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The BAC is delighted to announce the expansion of our Athlete Support Team, with the appointment of Elaine Francis to the roles of Athlete Support Manager and Head of Safeguarding.

Elaine joins the BAC from the NSPCC, and has spent the previous six months working on the two organisations’ collaboration to offer support to those affected by alleged or perceive abuse or mistreatment within gymnastics.

In this time, Elaine has managed the support team set up specifically to offer end-to-end case management for children, families and elite athletes affected.

Elaine has held a team manager role at the NSPCC since 2019, and prior to that gained considerable experience in Social Worker and Senior Social Worker roles in both England and Northern Ireland.

Of her appointment with the BAC, Elaine said:

“I’m really excited to be joining the BAC at what undoubtedly is both a pivotal and exciting time for the organisation. The role will allow me to connect with athletes on a one-to-one basis to provide advice and support, and also to work with sports to understand their safeguarding commitments to their athletes.

“Safeguarding should be embedded in sport practice as a priority, in order to protect the experience and wellbeing of athletes as they move along the sporting pathway towards elite competition.

“It’s crucial that athletes have a safe place to explore, disclose and raise concerns, and that the right support mechanisms are in place and action taken when these concerns are reported.”

The BAC’s Chief Operating Officer, Sarah Newton, added:

“We are extremely proud of our collaboration alongside the NSPCC in recent months, and Elaine has played a vital role in the work we have undertaken.

“Her expertise has been instrumental in delivering a high-level of support, and we’re therefore delighted to bring her on board permanently, in such a key role and at a really important time.”

“She has vast and varied experience which will benefit the BAC, our athletes and our partner organisations, and will be a true asset to the entire high-performance system.”

Elaine’s appointment strengthens the BAC’s Athlete Support Team, which last year supported a record number of athletes on a range of issues. To access their support, contact support@britishathletes.org.

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