The Swedish curling stars in Lag Hasselborg and Lag Edin have, since last season, been employed by the Swedish Curling Association.
The employment, which takes place in collaboration with the Swedish Olympic Committee (SOK), works as if all the teams' income (sponsorship income and prize money) in a pot, from which salaries are then paid to the players.
And with that comes some benefits such as pension points and paid parental leave.
A pilot project
The curling players are thus the first to have such a solution.
But it can be followed by more, says SOK's operations manager Peter Reinebo, who explains that the employment in curling is a pilot project.
- We will try to find forms of employment for individual athletes, who can both start collecting pension points and get into the social insurance system, even if they make a full investment in sports.
Today it is the case that it will be neither or, they have scholarships from us and perhaps very small other income, says Reinebo to SVT Sport, and continues:
- It is different from some other athletes who have their own companies and who have some starting money or private sponsors or large prize money.
It may be 25 percent of the active people we have in our programs who have those conditions, but the other 75 percent have quite small income and for them our scholarships are very important.
- So we would need a different system for the future, so that you do not just live on scholarships for ten years and then when you get out of that situation you have managed rent and food - but you have not built any pension points or are in the social insurance system .
Mainly individual athletes
SOK plans to evaluate the curling system after the end of the year, and after that it is mainly the individual sports that can hope for a similar solution.
- Team ball sports are one thing, but most individual sports do not have the resources or systems to employ their athletes.
And that is what we want to help find solutions for.
That is what we are doing, and in the end it must be done in harmony with the employers 'parties and the employees' parties, says Reinebo, and adds:
- That's why we started this pilot project in collaboration with them, then we'll look at it together.