Dame Kelly Holmes Trust has announced that it will launch a campaign following the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games to highlight the value of world class athletes to society beyond sport.

More Than Medals will present new research to demonstrate the positive contribution athletes can make to businesses and communities in their lives beyond sport and reveal the cost to the UK’s economy of failing to utilise this ‘wasted workforce’.

The campaign will include the inaugural More Than Medals conference, which is being attended by senior leaders across the sport and business sectors. The event will take place in Central London on Monday 17 October, hosted by Emma Atkins, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust CEO. Speakers already confirmed include:

  • Dame Kelly Holmes, Double Olympic Gold Medallist and President at Dame Kelly
    Holmes Trust;
  • Liz Nicholl, CBE, CEO at UK Sport, the government body responsible for delivering
    Olympic and Paralympic medal success;
  • Professor David Lavallee, a world leading academic in the field of athlete transition
    at University of Stirling.

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. I’ve experienced first-hand the importance of receiving crucial support at this stage in my life, to ensure all the attitudes and capabilities I’d built up 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.”

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.”

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 the workplace and appeal to prospective employers to realise those opportunities – you won’t be disappointed!”

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 the workplace and their potential to be future leaders and influencers.”