Ul and Sport Ireland EMPATIA programme


Ul and Sport Ireland EMPATIA programme

Dear Parent/Guardian of a Dual Career athlete (Sport & Academics),      

We are communicating with you on behalf of the consortium leading the European project “Education Model for Parents of AThletes In Academics” (EMPATIA - www.empatiasport.eu). The mission of EMPATIA is to support and empower the parents/guardians of talented and elite athletes to create a supportive environment for the athletes and to increase their capacity to successfully combine academic and sport careers (Dual Career). To achieve this mission, it is essential that your expertise and views are gathered so that the most relevant and meaningful educational and information programme can be developed and implemented at a national level. The programme will help parents to manage their roles in the dual career of athletes and to establish effective alliances with other relevant stakeholders such as coaches and teachers.

To gather your views we will use a method called concept mapping. This will involve you organising and ranking a list of statements seen as relevant to dual career parenting. These statements were identified by parents/guardians of athletes and other experts.  In the near future you will receive an email inviting you to become involved in the concept mapping exercise, this can be completed online or at a meeting organised locally. You can choose to become involved or not, your completion of the online survey or attendance at the local meeting will indicate your consent to participate.  Your responses will be anonymous and confidential.

The concept mapping exercise will require that you organise the statements into groups which are meaningful to you and that you also rank each statement in terms of importance. The exercise will take about 1 hour to complete, and we suggest you break this task into shorter time periods when you have some quiet moments! The grouping and ranking of the statements will allow us to develop the most effective education and information programme.

Your time and effort in completing the concept mapping exercise is greatly appreciated and as previously indicated essential to developing a meaningful and relevant education and information programme for parents/guardians of dual career athletes.

If you are interested in participating, please send an e-mail with the subject heading “EMPATIA” to gary.ryan@ul.ie

We would greatly appreciate your support in developing this project, which will be an invaluable resource to parents of future generations of parents and athletes trying to balance a sporting and academic career.
Should you have questions on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

With best regards, 

Gary Ryan, University of Limerick,


Dr. Ciaran MacDonncha, University of Limerick,

Dr. Giles Warrington, University of Limerick,

Eoin Rheinisch Sport Ireland Institute



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