August 2023 was an impressive month for Britain’s elite athletes, with enormous success across athletics, canoeing, cycling, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, powerlifting, sailing, swimming, taekwondo, wheelchair basketball and more.
Now, four new World Class Programme athletes are up for the Athletes’ Athlete of the Month award, selected amongst a tough crowd for their personal triumphs, as well as their competitive successes, in August.
The nominees are: Fran Brown (para-cycling), Ben Pattison (athletics), Alice Tai (para-swimming) and Laurie Williams (wheelchair basketball).
Brown was nominated by a WCP peer after a string of achievements at the UCI Cycling World Championships. She won five gold medals and one silver, claiming an individual pursuit world record and becoming the most decorated athlete of the World Championships. Perhaps most remarkably, however, was that Fran competed with broken ribs throughout.
Pattison hit the headlines when he became the first British man to win an 800m World Championships medal since 1987. After the race he revealed he’d had heart surgery for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome just three years ago, an experience he said had cast doubt on his career.
Tai enjoyed an impressive month both in and out of the pool. She bagged gold, silver and bronze at the World Championships and, weeks later, saw her documentary, Amputating Alice, air on Channel 4. The documentary was an open, revealing and engaging reflection on Alice’s bilateral talipes and subsequent amputation just 18 months ago.
Finally, Williams was also nominated by a fellow elite athlete, having helped Great Britain book their place at the Paris Paralympics and finish runners-up in the IWBF European Championships just four months after giving birth to her daughter. She called the championships “an extra special one”.
Elite athletes can vote for their Athlete of the Month now by heading to their latest BEAA email, with the winner to be confirmed across the BEAA’s website and social media channels shortly.
Good luck to everyone shortlisted!