We are delighted to share that former World Class Programme skeleton athlete Milly Kellyman has joined the British Elite Athletes Association as Athlete Community Manager.
Milly will work with our members across sport to further strengthen the athlete community, enhancing the BEAA’s role in uniting Britain’s elite sportspeople.
She was most recently an athlete with the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association, having represented Great Britain in the Europa Cup and won bronze on just her sixth start. Before joining her World Class Programme, Milly earned a degree in Child and Youth Studies, trained as a teacher and taught primary school children alongside training.
She came to the BBSA’s attention as part of UK Sport’s Discover Your Gold talent identification, having previously been a keen 100m sprinter.
Milly’s role will involve supporting athletes on a one-to-one basis, as well as working to bring the athlete community together as a whole. One focus will be the BEAA’s digital platform, to enable athletes to connect with one another through their shared sports and interests online.
Milly said of her new role: “I went through the process of seeking support with the BEAA as I started my transition out of sport, and realised the help and support that’s out there as athletes. The fact [the role is] very people-focused and athlete-focused drew me to the job. Building those communities, bringing the athlete community together and empowering the athlete voice is what I’m really passionate about.”
BEAA CEO Anna Watkins commented: “We’re really delighted to have someone with Milly’s skillset join the BEAA. Her experience as an elite athlete equips her with an expert perspective into our members’ lives, and her background in teaching will suit her well across her work with us. This year, I want the BEAA to stand for athletes as a community, to bring all our members closer to us, and to ensure they feel part of a collective of current and former elite sportspeople. I have no doubt Milly will play a central role in achieving that.”
"I went through the process of seeking support with the BEAA as I started my transition out of sport, and realised the help and support that’s out there as athletes."
Milly will utilise her sporting expertise in supporting the BEAA’s function as an independent representative body to support and empower elite athletes.
Reflecting on her transition from a World Class Programme, she said: “I was able to compete in skeleton in 2022 competitively. I was really proud of myself that I got to that level and was able to compete for Great Britain; doing that was my childhood dream. Now having left I’ve looked at what I’m passionate about and where my values lie.
“When I was a part of [UK Sport’s] Powered By Purpose programme, it was an opportunity for me to link up with other athletes. It was a cohort of athletes from other different sports and we all had a passion for social change and to do something bigger than ourselves within sport…. Initially seeing all these Olympians and Paralympians in the room together, I was like: ‘I totally don’t belong here. These people have achieved great things.’ But over time I realised we all had something in common and could learn and grow from.
“Being a part of that programme made me realise how possible it is to build a community of people and learn from each other.
“You get used to always being surrounded by people within your own sport, so to widen that out, and see that lots of different athletes are going through similar things and to share that, is quite refreshing. I’m hoping I can build that sort of community in this role.”
The BEAA’s members are supported by expert, independent Athlete Support Managers and are united by their place in the shared community. For Milly, the potential links across sports, expertise and athletes is a key area to develop.
“Elite sport is hard,” she said. “Unfortunately there are decisions and other things that happen and can be really difficult for athletes to go through. The worst thing is feeling like you’re going through that alone… For me it was having a calming voice, a voice of reason, that just will just get you through it – it’s really important athletes are heard and supported through that process.
“To be elite you need to reach out to other people. We know that within our sports: we know we have to rely on a physio, a doctor or performance lifestyle coach, but maybe if we reach out to other people within our sporting network we can develop skills we didn’t know we needed. Maybe that’s what it takes to be elite. Reach out to more people, grow in that way and learn something you may not know yet.”Access our services >