The Cyclists’ Alliance (TCA) implements PROLead leadership course for female professional riders.
The Cyclists’ Alliance (TCA) is participating in the PROLead project with the support of EU Athletes and the European Commission (Erasmus+ Sport) to promote and support Dual Career for athletes. The project aims to design and implement leadership courses which enhance the management skills of athletes, as well as volunteers and staff of player associations.
For 3 years the TCA has worked on creating the TCA PROLead Leadership course which will be delivered to provide non-formal learning for professional cyclists, developing applied skills for positions within cycling (e.g., at federations, women’s pro cycling teams etc.) and the cycling industry. Furthermore, the course has an emphasis on taking a seat at TCA’s Rider Council and employment within The Cyclists’ Alliance to build continuity for future generations of professional women’s cyclists.
The main goal of the TCA PROLead project is to facilitate the reintegration of professional athletes into the alternative careers by providing them with the skills to be leaders within their fields following a career in the peloton. Athletes benefit by developing skills to thrive whatever area they move into following their sport careers.
The TCA has found through the Annual Rider Survey that female pro cyclists also often lack opportunities to develop themselves whilst racing with teams professionally. We believe through undertaking research that this is because of limited budgets and may also be influenced by the short-term nature of contracts. Therefore, through programs like the PROLead Leadership Course, the TCA hopes to assist riders with this transition and ensure they are better equipped post professional racing career.
Iris Slappendel, Director of The Cyclists' Alliance said of the program, “It is TCA’s mission to improve career circumstances for female professional cyclists and this is a unique opportunity to develop a much-needed course for our members. The ongoing feedback and interaction with other player associations were instrumental in developing a leadership course tailored to the needs of the sport of women’s cycling “
Roos Hoogeboom, TCAMP Manager at The Cyclists' Alliance said, “This course is to serve as a starting point for each participant’s own ongoing personal leadership journey and development. To find purpose and enjoyment in life, feel more satisfied and can contribute more to the current and future women’s peloton, the cycling community and to their own wider community”.
Having completed the course themselves, Iris Slappendel and Roos Hoogeboom have gained incredible insights and support from the program to design and implement the leadership course for the TCA. The Cyclists’ Alliance staff and board members participated int this first edition of the TCA leadership course with the aim of become better leaders for serving and representing TCA members and the women's professional peloton. This experience of participating in the PROLead program gives the TCA valuable knowledge for delivering the program to members in the future.
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