Who is benefitting from the programme?

Young man holding cross-country skies smiling to the camera

© • Adecco

Nils-Erik Ulset - Paralympic Biathlon - Norway

Focus and dedication towards their sport are essential for any elite athlete as they strive for competitive success, but few can afford to ignore the practical necessities of earning a living or preparing for life after sport. Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset – already with a double digit collection of Paralympic medals – joined the ‘Olympiatoppen’ traineeship programme which was launched in November 2013 by Adecco Norway and the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sport. Two of the sponsors agreed to provide Olympic and Paralympic athletes with a year-long traineeship contract and Nils-Erik was one of the athletes who successfully qualified. It was a great opportunity for Nils-Erik as only very few athletes, both Olympic and Paralympic can live on their sports after they retire. Many athletes need to earn and education and gain some work experience already during sports: “So getting the job experience and the knowledge from the trainee position I am in now gives me a huge advantage and is something that will help me after my sport career is over.” A big advantage for Nils-Erik was that he is adept at balancing the demands of his sport with other demanding tasks as he had already completed a full-time Bachelor of Arts degree: “Many other athletes in my class studied part-time and used 6-7 years on the bachelor. I wanted to finish mine as close to regular time as possible, at the same time I wanted to make sure it did not affect my training.” This shows his ability to balance various demands and manage his time made in the right way. Now it means combining work and sport seamlessly, giving his best in both arenas: “For me every day is very interesting and enriching. I get to work with so many great and supportive people who are very knowledgeable at what they are doing and I can learn a lot. It’s a fantastic work environment and I have a steady income.” With regards to the ACP, Nile-Erik is a firm believer in its value: “It is a fantastic opportunity to get a solid platform to stand on during and in preparation for an after-sport career and it provides athletes with a better understanding of what the opportunities are out there, where their strengths lie and what triggers their passion beyond sports and high-level competition.”

“Having Nils-Erik on our team is a great inspiration to us all. We have a lot to learn from the attitude and values of a top athlete.”

- Anders Oterholm, Branch Manager, Nordea (Trondheim)

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