This week is National Inclusion Week, which aims to celebrate inclusion in all its forms. Here, BAC Athlete Support Manager, Hannah Dean, explains our determination to ensure that our members continue to play a vital role in making society more inclusive.
“If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.
“A phrase that many of us will be familiar with, and one that we believe is never more accurate than when applied to sport.
“At the BAC, we represent around 1,300 of Great Britain’s elite athletes. All of these athletes have earned their place on a national World-Class Programme, and are constantly striving for the opportunity to represent their country at the highest possible level.
“As part of the high-performance system, we are among those with a responsibility to our athletes to make elite sport as inclusive as possible.
“However, this responsibility runs deeper. We owe it to future athletes, and to society in general, to ensure that our elite athletes are truly representative of the nation for which they compete.
“Sport – perhaps more so than anything else – can bring a country together. As we’ve seen this year with Euro 2020, the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, and recently Emma Raducanu’s success at the US Open, sporting performances can unite and inspire.
“For people of all backgrounds, to see a figure to whom you can relate reaching the pinnacle of their sport is crucial.
“In Tokyo, while the likes of Tom Daley, Kadeena Cox, Ali Jawad and Moe Sbihi all represented their entire country with enormous distinction, their stories and their achievements resonated perhaps strongest with groups that are still under-represented in sport and in British society as a whole.
“This inspiration is absolutely priceless.
“Ensuring that sport – at any level – appeals to as broad a number of people as possible is one of the best legacies that any athlete can leave, and we at the BAC are determined to play our part in evolving a high-performance system which allows more and more athletes to do just that.
“For us, providing the best possible level of support to British athletes, and ensuring that the collective athlete voice is sought, listened to and heard, are just two of the ways in which we can play our part. As part of National Inclusion Week, we want to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to diversity and inclusion within sport.”