The BAC has been commissioned by Commonwealth Games England to ensure that all athletes representing Team England at the forthcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have access to independent, confidential support.
The agreement follows that of the BAC with the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association, which saw the organisation provide 24-hour support to British athletes competing at both the Tokyo summer and Beijing winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
As with those Games, the BAC’s support package to athletes will complement that which Commonwealth Games England already has in place, and underlines the desire of both organisations to ensure that athletes receive the most comprehensive possible support before and during Games-time.
Vicki Aggar, BAC Chair, said:
“After providing a similar service to Great Britain athletes in both Tokyo and Beijing over the last 12 months, we have been really encouraged with both athlete feedback to that, and the enthusiasm and commitment of Commonwealth Games England to ensure that we have an effective offering to athletes competing in Birmingham.
“This service will allow athletes to confidentially report any issues that they may have, and for the BAC – an independent body – to take the necessary steps to effectively resolve those issues.
“As with Tokyo and Beijing, our work will be another layer of support for athletes, on top of the resource which Commonwealth Games England is already dedicating to athlete welfare. This agreement – and the determination of organisations such as Commonwealth Games England to provide the highest possible level of support for athletes – is another very encouraging sign that athlete welfare is gaining greater prioritisation within the sporting system.”
Multiple Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft, who will be making her Commonwealth Games debut for Team England this summer, added:
“Having that extra, independent layer of BAC support was really reassuring for us as athletes out in Tokyo, and it’s fantastic to see that Team England have followed ParalympicsGB and Team GB in embracing this kind of Games-time support for its athletes.
“However experienced you are as an athlete, a major Games can throw up various different challenges, and to see organisations working together to ensure that the support is as comprehensive as it can be is a really welcome step forward.”
Mark England, Team England’s Chef de Mission for Birmingham 2022, said:
“It is fantastic to have the BAC support Team England athletes through this service at Birmingham 2022. We know the impact of a home Games is going to be hugely exciting for everyone involved but with that comes increased pressure, which is why we are pleased to be working with the BAC to ensure the wellbeing and performance of athletes is consistently put first.”
A total of over 400 athletes are expected to make up Team England’s finalised squad for the Games, which will be the first Commonwealth Games on English soil since Manchester 2002.
The BAC has made the same offer of independent support to all other competing home nations, and will announce details of further agreements as and when they’re confirmed.