More Than Medals is backed by hundreds of Olympic, Paralympic and world class athletes across the UK, plus a range of partners and leaders across the sporting landscape. It was launched in the same week as the incredible performances of Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes at the Rio 2016 Games were celebrated in Manchester and London.

The campaign is run by Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, who provide crucial support to athletes in their lives beyond sport and utilise their unique attitudes, behaviours and experiences to empower young people facing disadvantage.

The inaugural More Than Medals conference took place in Central London, hosted by Deloitte. Over 200 leaders from across sport and business heard and discussed new research demonstrating the high performance of this group across a wide and diverse range of roles, with keynote speeches from Dame Kelly Holmes and UK Sport CEO Liz Nicholl. This includes the potential of this ‘wasted workforce’ to contribute significantly to strengthening the UK economy, developing communities, empowering young people, tackling inactivity and supporting athlete wellbeing.

Dame Kelly Holmes, Founder and President at Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, said:
“Every year hundreds of world class athletes reach a position where they need to consider their lives beyond sport. This will be even higher during an Olympic and Paralympic year.

“I’ve experienced first-hand the importance of receiving crucial support at this stage in my life, to ensure everything I’d built up and learnt could be used positively off the track.

“I’m not convinced that enough awareness has been made in the past surrounding the ability of athletes to take their high performing qualities into other arenas, when trained appropriately. More Than Medals will prove what I’ve believed for many years and I’m confident it will alter perceptions about the wider role athletes can play in society."

Liz Nicholl, CEO at UK Sport, said:
“The UK’s talented athletes are amongst this nation’s greatest assets. The sacrifices each one has had to make to be selected on to UK Sport’s World Class Programme and then to reach the level of performance needed to secure selection to compete at the Olympic or Paralympic Games is a major feat that can only be achieved with immense commitment, raw talent and great support. The National Lottery has been a source of vital resources that has helped to change their lives.

“The lessons the athletes learn on their journey can be applied in other fields and industries and the full extent of their reach and impact has not yet been realised.

“We welcome this campaign to highlight the tremendous value that our athletes can bring to society and the UK economy.

Emma Atkins, CEO at Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, added:
“We are privileged in the UK to have one of the world’s leading high performance sporting systems, which unlocks and harnesses a unique set of attitudes, behaviours and experiences within our world class athletes. We know that with the right training and support these individuals can deliver a lasting legacy to society, as well as contributing significantly to the UK economy.

“More Than Medals is about showcasing this untapped potential – which we call the ‘wasted workforce’ – and presenting ways we can work together collectively to maximise the impact of these valuable assets.”

Professor David Lavallee, University of Stirling, said:
“We are extremely excited to be sharing new research as part of the More Than Medals campaign, which demonstrates the high performance of athletes in employment beyond sport. The findings also highlight the positive impact athletes can have within any workplace and those around them.”