In an interview to mark his first 100 days in post, Dominic Mahony explained to the Anything But Footy podcast how the British Elite Athletes Association is expanding.
The BEAA Chair joined following a rebrand as the organisation sought to better engage and represent its members past and present, including through the development of an online alumni community.
He said: “It’s been fantastic to join the BEAA at a time when our remit has been expanding. We’ve always had a unique role around the safeguarding and representation of athletes, but what’s been so exciting is to hear and work with the team on developing the broader plans around building a community for athletes as well.
“We’re calling the Olympic village concept: the idea that there’s a place for athletes to go so they can join groups, groups they might be interested in – specifically around a sport or about jobs in the future, or any subject they choose.
“We have athletes at different ends of their career, representing over 1,100 athletes in 40 different sports. They might be at the start of their career joining a World Class Programme, or indeed have been to several Olympic Games – and everywhere in between. Not everyone has been in the Olympic village, but by being a member of the BEAA we want to share that experience and help to cross-fertilise from different athletes in different sports with different levels of experience.”
The BEAA’s core role remains to support and empower elite British athletes, however, and Dominic reiterated that commitment, saying: “First and foremost we provide a safe, independent, objective and expert resource for athletes, on any issue they might face. That might be some kind of dispute they’ve got into with their governing body or with a coach or a fellow athlete, or something over selection policy.
“Anything that’s troubling an athlete, they need to know they have somewhere to go to get the right advice. We provide that forum for athletes and that’s a unique role we play.
“Then the second thing is around representation. We want to make sure the athlete voice is considered and present in every major policy decision that elite sport makes in this country. Of course, athletes have a whole range of views about what they think – so we don’t claim to be a single voice – but to make sure when convening on any subject or topic of significance that the athletes’ voice is represented in that. Those two things are very important to us.”