Going for Gold: Putting Lived Experience at the Heart of Sport

Mural of Marcus Rashford with tributes

Our Marketing Associate, Rob Martin, on how Result CIC's work chimes with recent events in sport.

Over the last few weeks, we've seen attitudes towards issues like racism, sexuality and mental health discussed all over the news and social media thanks to the supposedly unifying arena of sport.

The racism expressed after the result of the defeat of England in the Euro final, and some of the responses to the decision by Olympic athlete Simone Biles to step away from the competition on the grounds of looking after her own wellbeing, plus some of the reactions to Tom Daley's comments about being gay, speak volumes about how far we still have to go as a society to combat issues surrounding race, mental health and sexuality in sport.

Working to combat these issues is at the heart of what Result CIC strives to achieve all of the time. Our work enables people with lived experience of racism, homophobia or the belittling of mental health conditions, to handle the kind of pressure Tom Daley faced on that diving board, to manage that inner voice that Marcus Rashford spoke about as he stepped towards the ball, and to allow yourself to prioritise and focus on your own well being, as Simone Biles has done.

Why are we highlighting this now?

This week, Piers Morgan hit the headlines again, following his recent attack on tennis players Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka, via his tweet about Olympian Simone Biles. 

"Are 'mental health issues' now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke. Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models not this nonsense."

To describe the comments as 'ignorant' is polite. Ignorant not only of the incredible challenges Biles has faced in her 24 years but of mental health generally. Twitter, Morgan's favoured platform, has exploded and, once again, Morgan is trending.

Similarly, it was Twitter that highlighted the horrendous abuse from racists throughout the land when three incredibly talented, stoic and admirable young men with the pressure of a nation on their shoulders, behaved with a grace and dignity that many of those who proclaim to be team supporters could never muster.

And then this week, Tom Daley said, after winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics,

"I am proud to say I am an Olympic champion and a gay man."
Once again, journalists took to their platforms and so did the public and not all of the comments were supportive.

And yet...

The huge outpouring of utter disbelief and condemnation, plus the support for the people on the receiving end of such ignorance, is surely a sign of hope, of positivity, of communities coming together to say "We won't stand for this.

The positive response by people in Manchester to the defacing of the Marcus Rashford mural is testament to the fact that ignorance no longer goes unchallenged. And that's important. It's essential. Simone Biles is being hailed by some as an inspiration for putting her own mental health first. And the author Nicholas Pegg proffered a brilliant response to those online who said that Tom Daley's comment was unnecessary by stating:

"There are 10 nations taking part in this year's Tokyo Olympics which prescribe the death penalty for homosexuality. They would literally execute Tom Daley."

It's a perspective both insightful and pertinent, a reminder to those criticising people who stand up for their own truth that lived experience matters.

Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Simone Biles and Tom Daley represent the very best that sport can achieve, both professionally and personally. Five inspiring young people with enormous skill and self-awareness under huge pressure.

Result CIC's coaching and training work enables individuals to find the best way for people who are excluded and experiencing discrimination to:

  • handle often conflicting pressures on them
  • recognise and switch their destructive self-talk
  • understand what they need to prioritise for their own well-being and act on this.

We think now is the perfect time for Result CIC to offer a programme specifically aimed at people in sport, supporting them and their own lived experiences, to deal with the enormous pressures they face. Our track record and experience is entirely to do with self-awareness, self-belief and growing confidence, no matter what your lived experience is. By adapting our existing programmes, we can collaborate with sports clubs, coaches and individuals, to ensure that people in sport truly achieve their potential.

Interested in finding out more? Let's have a conversation.

Contact us.


Latest News

Time for a catch up

Read about our latest news from Result Co-Director, Hormoz Ahmadzadeh

Tackling challenges in a new job

A neurodiverse perspective from guest writer, Jonathan Caldeira


Watch our short film about Eric, a deafblind man in Salford, who we are supporting to get an accessible computer

(Un)reasonable adjustments?

The story of a grievance and standing up for yourself.

On your own terms?

One of the most powerful questions I was asked when I first had coaching was ‘Approval on whose terms?’

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10   >  

Block Colour Classes

shapedBlock whiteBlock transparentToWhite
shapedBlock darkBlueBlock whiteToDarkBlue