Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold will join Katherine Grainger (Olympic champion, London 2012, rowing), Leon Lloyd (England rugby) and Holly Colvin (England cricket) at the launch of the Register of Personal Development Practitioners in Sport (RPDPS) this Thursday at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health (ISEH) in central London.

The success of Lizzy Yarnold at the Sochi Winter Games was the perfect reward for her commitment to an intense training and competition schedule – and that excellence must also be supported in ‘off the field’ development.

The critical need to ensure athletes thrive in all areas of their lives is now being supported with a new initiative that recognises those who provide support on career advice, financial commitments, family support, education and welfare.

The Register of Personal Development Practitioners in Sport (RPDPS) will recognise qualified professionals who work in the area of Personal Development within sport. It will formally launch on February 27th in central London.

Steve Mitchell, Head of Consultancy at SkillsActive, the owners and operators of RPDPS, says, “Sport is becoming a lucrative industry, which means it sometimes attracts people to the sector who offer below-standard advice and services. By creating National Occupational Standards, RPDPS assures national governing bodies that the professionals working with athletes and players are fully qualified and competent in what is a very sensitive job role.

Reaching the pinnacle of athletic success rarely comes without setback, with committed athletes needing professional help and support along the way. This can include maintaining perspective through correct mentoring and lifestyle advice from Personal Development Practitioners.

Katherine Grainger CBE, GB Rowing and Olympic champion, who will be present at the launch along with Leon Lloyd (England Rugby) and Holly Colvin (England Cricket) says, “Performance lifestyle has been instrumental and played a key role throughout my rowing career that has spanned four Olympics.

2014 Olympic coinLeading organisations involved in the independent public Register’s development include the Rugby Football Union, English Institute of Sport, England and Wales Cricket Board, Sport Wales, and the Professional Players Federation.

The new Register will also benefit organisations looking for professionally recognised practitioners. Such professionals work with some of the country’s elite athletes, from international team players to Olympic champions.

Kate Green, National Lead – Personal Development & Welfare at the ECB, says, “Having a register for our profession is hugely important in recognising the development in this area of support. The aim is to support lifestyle, personal development and wellbeing of players and coaches so that they can perform to the best of their ability; minimising unwanted obstacles and maximising future opportunities in both their personal and professional lives. Having specialised, experienced and trusted practitioners to perform this support is crucial and having a clear pathway will enable keen and motivated individuals to follow a clear career progression.

Steve Mitchell concludes, “RPDPS will provide the yardstick by which professionals are measured and accepted by the wider industry, and will enable Personal Development Practitioners to gain the trust and confidence of their clients. It is the additional, much needed support that our committed athletes deserve, and will ultimately benefit the economy at large.”

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