A little over 1,000 days since the flame went out in the Japan National Stadium we’re just one month away from the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, followed closely by the Paralympics. But I want to address all our members. Summer, winter, Paris-bound, not competing, or still targeting a place in the squad, the start of the Summer Olympics and Paralympics marks a major moment in all our sporting calendars.

It can throw up mixed emotions, too. There will, of course, be deservingly jubilant athletes selected by Team GB and ParalympicsGB. To those of you with the privilege of competing this summer I say: enjoy this this exciting build up now and own your right to be at the centre of it. I remember a mixture of a sort of battle energy, together with needing to laugh about it. We’d call the Games ‘sports day’ at times just to calm down – and this seemed to work!

Just as many of our members won’t feature in Paris this summer, however. We understand that sport isn’t black and white. When I competed in 2008 and 2012 I knew there were athletes at least as good as me who weren’t selected. Whatever reasons mean you won’t compete, you still belong to an incredibly special athlete community.

Those in Paris couldn’t make it without the combined effects of athletes training and competing together. We at the BEAA understand this and recognise the contribution of our whole athlete community. I hope you can take some pride in that and know there is a team out there who understand how much you have achieved.

And to our winter sports members. The world can seem distracted when an event like the Summer Games comes around. But don’t worry: we’re still here, still behind you all the way, and still very much following your various seasons!

Lastly, it goes without saying that the BEAA is here for every one of our members this summer and beyond. Whether you’re competing in Paris or not, please do reach out to our independent team whenever you need us.

Wishing you a safe and enjoyable summer – wherever you spend it.

Anna Watkins OLY MBE


Anna Watkins shares one month to go message with BEAA members

BEAA CEO and double Olympian Anna Watkins address the athlete community.
June 26, 2024
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