Five top clubs to pioneer new STICK project with European Commission

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

A consortium of five hockey clubs and universities are set to be awarded funding by the European Commission as part of the STICK project, sharing a fund worth €372,251.

The project was established by Atlètic Terrassa Hockey Club, in Spain, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. They have brought together five of the top hockey clubs across five EU member states, along with leading universities in partnership with their respective hockey clubs.

The funding will allow these clubs to facilitate high-level academic and sporting careers for students in the Erasmus+ exchange program.

The STICK project, funded by the European Commission through the SPORT action of the Erasmus+ program, aims to design a sports and academic exchange program within the framework of the Erasmus+ program.

It is part of the target to seek a solution to the difficulty of elite athletes to participate in Erasmus, without detriment to their sporting careers.

The project was selected in the autumn of 2017. Out of a total of 370 competing applications, the consortium was successful, along with 159 other applicants.

STICK will allow elite-athlete students to study at top universities, without sacrificing the world class playing and training environment that only top club hockey allows. The consortium has been awarded € 372,251 and will run for 2 years. The project is the first of its kind in European hockey.

The consortium of 10 partners comprises the following clubs and universities: Atlètic Terrassa Hockey Club, co-ordinator and promoter of the project, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Beeston and Nottingham Trent University, in the United Kingdom; KHC Dragons and Universiteit Antwerpen, in Belgium; Pembroke Wanderers and Dublin City University, in Ireland.

A year on from Beeston Hockey Club’s official twinning with HC Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, the project is also joined by HC Rotterdam and Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

The STICK project, which lasts two years, will be initially focused on field hockey, as a pilot sport, but the ultimate goal of the project is to extend this model of academic-sports mobility to all sports.

In the long term, it is expected that the European Commission will implement this scheme of specific mobility for elite athletes and high performance in future programs.