The 2019 PCA Futures Conference saw current and former county professionals and England internationals prioritise an action plan for life after cricket at St. George’s Park.
The annual two-day event was held at the Football Association’s impressive national training facility as the centrepiece of the PCA Futures Week, a campaign which is dedicated to raising awareness of cricketers transitioning into a second career.
The 19 current and recently retired or released players attended 14 different workshops delivered to them from 23 guest speakers which included a career carousel session with former Ashes winners Lydia Greenway and Chris Tremlett hosting two of the eight stations.
The workshops had an emphasis on understanding how soft skills can easily be transferred from cricket into second careers while maintaining a practical element on how to achieve a successful journey into a new profession with experts providing valuable career and employability insights.
Formally labelled the ‘Transition Conference’, the refreshed identity highlighted that the event is designed for players of all ages and stages of their careers, whether young, in the latter stages of their careers, or retired.
The average career in professional cricket comes to an end at the age of just 26 and, as a result, helping professionals prepare for life after cricket remains the cornerstone of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP). Since 2012, the PCA has helped 238 of its members to transition into a second career.
"You are never quite sure when your last game is so to put something in place before that happens will be great."
One of the conference attendees was Warwickshire fast bowler who made his England Test debut earlier this year, Olly Stone.
“I have had a few injuries now and you are never quite sure when your last game is so to put something in place before that happens will be great.
“I want to prepare for life outside of cricket and identify a few avenues to go down and explore.
“To hear former players say they look back and wish they had been proactive earlier has made me want to start planning now. I also think doing new things so that I’m not just focusing on cricket all the time will give me a nice balance and help to improve my game”
As soon as any player in England and Wales signs their first professional contract, they become PCA members for life and therefore gain access to the services of the PCA’s six-strong team of Personal Development Managers (PDMs).
The PDMs organised the Futures Conference with the event joining other PCA initiatives such as Rookie Camp and the Futures Awards in helping players throughout their entire journey, from start to finish.
Lynsey Williams, one of the PCA’s Lead Personal Development Managers who led the two-day event was pleased with the uptake and engagement from PCA members.
“It’s been a really powerful two-days working with a group of 19 current and former professionals to explore who they are as individuals on and off the field, what their key transferrable skills and strengths are and how this knowledge can help them to work out what they’re good at and enjoy to inform their future careers choices.
“During the conference the group gained transitional insight from listening to a range of former player stories and also industry insight by engaging in sessions with high quality speakers in the areas of transition, psychology and recruitment.
“On day two our career carousel session provided a brilliant opportunity for current and former players to find out more about specific career sectors of interest and it also encouraged them to put into practice the networking skills learnt earlier on during the day.
“Feedback from the players has been really positive and the PDM team are looking forward to supporting this group to follow through on their action plans and continue to develop their knowledge and skills in areas of interest.”
PCA Futures Conference 2019 attendees: Wayne Madsen (Derbyshire), Craig Meschede (Glamorgan), Adam Ball (former Kent), Lewis Hill, Paul Horton (both Leicestershire), James Harris (Middlesex), Ben Curran, Rob Keogh, Luke Proctor, Ricardo Vasconcelos (all Northamptonshire), Zak Chappell, Ben Slater (both Nottinghamshire), Tim Rouse (former Somerset), Freddie Van Den Bergh (former Surrey), Craig Miles, Olly Stone (both Warwickshire), Recordo Gordon, George Panayi (both former Warwickshire), Graeme Cessford (former Worcestershire).
For more information on the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme, click here.