What did we learn from UKAD's 2021 Clean Sport Forum?
UK Anti-Doping’s (UKAD) annual conference Clean Sport Forum took place on 12 and 13 October online.
The conference was tailored towards members of the sport sector and discussed UKAD’s work and hot topics in sport and anti-doping both domestically and internationally.
This year’s Clean Sport Forum looked back at the pandemic and the impact it has had on sports and anti-doping organisations, as well as ahead to 2022 and major events including the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Trevor Pearce CBE QPM, Chair of UKAD opened the webinar and introduced the speech from Nigel Huddleston MP, who spoke passionately about the standard of sport in the UK and how it enriches our lives. The Chair then delivered the 2021-2025 UKAD Strategy update.
Read on for our top three take-aways from this year’s Clean Sport Forum…
Para athletes look back at Tokyo 2020
We welcomed the para table tennis players and recent Paralympic medal winners, Tom Karabardak and Tom Matthews, fresh from Tokyo 2020. They explained how they overcame their personal challenges to excel in their sport, what motivates them, the camaraderie a lockdown bubble can provide, and how, in some ways, the different delivery of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games enabled them to achieve their medals.
Paul Karabardak had this message for young athletes hoping to compete at a Major Games in the future: "Enjoy your experiences of competing because it's a short career and won't last forever. Love what you do and enjoy it. Always give 100% and never give up."
2022 Commonwealth Games
Professor Nicola Phillips OBE opened Day Two of the Forum. As Chef de Mission for Commonwealth Games Wales Gold Coast 2018 and Birmingham 2022, she shared her experience of embedding a Clean Sport ethos across all athlete support personnel and athletes on the team. Nicola’s decision from the onset to embrace the clean sport ethos has helped protect the whole team as it strives for success.
Athlete mental health and welfare
UKAD was delighted to welcome Kristian Thomas, Athlete Engagement Manager, and Sam Little, Head of Athlete Support, from the British Athletes Commission (BAC). They provided insights about supporting mental health and athlete welfare, how the BAC athlete support has changed over the past 18 months due to COVID-19, and an overview of athlete support during Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. They also considered how the changes caused by the pandemic may affect the support leading into Beijing 2022 and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games