Speaking directly to the BEAA, Laura said:
“I’m passionate about the work the BEAA do in supporting the UK’s incredible athletes. They are a brilliant source of confidential and impartial advice and support, and are always there when needed.”
Speaking to the BEAA, Steven said:
“We would normally have independent representation from the BEAA on our World Class Programme and Olympic and Paralympic Games selection.
“We’ve brought that degree of independence into it, which has been very, very helpful… It’s beneficial for the whole community.”
Speaking to the BEAA, Matt said:
“I know when I was coming up at 23/24 I’d have loved something like this because it would have been good to get a bit of guidance. We never really had it. Going forward it’s something the lads in our team will do. At the minute, with life getting on top of you, football is a release. I think if things do just cross over slightly into the world of your release it can feel like they get on top of you and it’s good to speak to someone. The role you play is massive.
“If you’ve got someone who can speak to you and give you a bit of guidance, it’s invaluable. I’ve seen it first hand.”
Following the support of over 280 victims and their families affected by abuse and mistreatment in gymnastics, the BEAA received the below feedback, which has been anonymised.
“Despite having enthusiastically been in various forms of therapy since I was 21, and having raised this issue a number of times, this was the first time I’d ever had my gymnastics experiences taken seriously and spoken about compassionately as abuse.”
An anonymised individual supported by the BEAA following the abuse of British gymnasts said they appreciated: “The support to talk and be around people that understand without the effort to explain every detail. It was a relief to be understood.”
The below is a selection of anonymised responses to various BEAA surveys about our support:
“Took all the worry out of an appeal, financially and mentally. Very understanding, a true lifeline when I needed it. Thank you, BEAA, so much.”
“Felt really supported throughout it all and always knew there was someone there if I needed more advice.”
“[My Athlete Support Manager] was really helpful, providing all the information I needed in a compassionate, professional and easy to understand way. I really appreciated that she checked in to find out how things were progressing as well.”
“[My Athlete Support Managers] listened to me and made me feel heard and safe at what was a difficult time. They were proactive in checking and helping me take action. Without their support I would not be where I am today with my transition out of sport. They were empathic and non-judgemental, which was exactly what I needed.”
“Excellent emotional support combined with professional and well guided advice.”
Having been appointed to the Board of Directors in 2021, Hollie said: “The increase in the [BEAA]’s work in the last 12 months shows that athletes are finding their voice, and increasingly feeling like they can speak out about issues and things that they are passionate about.”
Speaking to the Anything but Footy podcast about abuse in gymnastics, ‘Helen’ said: “Somebody told me about the [British Elite Athletes Association], and it was the best thing I did, making that phone call. They were fantastic. They immediately believed us, which I think was one of the hard things. The [British Elite Athletes Association], from day one, were there to support us… I would recommend the [British Elite Athletes Association] are the people on your side.”
Speaking to the Anything but Footy podcast after becoming an Athlete Board Member, Asha said: “[The BEAA] are separate. If you really do have an issue or you want to talk about something, there’s no wrong or right way to say it… If you need to say something, trust and believe the [BEAA] are actually listening.”
Having joined the BEAA as Athlete Community Manager, Milly said:
“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.”
Speaking direct to the BEAA, Caragh said:
“It feels like the BEAA is offering proper advocacy and support and signposting. I’m excited to see the direction it appears to be going, and I’m excited to see where it goes.”
Speaking to the BEAA, Robyn said:
“I have been fortunate enough to have been involved with the BEAA through their Parents’ Network. A great initiative that has helped me and my partner as soon-to-be-parent athletes connect with other parent athletes and share stories and experiences. It has been a great comfort to know that I can call upon the BEAA to assist with various topics surrounding elite sport and parenthood, especially as a same-sex parent.”
Speaking directly to the BEAA, Nekoda said:
“There have been times in my career where I felt I needed support outside of the governing body. The BEAA is a cushion to fall back on and is someone you know will be there to listen to your voice. They have supported me in the past, and I know they will support me in the future if I need it.
“That’s why for me the BEAA is really important, and it’s important for athletes to know about because they are an organisation who are athlete-focused and athlete-centred and will support athletes away from the governing body, if and should they need that, with anything. It’s really important other athletes know about it and know they can turn to the BEAA should they need it.”
Speaking directly to the BEAA, Joe said:
“I became an ambassador for the BEAA after they helped me with my own sporting journey. Whether it was proving some low-key, friendly advice to reminding me of my athlete rights and what I can expect as a competitive athlete all the way to providing legal advice should I want to take issues that far.”
Speaking directly to the BEAA, Hannah said:
“In the past I have had to reach out to the BEAA for support. At the time, it was a really difficult thing to do. I want other athletes to know what support is available to them and how they access it. I also want them to be confident in reaching out to the BEAA and know it is totally confidential and they will help in the ways they can. They helped me massively.”
Speaking about the BEAA’s work in helping to recoup £7,500 owed to several athletes after a commercial dispute, Lucy said:
“I’m grateful to the [BEAA] for all their support and quick action on this matter. It really concerned me when the scope of the situation became apparent, and the [BEAA] were fantastic in their response, going above and beyond.”
Speaking about the BEAA’s work alongside the UK Sports Institute to facilitate Athlete Rep mental health training sessions, Sam said:
“As soon as the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance, and found it a really, really useful session. I’m really glad that the [BEAA] gave me the opportunity to do this, and I learnt a lot.”
In a blog for the BEAA, Lizzie said: “Having an organisation, such as the [BEAA], that provides comprehensive, impartial support to athletes facing hardship and challenges, is an integral part of optimising athlete welfare.”
“It’s impossible to over-state the importance of the [BEAA] within British sport.
“I’ve been an athlete, a coach, a mentor and an athletes commission member, and I’m pleased to say that, as my career has developed and the roles I have taken on have diversified, I’ve seen real progress in terms of athlete representation and genuine investment into athlete experience.
“This is thanks in no small part to organisations such as the [BEAA], who work not just on behalf of current athletes, but within the system and alongside NGBs and partner organisations to ensure that a tangible, positive legacy is in place for future generations of British competitors.”
“It was an initiative by the [BEAA]… It was our opportunity to voice concerns about selection, offer up ideas that we thought might improve things [in] areas where we believed the system could be more open and athlete-friendly.
“The good news was: it really helped to let grievances out. It was really positive not to feel things had to be suppressed.”
Speaking to The Times about mental health support within elite sport, Ellie said:
“There are a lot of support networks out there. If you feel there are issues then talk. Don’t be scared to talk. Bottling it up makes it worse. The [BEAA] are incredible. We’ve got mental health advisers. Loads of people are talking about mental health now and the support system is getting better.”