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The British Elite Athletes Association (formerly the BAC) is the representative body for Britain’s elite athletes across over 40 sports, providing support, representation and community.
The British Elite Athletes Association (formerly the BAC) is the representative body for Britain’s elite athletes across over 40 sports, providing support, representation and community.

We are primarily funded by UK Sport, but are independent and stand by athletes’ sides throughout their time on the World Class Programme and beyond.

Since being founded by athletes, for athletes, in 2004, our influence and standing within the high-performance system has grown, and we are proud to play a central role within British sport today.

All athletes funded via the World Class Programme are our members automatically, and do not have to pay for our services. They can contact our expert staff for support, turn to us for representation, and know that we unite the elite athlete community across sports. We are also proud to provide support to athletes in pathway sports, and a select number of sports who benefit from our involvement privately.
  1. You contact the BEAA for support, or are referred with consent by your NGB.
  2. One of our Athlete Support Managers will respond, usually via email, within one working day.
  3. We will arrange a time to speak to you over the phone to understand your request in your words and ensure we can provide the best support possible.
  4. If your issue is about your safety or someone else’s safety, we follow statutory processes, which may involve a referral to the police, a Local Authority Designated Officer, or the children’s services. This will be done with your consent where possible, and we will provide ongoing confidential advice and support.
  5. If your issue is not about safety and we can support you, we ask you to sign a service-level agreement, and provide support in the following ways:
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More about the BEAA
More about BEAA

Misc feedback

In response to BEAA surveys

“Excellent emotional support combined with professional and well guided advice.”

“Felt really supported throughout it all and always knew there was someone there if I needed more advice.”  

Anonymised feedback

Regarding abuse of gymnasts

An anonymised individual supported by the BEAA following the abuse of British gymnasts said they appreciated: “The support to talk and be around people that understand without the effort to explain every detail. It was a relief to be understood.”

Anonymised feedback

Regarding abuse of gymnasts

“Despite having enthusiastically been in various forms of therapy since I was 21, and having raised this issue a number of times, this was the first time I’d ever had my gymnastics experiences taken seriously and spoken about compassionately as abuse.”

Mental Health
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Are you a funded athlete on UK Sport’s World Class Programme? 
Yes. 

You’re a BEAA member. Contact us if you need to here.

Your full membership with us will last for six months after you leave the Programme, and you’ll remain part of our alumni community for life.

No.  You could still be a BEAA member. Please read on.

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Anna Watkins MBE

CEO
Also sitting on our Board, Anna joined the BEAA as Chief Executive Officer in June 2022, having previously held a Board position alone.

Anna’s illustrious rowing career saw her win gold at London 2012 and bronze at Beijing 2008, as well as two World Championship titles. She leads the organisation in maximising its strategy in order to further evolve, respond effectively to athlete and system-wide demands, and deliver truly world-leading support to British athletes.

Following an international sporting career which spanned well over a decade, Anna, who was awarded an MBE for services to rowing in 2013, moved into consultancy. She was a vice president at McKinsey’s advanced analytics arm, QuantumBlack, and has since worked as an independent consultant, undertaking work in areas including strategy, performance and wellbeing. In addition, she remained involved in sport following her retirement as both an athlete mentor and coach.

Sporting hero: Cathy Freeman

Sarah Newton

Director of Operations
Sarah heads up BEAA operations, which involves everything from our day-to-day running to ensuring our full compliance with the Code of Sports Governance. She is also responsible for the delivery of the Athlete Support Team and athlete engagement.

Sarah is an experienced operational lead and joined the BEAA having led operations for the charity Safe Passage. Her previous operational roles include nine years at the Rugby Football Union as well as supporting the Football Association.

Sarah is qualified in safer recruitment, GDPR, and understanding equality and diversity.

Sporting hero: Jonny Wilkinson

Elaine Hunniford

Athlete Support Manager and Head of Safeguarding
Elaine joined the BEAA as Head of Safeguarding and an Athlete Support Manager in March 2021.

She was seconded to the BEAA from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to lead the support team set up to offer end-to-end case management for children, families and elite athletes affected by allegations of mistreatment in gymnastics.

Elaine held a team manager role at the NSPCC from 2019, and before that gained considerable experience in social worker and senior social worker roles in both England and Northern Ireland.

As part of her role at the BEAA, she works alongside both athletes and sports to ensure that safeguarding processes are understood and correctly implemented.

