A supporting statement in response to the State of Sport 2018 report

05 Feb A supporting statement in response to the State of Sport 2018 report

To mark the launch of ‘State of Sport’ (February 5-9) an awareness campaign exploring the challenges facing athletes as they move from a life inside sport to a life outside of sport, the BBC has published the 2018 ‘State of Sport’ report.

The report, compiled from evidence submitted by former players from the Rugby Players Association, the Professional Cricketers Association and the Professional Footballers Association, details findings which align with our own research and again highlights the fact that many athletes and players struggle with ‘a loss of identity after retiring and struggle to move on in life’. The BBC study also reports that the struggle to find a new purpose can lead to more serious problems such as depression, self-harm, addiction and financial problems with transition being compared to the grieving process.’

Whilst the report makes for uncomfortable reading and doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, I applaud the BBC for its work in this area. Using its broadcasting platform to raise awareness of this issue will encourage more open dialogue amongst the sporting community and, hopefully, help to initiate more positive policy and action. It also reiterates why what we do at Switch The Play is so important.

Switch The Play is an independent social enterprise dedicated to helping athletes prepare for transition. We are passionate about our work and are already working in collaboration with many individual athletes, player representative organisations, sports clubs, coaches and parents to help individuals, at any stage in their sporting career, prepare for a life outside of sport.

There is no doubt that headway has been made over the last few years but there is so much more that needs to be done before we have a system we can all be proud of. We have a duty of care to support our athletes both on and off the field of play and I’m hoping that through awareness campaigns like ‘Transition Week’ and a cross-sport collaborative approach we can give our athletes the help and support they deserve to ensure their onward journey after sport is one of fulfilment and success.

Leon Lloyd, International Rugby Player and CEO, Switch The Play

If you an athlete or player and would like to discuss your individual concerns and needs relating to preparing for transition contact Leon Lloyd directly for a confidential conversation at leon.lloyd@switchtheplay.com

If you are a representative of a club, a players union or a National Governing Body who would like to discuss how Switch The Play can help you to provide support services to your athletes and players, contact us at info@switchtheplay.com

For more information about the BBC State of Sport Report click here

 To arrange media interviews with Leon Lloyd or Beth Tweddle, British Gymnast and Switch The Play Director, please contact katiekewis@BrandChatter.co.uk or call 07912215302