Change The Game: Dame Kelly Holmes calls for athletes to ‘accept who you are’


#ChangeTheGame panel – Sports minister Mims Davies, BBC Sport’s Barbara Slater, Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes, Paralympian Lauren Steadman and England netball head coach Tracey Neville
Trade the Sport – Females’s sport special
Listen all all over again:18:00 BST, Monday 27 Might per chance well also, BBC Radio 5 are residing

Young female athletes had been entreated to be themselves by double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes after women folk urged of abuse over their physique image.

Winter Olympian Aimee Fuller mentioned she had been despatched “horrific” messages on social media, whereas swimming champion Rebecca Adlington modified into as soon as “known as a whale”.

“You’ve got got to be aware of, ‘I am who I am and I like who I am,'”mentioned Holmes.

They were taking share in a #ChangeTheGame dialogue for BBC Radio 5 Are residing’s Friday Sports panel.

Featuring a panel and viewers of athletes and coaches, the 90-minute display tackled issues along with pay, media coverage and hopes for the future.

It comes after American gymnast Katelyn Ohashi urged how her comeback from hurt modified into as soon as blighted by feedback on social media.

“I modified into as soon as urged I didn’t peek like a gymnast. I modified into as soon as urged I gave the impression of I would possibly per chance swallowed an elephant, or gave the impression of a pig,” she mentioned.

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I modified into as soon as urged I didn’t peek like a gymnast – Ohashi

Holmes, who received Olympic gold within the 800m and 1500m in Athens in 2004 afterovercoming a chain of injuries,made an impassioned plea to the viewers.

“Each person sitting here now on this room are excessive achievers. Females that can also simply restful not care what various of us glimpse you are due to you are doing something that many of us must originate,” she mentioned.

“The moment you include who you are, how you peek, how you truly feel and what you originate, various children will open to peek as a lot as you and specialize in, ‘Cease you already know what? It would not topic – I would possibly even be massive, I would possibly even be rapid, I would possibly even be minute’.

“You’re able to doing whatever you desire due to you are sitting here now, and we are all so various. I am 5ft 3in. I modified into as soon as up against athletes who were 5ft 8in, however I restful received.

“The highlight on social media will always describe the image of a girl who’s slim and pretty, however ought to you peek at various images – stutter, ofthe Kardashians, there are massive ladies with massive bums and big legs.

“So as for you to originate sport, you have to originate it to attain success, to face out from the crowd and truly must shatter something in your life. I specialize in that’s a proud thing to be pleased. And as you become older, you don’t care. I originate not care what of us specialize in I peek like. I essentially don’t care.”

A newest peek of 4,500 UK adults stumbled on a third had felt anxious about their our bodies.

What they mentioned on physique image

Rebecca Adlington, Olympic 400m and 800m freestyle swimming champion

The trolling, the media scrutiny I essentially be pleased around my physique image…

I carried out two gold medals in Beijing and within days it modified into as soon as “you’re gruesome, it is due to you peek like a whale, and as well you’re a dolphin and as well you’re pudgy”.

I lawful puzzled what that has got to originate with a success a medal. That has nothing to originate with my sport.

I’ll never perceive why of us ship tainted stuff anyway, however even extra when it has nothing to originate along with your efficiency.

While you become share of sport, you realise you’re the total same. It gave me so grand self belief – that every no doubt one of my peers at college never had. I felt 10 times extra assured than them due to I had something I modified into as soon as most attention-grabbing at and and I specialize in that can abet with insecurities.

Lauren Steadman, Paralympic swimmer and double world champion paratriathlete

As a younger girl having one arm, I modified into as soon as very self-aware.

It wasn’t till I modified into as soon as 14 that I stopped carrying my prosthetic, due to I went to a school the set aside they had various athletes with one arm.

They grew to become round and mentioned: “Why originate you set aside on your arm? We like stumps.” I would possibly per chance never been in that atmosphere earlier than the set aside of us lawful accredited the incapacity.

I started my swimming and stopped carrying my arm and grew assured via my achievements.

Aimee Fuller, Olympic snowboarder

I’ve always loved that aspect of it [social media]. I’ve wished to part my yarn. I’ve wished to inspire various females and I’ve always truly been myself. That is my motto.

I truly feel like I have been very fortunate to compose a accurate following, however I essentially be pleased seen some horrific messages – primarily insist messages,

Once in a whereas you obtain those that attach not resolve on the boldness to jot down on the wall. Extra ‘pervy’ issues, to be correct, from males.

There are positively some wearisome of us accessible and I am lawful thankful to all people who has supported me on my stir.

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#changethegame – Ancient past of women folk’s sport

Reporting by Frank Keogh, Denise Evans and Laura Savvas

For particulars of organisations which provide mental nicely being suggestion and help, test withbbc.co.uk/actionline

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer season to showcase female athletes in a scheme they never had been earlier than. By means of extra are residing women folk’s sport on hand to investigate cross-test across the BBC this summer season, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the amount on women folk’s sport and alter perceptions.To find out extra here.

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