International Rugby Players Association CEO Omar Hassanein knows all too well the struggles and uncertainties professional and semi-professional Rugby players experience when transitioning into the business environment once they call time on their playing days.
A recent survey in Ireland found that an astounding 31% of players still felt unsure about the career they wished to peruse two years after retiring, which is why Omar stresses the importance for Rugby players to “leave no gaps in their CV” as it makes the transition process far less daunting.
A loss of identity after a player hangs up their Rugby boots is a real problem according to Omar and that Player Associations are there to keep past players interests in mind and assisting them in providing meaningful opportunities in business.
Omar admits that the businesses he has worked with, while at the number of Player Associations he has been involved with since his retirement as a professional rugby player, are accommodating when it comes to career transition. Although he believes more business could still get involved in giving retired players an opportunity.
There is a familiar trend for past players searching for a career related to or involved with Rugby, which are not always readily available. Omar urges players when they are still at the start of their Rugby careers to study and organise their lives accordingly in preparation for the inevitable transition into the workplace.