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Mathias Kasapidis, former handball player, at SAZ


«Use your experience from elite sport!»

06 / 2021

After finishing my sports career, I took over the management of the club of my last handball station, GC Amicitia Zurich, for a year. After a subsequent six-month stint at a marketing agency, the door opened at the end of 2020 for the position at Sport Academy Zurich.

I got this job because I was able to make important contacts at the first Athletes Day, including with Dave Heiniger. We kept in touch sporadically about the developments of the Athletes Network. One day I called Dave to get his opinion on a job offer I had received. In an open and honest conversation, Dave gave me his point of view.

Coincidentally, Dave received the job advertisement for the Sport Academy Zurich that very day and recommended that I take a look at the opportunity. My dossier was then submitted to the SAZ by Athletes Network and after various interviews and an assessment, I got the job.

I was faced with a new challenge, as a position in the education sector was completely new to me, as my part-time career was more in the commercial sector.
And yet during the job interviews with the SAZ, it became clear that the people in charge were impressed by the skills I had learnt in the professional world, but above all by my personal values and skills, which I had largely taken with me from my life school of elite sport.

When I talk about this “elite sport school of life”, I mean the athletes’ mindset.

For me, these are values such as:

  • Commitment & passion
  • Structure and discipline
  • and above all good teamwork.

I would recommend athletes who want to take this step into a post-sports career to focus on their strengths and the skills they have learnt in sport, not on their lack of practice and experience. You have many qualities that some other candidates don’t have. This will open the right doors for you!

For organisations that are considering hiring athletes, I would like to recommend that athletes learn to be committed and disciplined in their sports career, to set the right focus and what it means to work together with a team, regardless of whether their past is in individual or team sports. The valuable mindset of an athlete is unique and will convince you as an entrepreneur.