The BAC can play various roles within selection processes across NGBs, however one of the most common that we fulfil is to be an independent observer on a selection panel.
In doing so, BAC representatives are there to ensure that the NGB is following its processes accurately, and that selection decisions are made with fairness and integrity at their heart.
In order to ensure that our staff members’ skill and understanding of this role is kept at the highest possible standard, we recently invited Dan Saoul QC, a renowned specialist in business disputes and sports law, to deliver a training session to our Athlete Support Team.
BAC Athlete Support Manager, Ofure Ugiagbe, explains:
“Sitting on selection panels as independent observers is a key part of what the BAC does within the system. We don’t have voting rights, and we aren’t there to give an opinion on which athletes should or shouldn’t be selected, but we are responsible for ensuring that athletes’ interests are protected through fair and transparent selection meetings and to support the NGB procedurally.
“This encompasses both major event and World Class Programme selections across sports, so it’s crucial for athletes that we are equipped with the necessary knowledge to fulfil this role. Therefore, we were delighted to be able to invite Dan Saoul QC along to a recent training session, and our entire team took a huge amount away from the time we spent with him.”
Also present at the session – at the invitation of the BAC – were members of UK Athletics’ Athlete Commission, who are also able to be called upon as observers by their governing body.
Ofure Ugiagbe continues:
“This is unique within the system, so it’s important that we offer the athletes involved necessary support and advice on how to fulfil this role. It was great to see so many of them join us on the session, and to hear the overwhelmingly positive feedback that we’ve received since.
“In facilitating such a session, we have been able to share knowledge and discuss experiences, all of which will contribute to those who fulfil this vital role being able to do so to the very best of their ability on behalf of athletes.”
A reminder of the support that the BAC can offer athletes around selection decisions is available here.