Emma Atkins, CEO at Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, said:

“We welcome Baroness Grey-Thompson’s independent report to Government on Duty of Care in Sport, which outlines the clear need for athletes to receive additional support to prepare them for leaving a talent pathway or retiring out of sport.

“The Trust has been supporting athletes to lead positive post-sport lives since its formation in 2008. We understand the need for this process to begin during an athlete’s sporting career; something which is acknowledged as part of this review. 

“The report also touches on the potential of this group to be an asset to society beyond sport. We have proven that given the right training and care at the right time, world class athletes can be a positive force for social change in communities. This is evident from the £23 million of social value generated over the past four years by athletes delivering on our programmes for young people facing disadvantage.

“This impact is the result of the comprehensive long-term support services we offer athletes during their retirement from sport to ensure they are healthy, confident and able to determine and achieve their own aspirations. This stems from our strong partnerships already in place with UK Sport, English Institute of Sport and The British Athletes Commission to support athletes during their transition.

“We have also proven through research commissioned by Professor David Lavallee at The University of Stirling that athletes can be high performing across a number of different workplaces if effectively re-trained and supported, which can add real value to the UK economy.

“It is important that increased awareness and further research continues to promote the value of this group beyond sport, which will result in increased opportunities for athletes and wider public benefit. It is particularly crucial that investment in these high performing individuals continues after they leave the sporting system – for both their own wellbeing and to ensure their attitudes, behaviours and experiences are harnessed for society’s gain. 

“Dame Kelly Holmes Trust is committed to continue providing a supportive environment and culture to enable athletes to reach their full potential beyond sport. We will also continue to maintain and develop our strong partnerships with organisations across the UK high performance system to ensure research on athlete transition is developed and openly discussed to further enhance athlete wellbeing.”

The full report can be found here.