I signed pro at the age of sixteen so
I’ve always felt like I was lucky to play sport and get paid for it
and it wasn’t until I was twenty when I had my first proper injury. I sort of lay
there on the surgeons bed thinking if I don’t recover from this knee injury…what’s next? You are only one injury away from being at the
end of your career. There’s lack of emphasis on athlete transition around
the world. It’s not just in rugby in my sport; it’s in football in the NFL it’s
in hockey…any sport there’s a lack of focus and support around
athlete transition. You all have to face the reality that we’re gonna need a
career after our sporting careers ended. At Switch the Play we’ve developed a
platform called switched on with Wakelet. What may be a 15 year career in
sport achieving some amazing highs and demonstrating some unbelievable soft
skills might turn out to be a small paragraph or two paragraphs max in a CV.
What Wakelet enables you do is enables you to bring those skills to life. I can
demonstrate my on-field successes… also my interests so the stuff I’ve done in the media so
be that print, video, any comments people say on social media that can be captured
in there, any ambassador roles I have… all those things which show who I am
when I’m not wearing my rugby kit. What we have found with some of our
switched-on athletes that use Wakelet to demonstrate who they are, is to go and
get sponsorship money. A potential sponsors to see all of the brand
engagement they’ve done, who they are, what they represent, what are their values. The
platform offers so much and it’s something that we’re pushing and we’ve found that
every athlete should have one. When their career does come to an end,
because we do know is going to come to an end…they’re in a far far better place
to transition more effectively.

Leon’s Story | Helping Athletes with life after sport
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