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Athlete Support

“You took the time to understand my experience, showing genuine concern and appreciated what I had been through. It was a serious matter, which you took seriously”. Athlete, 2019

The BAC’s experienced athlete support personnel are trained to support athletes with a range of professional and personal needs. All staff are committed to delivering a trusted, confidential, and independent service to members.

GRIEVANCES AND DISCIPLINARIES

The athlete support personnel at the BAC have a professional skill set in Human Resources, and so we understand grievance and disciplinary policies. We can access the appropriate policy within your NGB to discuss the relevant information to you, and in doing so provide end to end support. Whether you are the subject of a disciplinary or have a grievance with another individual, please get in touch to discuss in confidence.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

In the instance of a dispute or conflict, our primary goal will always be to enact informal early interventions and reach a resolve at the lowest level, to cause minimal disruption. We can establish a line of communication with the relevant parties to facilitate a conversation in a safe and open environment. Where appropriate, we can provide a trained mediator to help resolve the dispute between parties (whether that is with another athlete, a coach or other member of staff).

Take a look at the video to get a better understanding as to how the dispute resolution process might look and get in touch if you would like to discuss it further.

CLASSIFICATION

Classification is the process by which Paralympic athletes are placed in the most appropriate group for competing following an assessment of their impairment. It exists within the Paralympic movement to ensure the successful performance of an athlete is determined by their skill, fitness, and tactical ability. The UK Athlete Classification Code provides “support and advice” for athletes allowing them to report alleged abuse of the system independently of their governing body.  Under the UK Athlete Classification Code, the British Athletes Commission is responsible for:

  1. Respecting and abiding by the UK Athlete Classification Code
  2. Supporting BPA to implement and review this Code in a manner that is athlete focused
  3. Supporting athletes to understand their rights and meet their responsibilities under this Code

Athletes with concerns relating to classification can speak, in confidence, to BAC staff who will provide appropriate advice and guidance, or signpost to the British Paralympic Association (BPA) where appropriate.

Iain Gowans, Classification Manager at the BPA gives an overview of the classification process and its importance in this short video.

The BPA has produced an animated ‘classification explainer’ – you can view it here.

PROGRAMME/EVENT SELECTION AND APPEALS

Policies and procedures can often be confusing and trying to make sense of these whilst processing a selection decision may prove challenging – but we can help. After an initial discussion to understand your situation, we will advise you to the best of our knowledge whether there appear to be grounds for an appeal based on the selection policy from within your NGB. We will also where appropriate, make a referral through Sports Resolutions UK to seek you some independent legal advice and support. We can step you through the process, lending support to draft relevant documentation, but it’s important that if you’re considering an appeal, you come through to us as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss the appeal deadline.

 

MENTAL HEALTH

Our support staff are not registered professional mental health carers, but we can help you by providing initial support and guidance as well as signposting to you further relevant support, including confidential medical referrals. Other resources available include:

Big White Wall

Looking after our own wellbeing and mental health is so important. That’s why empowering athletes to achieve and maintain positive mental health is at the forefront of the athlete support agenda in the high-performance system. Through UK Sport and the EIS Mental Health Team, all funded athletes now have free access to the Big White Wall (BWW) –an online site overseen by clinically trained practitioners. The site provides a safe space for athletes to talk about their mental health experiences anonymously, and to get the support that they need. Features include:

  • An anonymous forum
  • Self-assessment
  • Self-guided support
  • Access to anonymous and confidential peer-support
  • Trained clinicians to guide athletes to appropriate support

You can visit the BWW here https://www.bigwhitewall.com/joinnow/UKsport. It’s important to know that this service exists to complement the support already available through your sport. If you’ve got any questions around the BWW and your access to it, please get in touch with us on support@britishathletes.org to have a confidential discussion

 

ANTI-DOPING

If you have received a whereabouts failure or a missed test notification from UK Anti-Doping, we may be able to assist you with access to independent legal advice. This offer may extend to support where you have committed an alleged anti-doping rule violation. Please get in touch directly to have a confidential discussion.

Sam Little

Head of Athlete Support

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Ofure Ugiagbe

Athlete Support Manager

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