Upon joining the British Elite Athletes Association as LGBTQ+ Ambassador, Robyn Love said she is working for greater equality in sport so her child can “grow up in a world where they can be themselves.”
Robyn, a 32-year-old double Paralympian wheelchair basketball player and professional wheelchair tennis player, is expecting the imminent birth of her child with partner and fellow elite athlete Laurie Williams.
With motherhood to add onto training and competition, as well as her new ambassador role, she’s set for a busy time ahead, but told the BEAA: “I’ve got a child on the way and it’s important for me that they grow up in a world where they can be themselves. If I can have an impact on that in any small way, to be a role model to them as well as to our sporting community, I hope they’d be proud of that.”
Robyn becomes a BEAA Ambassador alongside former swimmer Michael Gunning, who joins as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador. She has worked with Athlete Ally, Pride in Tennis and Pride House Birmingham among others, appearing across the media and bringing a wealth of first-hand knowledge to the job.
Starting her competitive career in 2014, Robyn says the world of sport has progressed markedly for LGBTQ+ athletes, and that she hopes her involvement can drive further change.
“Since London 2012 there has been a huge legacy built, not only sporting but socially… I really do feel like that was a springboard for change. And especially since Covid people have realised how important being yourself is and how important it is in relation to being an athlete.
“There has definitely been a lot of progress. We’ve got great role models in hockey, football, basketball… The real area for improvement I think is in men’s sports. There are some fantastic advocates out there, like [footballer] Zander Murray and Tom Daley… How can we support those athletes who maybe don’t want to come out, and that’s okay, so could we be that confidential support? We are here for more than standard policies; we’re here for you as a person.”
With a remit to engage and support Britain’s elite LGBTQ+ athletes, and to represent the BEAA on LGBTQ+ topics, Robyn has a broad role to fill. Asked how she intends to start, the Paralympian says: “The BEAA play such an important role in athlete wellbeing and welfare and LGBT athletes having that specific role I really do think will help us to reach people who’ve maybe not reached out before. The BEAA is for all athletes and that’s something I’m really excited to be part of.
“Honestly I cannot wait to get stuck in and hit the ground running. Number one, get connected with the BEAA, a welcome to the team and get to know the team so we can do it together ultimately. I’m excited about that and very much a team player. I’m looking forward to seeing the type of impact we can make in the next year for LGBT athletes.”