Preparing for an athlete’s retirement should begin as soon as they start chasing the dream.
Crossing the Line Sport (CTLS) offers a confidential service where athletes can share their stories and receive expert advice and information on mental health, wellbeing and transitioning to the next stage of their career.
We deliver workshops, seminars and longer-term programs to individuals and teams, to help athletes become more self-aware, resilient and well-balanced, and to transition successfully to life after sport. We integrate general psychology and career development in one-on-one sessions, to support athletes at a deeper and more robust level.
The service is run by athletes, for any athlete who has chased a sporting or performance dream, no matter what level they have attained. Because a sorted human being makes a formidable performer.
Gearoid Towey – Founder & Director
Four-time Olympic rower and former World Champion, Gearoid Towey has worked in athlete personal development for Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club and the New South Wales Institute of Sport. Since he retired from rowing at the Beijing Olympic Games, he became aware that athlete transition is a serious issue affecting thousands of people and that a lot more can be done to help athletes prepare for the day they must move on.
Gearoid founded CTLS because he felt athletes really need an independent and confidential resource where ex-athletes support each other through their own experiences. Too many amazing people get stuck in no-mans land when they retire from sport. The website, face-to-face workshops, 1:1s and long-term programs aim to educate current athletes and support retired athletes in all sports, in whatever part of the world we are asked to work in.
Board of Directors
Click on names for profiles: Prof Ross Milbourne AO, Elizabeth Brett, John Boultbee AM, Jonathan Tyler, Greg Louganis
Career Development and Psychology – Rene Poulos
Rene is a Registered Psychologist with passionate and proven coaching expertise working with clients seeking transition guidance and opportunity for development. Her experience in managing the Personal Excellence Department at the NSW Institute of Sport combined with a career in TAFE Counselling and Career Development equip her well to deliver career development and transition services to athletes. She also works in private practice.
Anti-Doping Education – Joerg Jaksche
Joerg Jaksche is a former professional road cyclist who participated in 7 Tour de France races and won classic races such as Paris-Nice. After his career Joerg studied Economics at the University of Innsbruck, is currently a Project Manager in Sydney and is finishing his Master of International Business at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
Joerg is very actively engaged in the global Anti-Doping Movement, namely organising and leading workshops, educating young athletes, giving speeches to renowned audiences including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and other National Anti-Doping organisations. In addition to his education work at Crossing the Line, Joerg also assists the organisation in planning and events.
Lorna Hankin – Communications Manager
Lorna has more than 15 years experience in journalism, not-for-profit and corporate marketing and communications. She is passionate about health, fitness and wellbeing, and has specialised in this area of journalism and communications for a number of years.
She is a proud graduate of the University of Liverpool, UK where she majored in English Language and Literature. She is currently studying for her post-graduate degree in Psychology at Monash University. She is a keen marathon runner.
Lorna lives in Sydney and will be working part-time Monday to Thursday. For any communications or media enquires, please contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0457 138797.
Athlete Transition – Rick Cotgreave
A native of Sheffield, Rick is an England lacrosse player (1988-96), including captaincy and coaching roles for England U-19, British Universities and England U-25. He has over 20 years of designing coaching and training programmes for team and individual performance, leadership development, personal effectiveness and well-being. He has also worked across a wide range of sectors with clients from international and Olympic athletes to senior corporate executives.
After graduating from Sheffield University Rick continued to pursue his involvement with the English lacrosse team. He travelled extensively to play in tournaments in the USA, Australia and throughout Europe. Working as a Performance Coach and trainer, Rick helped establish Mobius Performance to share his passion for the transformation that coaching can bring. Rick specialises in the helping facilitate the changes that enhance performance and maximise the opportunities for success. His current research project is exploring how to assist elite athletes to find success and fulfillment beyond sport through the BOA. Currently also consulting to Lane 4 UK.
Psychology and Athlete Wellbeing – Tagdh MacIntyre
Tadhg MacIntyre is the Course Director of the Masters in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology at the University of Limerick. In 1993, he completed his undergraduate degree (BA Psych) at University College Dublin, continuing his studies at his alma mater with a Masters degree in 1996, and subsequently graduating with a PhD in 2007.
Currently, Tadhg is an accredited practitioner with both the Health Professionals Council (UK) and Irish Institute of Sport and he was integral to the inception, design and implementation of the post 2012 performance transition support program for elite athletes. He is a member of the Irish Institute of Sport Quality Assurance Committee, the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) Division of Sport, Exercise and Performance committee and is an associate fellow of the PSI and the BPS, respectively. His editorial roles include being a member of the board of Frontiers in Psychology: Movement Science and Sport Psychology and associate editor of the International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology. He has supervised three doctoral students to completion and currently supervises seven doctoral research students. In 2016, he led a consortium for a H2020 funding call and was guest associate editor of the special issue on mental health in elite sport in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. He has consulted with elite athletes for more than 15 years and has worked with Munster rugby since 2014.
Psychotherapist and Player Welfare – John Carter
John studied and trained as a psychodynamic psychotherapist at Oxford University. As part of his studies, John completed a thesis titled ‘A Psychodynamic Perspective into the Lived Experience of Career Transition from Professional Rugby’. Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, John played professional rugby with Sale Sharks. He also captained Oxford University Rugby Football Club for 3 years. While from a psychodynamic background, he is also interested in a holistic approach to mental health. This includes various different ways of thinking; yoga and mindfulness, inter-relational approaches to group work, and the effects of exercise and nutrition on psychological well being. He enjoys researching psychotherapy and works with depression, anxiety, suicide, addictions, transitions and obsessive compulsive disorders. He currently works with individuals and groups in sport and other contexts.
Athlete Mental Health (Experience) – Matthew Mitcham
Matthew Mitcham produced the performance of his life at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games – winning the 10-metres platform event with the highest scoring dive in Olympic history. In doing so, he denied China a clean sweep of all eight diving events on offer in Beijing’s Water Cube, and became Australia’s first male diving gold medalist since Dick Eve in 1924.
Mitcham’s background is remarkable. He openly stated his battle with depression and addiction when he launched his book: Twists and Turns in 2012. Matthew is a born performer and is a regular speaker on the topics of athlete depression, mental health and addiction.
Athlete Mental Health (Experience) – Sally Shipard
Sally represented Australia in football at under 20’s level on 21 occasions, debuting early in 2004. Those performances quickly led to selection in the national women’s football team, the Matildas. During the next 10 years, she made 57 appearances and scored four goals. In that decade, she also represented Australia at the FIFA World Cup in 2007 and 2011, while in 2010 Sally was a member of the Matildas team that won the AFC Asian Cup in China. Her crucial spot kick in the nal helped Australia defeat Korea DPR on penalties.
From 2009 to 2014, Sally played 30 games for Canberra United in the W-League and scored four goals along the way. She was named the W-League Player of the Year in 2011/2012, the same year in which Canberra United won the league title. In 2012, Sally went on loan for 10 games to Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga – Germany’s premier women’s division. Her efforts in the second half of the German season proved vital as Leverkusen successfully avoided relegation to the second division. Throughout her career, Sally also worked as a feature writer for Football Federation Australia, and as a commentator for Fox Sports and the ABC.