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The athlete’s journey: transitions through sport
The athlete’s journey: transitions through sport

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4 Case study 3: Josh Lukwata

Professional football has a different structure to that of Olympic sports like gymnastics and skeleton and so career transition experiences are likely to be different. In this section you look at the case study of Josh Lukwata, a former footballer who played for the Fulham FC Academy.

Activity 4 Josh Lukwata: using football to make music

Timing: Allow about 25 minutes

Watch the video below in which former goalkeeper Josh Lukwata discusses his experience of life after football and then answer the following questions.

  1. How did Josh’s experience of retirement differ from Lizzy and Kristian’s?
  2. How have Josh’s experiences in football helped him in his new career?
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  1. There are several differences between Josh’s experience of retirement and those of Lizzy and Kristian. Firstly, Josh’s experience was generally more negative. He described being released as causing his ‘world to fall apart’ and described how his self-worth was negatively affected. The big difference is that Josh retired from sport at a much younger age and without achieving the success he desired in his sport, in contrast to Lizzy and Kristian. His retirement was a forced retirement rather than a planned retirement. Additionally, unlike Lizzy and Kristian, Josh had not prepared for life after sport. All these factors combined to make his experience more likely to lead to a crisis transition. Fortunately, Josh was able to adjust to life after sport and has now transitioned into a successful music career.
  2. Josh feels that he has been able to transfer the skills he learned in football (such as discipline, hunger and sacrifice) to both his new career in the music industry and life in general. This matches with what the employers in Activity 1 said about the benefits of employing former athletes.

All the athletes you have explored in this session so far are relatively newly retired. In the next section you will examine the life after sport experiences of a group of former elite athletes who have been retired for a much longer period of time.