The BAC is delighted to announce its cohort of Athlete Ambassadors for 2022, with Nekoda Smythe-Davis, Will Bayley, Alice Dearing and Joe Choong joining Hannah Cockroft and Laura Deas.
Kristian Thomas and Alex Danson also join the BAC as ambassadors, as the organisation continues to develop its forthcoming support offering to retired athletes.
The eight ambassadors will work alongside the BAC to ensure that athletes are effectively represented, that their voice is consistently championed, and that the organisation’s independent support mechanism continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of its membership.
Multiple Paralympic table tennis medallist Bayley said:
“The BAC is massively important within the system. Over my time as an elite athlete, the BAC has been a pillar of support in my most challenging moments. I owe them a lot, and I’m more than proud to be an ambassador.”
Smythe-Davis, world and Commonwealth judo medallist who recently gave birth to her first child, added:
“I am delighted to become an ambassador for the BAC. Having been on the World Class Programme for almost a decade I have experienced the highs and lows that the elite sporting world can bring.
“In those low points it is comforting to know that the BAC is with you every step of the way, empowering youand championing your voice. I am honoured to be helping to support the BAC in further strengthening its relationship with athletes.”
Choong, who won modern pentathlon gold at Tokyo 2020, said:
“In my experience, there is often a conflict of interest if you want to discuss a problem with a coach or a member of your support team, especially if the problem is with another member of staff. The fact that the BAC is independent means that it avoids these problems, and provides accountability for everyone, no matter their importance within an organisation.
“The BAC will treat everything confidentially, and can give professional advice about what options may be available to you, and generally have the resources or connections to support whichever options you choose.”
Swimmer Dearing, who competed at her first Olympics in Tokyo, added:
“Welfare and happiness of athletes should be the top priority across sport, and I’m delighted to be an ambassador for the BAC to help spread that message, and to positively impact on athletes’ careers.”
Danson and Thomas will utilise their experience of transitioning away from elite sport to assist the BAC in providing world-leading support to athletes considering their post-sport career paths.
Danson, a member of the Great Britain hockey team victorious at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, added:
“I am delighted to be an ambassador for the BAC. It is absolutely fundamental that athletes have an avenue to seek independent and confidential support and advice which the BAC provide. They are also passionate about ensuring the athlete voice is heard and used to influence future decision making. It will be a privilege to support the programme and our athletes on a personal level.”
Kristian Thomas, former gymnast and London 2012 medallist, said:
“I’m delighted to be named as an ambassador for the BAC. Having worked as their Athlete EngagementManager over a two-year period, it’s clear to see the incredible work being done; providing athletes with independent and confidential support when they most need it.
“The BAC is moving into an important chapter as it looks to build on their provision; offering alumni support to former athletes. Having transitioned out of sport, I know just how important this part of an athlete’s career can be and I’m thrilled to champion the brilliant work being done.”