Following the conclusion of the Tokyo Olympic Games, BAC Chair, Vicki Aggar, underlines the organisation’s determination to continue the progress that has been made with regards to mental health and athlete welfare.
‘It isn’t a normal job. There is a huge amount of pressure. Money does not buy happiness.’
“The words of Adam Peaty, one of the world’s most dominant athletes in his chosen sport, and one of Britain’s most lauded sportspeople, when announcing he was to take a short break from swimming following his victories in Tokyo, in order to prioritise his mental health.
“This Games – and the build-up to it – has shone a light like never before on athlete wellbeing; and the importance of treating athletes as people, rather than machines capable of going ever higher, faster, stronger.
“Peaty, Simone Biles and – away from Olympic and Paralympic sport – Ben Stokes, have all spoken up about mental health, and the pressure of competing in an elite environment.
“The world is waking up to the fact that athletes, regardless of the medals they have won or the riches they may have earned, are human beings. They have the same vulnerabilities and frailties as everyone else.
“What’s crucial now is that that realisation evolves.
“This week, Premier League football returns, and we will swiftly see the likes of Peaty, Tom Daley and the Gadirova twins replaced on the back pages by Harry Kane, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling.
“The attention will fade and the spotlight will shift for our summer Olympians and Paralympians, in many cases, only re-emerging for Paris in three years’ time. However, it’s imperative that the support continues, and we at the BAC can make an absolute commitment to all of our athletes that this will be the case.
“We are here to ensure that athletes can continue to find the confidence and the courage to speak out, to take a stand and to put themselves first; as people, rather than simply as athletes.
“As we’ve seen over recent weeks, one person’s bravery in these areas can inspire others, can provoke a wider conversation, and ultimately, can help to create the sporting environment and culture that we’d all like to see.
“Our support never stops. Athletes needing guidance or assistance can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“As with the Olympic Games, we will be providing a 24-hour support service to ParalympicsGB athletes out in Tokyo, details of which have been communicated to athletes.”