Good turnout at Athletes Career Fair

Over 200 athletes, including British Olympic and Paralympics stars, attended the first ever Athletes Career Fair recently, receiving advice to help them prepare for careers beyond the world of sport.

Both current and retired athletes were in attendance at the special event in Reading, grasping the chance to impress potential employers and figure out what they want to do in the future.

The career of an athlete can be short-lived, with some looking for new work by the time they are in their thirties. Once retired, the transition period to another job can be pretty gruelling - and this is where the Athletes Career Fair aims to help.

British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt said the event gives athletes the chance to meet would-be employers face-to-face - something which many of them do not get otherwise despite being household names and medallists.

The likes of EDF, Lloyds, IHG, Mondelez International, Deloitte, British Gas, Red Bull and Glasgow 2014 were among a host of employers at the fair, all eyeing up future talent.

"The Athletes Career Fair is a great place for me to meet a future employer who really understands where I come from and appreciates the qualities and expertise I will bring with me as an Olympian," said Tim Baillie, gold medallist in the canoe slalom at London 2012.

"Athletes have limited time to develop their longer-term career plans whilst training and competing at elite international level so an opportunity like this is very welcome."

There was a wide selection of workshops available on the day, ranging from CV advice to interview techniques. Taxation and expert entrepreneur guidance was even on offer.

Beijing 2008 Paralympic rowing champion Tom Aggar and Paralympic swimmer Nyree Lewis, a silver medallist at London 2012, were among the athletes who were at the fair.

Judo's Karina Bryant, rower Phelan Hill and hockey player Helen Richardson, who all won bronze medals at London 2012, were also present.

Adecco, DKH Legacy Trust and the English Institute of Sport backed the event, which was staged by the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association.

Copyright Press Association 2013