athlete Career Transition (ACT) and they were really good. ACT helped me to isolate on my professional attributes and develop them towards a following a specific career path to find a job in Wales. My skill-set was matched with a number of companies and this eventually led me to work with OSTC Foreign Exchange, which offers specialised foreign exchange services.

I’m working in such different environments to what I was conditioned to perform in throughout my first career, and this has come off the back of working proactively with ACT. It’s not what I would have pictured myself doing ten years ago, but I’m grateful to have met so many interesting people and to have been given so many new opportunities in business.

Nicky Robinson (Wales & Wasps)

I have always enjoyed my rugby life and feel quite humble in many ways,
there are few better ways to spend your life, eating, sleeping and playing
rugby. Still, over the past couple of years, I have spent many a waking
moment wondering what I would do when I had kicked my final ball.
Occasionally, I would have a look at the situation, but nearly always, I
would shelve those thoughts and get on with playing. What hit me hardest was
the thought of finishing at 4.50 one Saturday afternoon in a few years’ time
and waking up on Monday morning with nothing to do.

Steve and Andy Moore were playing colleagues of mine and when I was made
aware of ACT by a number of players who were taken by the concept, I got in
touch. After several meetings with them and a series of interviews with
various experts at ACT, I was matched with one of their appropriate business
partners who after being fully profiled and interviewed felt that I had potential
and something to offer in the long term.

It’s the beginning of 2013 and here I am, playing for London Wasps, still
enjoying my rugby and at the same time I have my Work Placement with Williams
Lea in London. It has been a whirlwind six months for me, but one which has
already brought great reward and no little comfort. I tried in the past to
organize work placements but was unable to get the structure right so it
would benefit me and the company involved. However ACT has given me that
structured work placement, total support and a real insight in to the
business world. I am so grateful for the work Steve, Andy and the ACT team
put in to support me but I know it’s now up to me to embrace the longer-term
opportunity for when I finally hang up my boots.

I wouldn’t have had the opportunity without ACT – their ongoing support and
work behind the scenes in creating an opportunity that I now have to take,
has been incredible.

David Roberts CBE (11 times Paralympic Gold Medal winner)

daiI would love to compete in Rio in 2016 and to pick up another gold medal at least, to add to the collection. However, despite channeling my energy into training and preparation (I know it’s a long way off), I have to appreciate that Rio will be my swan song.

So, reality strikes. What next? What do I do when I’ve touched the wall for the last time? As someone told me many years ago, ‘You are a long time retired’.

I sat down and thought long and hard about it. For too many years to mention
I have done nothing else but concentrate on my swimming and told myself
there simply hasn’t been time to make preparations for life after sport.

I was made aware of ACT and having read up on what Steve and Andy were
trying to achieve, I made the call. Without going over the top, it has
changed my life.

I found two guys who had been through it. They had played at the top of
their game for many years, but felt that throughout that time, they had not
spent anywhere near enough time and effort on planning for life after rugby.

We spoke at length and no stone was left un turned. They asked me exactly
what I wanted or if I knew what I wanted. I was at a loss, but knew that I
didn’t want to spend the rest of my life dining out on my medals. I wanted
to do something with my life and to give something back. I knew that inside
me was a person who had plenty to offer. Through their assessment and
profiling process they saw that too. They have helped me identify and
understand the transferable skills and qualities I have and how they can be
applied in business.

Where I felt lost a few months ago I now understand my strengths and who I
want to be when I retire. Over the coming months I have a number of work
placement opportunities to look at and decide on.

Whatever happens in the next phase of my life will be up to me, in many
ways, but I know that without the assistance of ACT and the direction in
they have given me, I would still be ‘That swimmer’ wondering what to do
when I leave the pool for the last time.

 

Tom Shanklin (Wales & British Lions)

When I was told that I wouldn’t play rugby again, it was obviously the most
difficult moment of my sporting life. I had enjoyed 12 years at the top and
my head thought there were one or two more to come. That was when it hit me.
What next?

Thankfully, I had already been made aware of ACT and from my playing career
I knew Steve and Andy. What I also knew was that both had been through what
I was about to go through. Both had been forced to finish through injury and
both had been forced to seek a new career.

When I spoke with them, I understood that this was not some small
recruitment agency trying to help out a friend or an ex colleague, but a
company who have the long term interest of athletes, from all walks of
sporting life, at heart.

Within a matter of weeks, after my first meeting with Steve and Andy, I had
a new focus and a new set of goals. I made one or two decent moves in my
rugby career, so they say, but I would have to say that getting involved
with ACT is the smartest move I have made off the field.

Mark Colbourne MBE  (World & Paralympic Champion)

When you are caught up in the middle of your own preparations for an epic event
like the London 2012 Paralympics, it’s really difficult to think about anything else. I
suppose that’s understandable when you consider that training schedules,
rigorous diets and pre event races just about dominate every waking moment,
it’s difficult to concentrate on anything else, let alone long term goals
away from sport.

Like most sportsmen and women, I did spend the odd moment thinking about
life after sport and what I would do and even where I would do it.

However, it was not until I met up with Steve and Andy post London 2012,
that it really clicked that I had to prepare for my next move after I retire
from the sport. First of all, I have to say that I am far from finished yet,
the Paralympics in Rio in 2016 is my primary goal and there is still plenty of go left inside me.
That said, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with ACT over the past few
months in a bid to establish exactly in which direction I will go in the
coming years post retirement.

The guys have profiled me and have already matched me with one of their high
profile business partners alongside whom I hoping to work in the coming
months.

Without a doubt , this opportunity would not have been afforded to me without
ACT and I am extremely grateful for what I see as the first significant move
back into the real world.