The Swedish lottery Svenska Spel has committed to extending its support for the country’s athletes by admitting a further 50 athletes into its Elite Sports Scholarship, in association with the Swedish Sports Confederation.
The scholarship provides athletes from 35 different sports with SEK50,000 worth of funding to ensure that young athletes can balance training and education.
Providing athletes with a ‘double career’, the scholarship educates competitors between the ages of 20-30 to insure an extra career in case professional sport does not bear fruit for them.
Recipients will also receive support in areas such as sports psychology and sports medicine to protect their mental and physical wellbeing during arduous training camps.
Kent Lindahl, an expert in dual careers at the Swedish Sports Confederation, commented: “Elite sports scholarship to enable double careers is one of the most important social support systems in Swedish elite sports.
“Being able to combine elite sports and education is a crucial protective factor in a young person’s life. The elite sports and education investment usually coincides in a critical age between 20-30 years and a scholarship makes a big difference to strengthen the elite sports investment and enable studies at a college or university.”
Although athletes prioritise their training and becoming the best in their sport, the scholarship allows them to enrol on multi-year programs and individual courses. Scholars can study more traditional subjects in college or university such as medical programs, social planning programs, political science and industrial economics.
Nicklas Biverståhl, the lottery’s sponsorship manager, added: “Svenska Spel is Swedish sports’ largest sponsor and talent development is something that is close to our hearts. Combining an elite investment with studies requires both an enormous commitment and a lot of will. We are happy to be able to help the scholarship recipients to realize their dreams, both in and outside the classroom.”