Sporting hero: Simone Biles

Emma Speer

Athlete Support Manager and ED&I Lead
Emma joined the BEAA permanently in October 2021, after almost a year seconded to the organisation from the NSPCC to provide support to children, athletes and families submitting evidence to the Whyte Review regarding mistreatment in gymnastics.

As well as being an Athlete Support Manager, she leads on equality, diversity and inclusion within the organisation, ensuring that the BEAA is constantly progressing in this field.

Before this, Emma worked as a helpline practitioner for the NSPCC, following a role as a Senior Safeguarding Children and Families Officer at a secondary school in Leeds.

Based in Belfast, Emma is passionate about sport, having played international football for Northern Ireland at youth level and completed a degree in sports studies at Leeds Beckett University.

Sporting hero: Jessica Ennis-Hill

Fiona Semple

Athlete Support Manager
Fiona previously worked as a Performance Lifestyle Advisor with the UK Sports Institute, alongside a role at the University of Stirling, which oversaw the distribution of a government grant to elite athletes in education.

Based in Glasgow, Fiona is passionate about sport, having recently retired after almost a decade in international hockey.

She completed a law degree at the University of Glasgow, along with a sport and physical activity degree from the University of Strathclyde, and an MSc in performance coaching from the University of Stirling.

Sporting hero: Laura Muir

Milly Kellyman

Athlete Community Manager
A former skeleton athlete, Milly works with our members across sport to further strengthen the athlete community, enhancing the BEAA’s role in uniting Britain’s elite sportspeople.

Before joining the BEAA she was an athlete with the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association, having represented Great Britain in the Europa Cup and won bronze on just her sixth start. Before joining her World Class Programme, Milly earned a degree in Child and Youth Studies, trained as a teacher and taught primary school children alongside training.  

She came to the BBSA’s attention as part of UK Sport’s Discover Your Gold talent identification, having previously been a keen 100m sprinter.  

Milly’s role involves supporting athletes on a one-to-one basis, as well as working to bring the athlete community together as a whole.

Sporting hero: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Jenny Cripps

Head of Alumni Relations
Jenny joined the BEAA in late 2022 to oversee the launch and growth of our alumni platform which connects and supports former elite athletes.

Jenny previously managed the Athlete Services Team for the British Olympic Association over nine years. Her experience focused on the athlete preparation and support programme, engagement strategies, team culture and post-retirement support for Olympians. She led athlete support programmes at each Olympic Games since Sochi 2014 and was part of the leadership team for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.  

Jenny’s career started in developing university sport, before working in sports development for the London Borough of Brent, focused on clubs and coaching. She went on to be part the Education Team for UK Anti-Doping, which included a secondment to the World Anti-Doping Agency for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Sporting hero: Eve Muirhead

Ben Mountain

Communications Manager
Ben joined the BEAA at the start of 2023 as Communications Manager, handling the organisation’s digital and media presence.

With a background in football, Ben began his career as a freelance writer with brands like SPORTbible and Paddy Power, and today still writes for FourFourTwo.

He moved to the BEAA from Premier League club Crystal Palace, where he worked for four years, overseeing their website, app and matchday programme output.

Sporting hero: Gordon Banks

Anna Watkins MBE

CEO
Also sitting on our Board, Anna joined the BEAA as Chief Executive Officer in June 2022, having previously held a Board position alone.

Anna’s illustrious rowing career saw her win gold at London 2012 and bronze at Beijing 2008, as well as two World Championship titles. She leads the organisation in maximising its strategy in order to further evolve, respond effectively to athlete and system-wide demands, and deliver truly world-leading support to British athletes.

Following an international sporting career which spanned well over a decade, Anna, who was awarded an MBE for services to rowing in 2013, moved into consultancy. She was a vice president at McKinsey’s advanced analytics arm, QuantumBlack, and has since worked as an independent consultant, undertaking work in areas including strategy, performance and wellbeing. In addition, she remained involved in sport following her retirement as both an athlete mentor and coach.

Sporting hero: Cathy Freeman

Sarah Newton

Director of Operations
Sarah heads up BEAA operations, which involves everything from our day-to-day running to ensuring our full compliance with the Code of Sports Governance. She is also responsible for the delivery of the Athlete Support Team and athlete engagement.

Sarah is an experienced operational lead and joined the BEAA having led operations for the charity Safe Passage. Her previous operational roles include nine years at the Rugby Football Union as well as supporting the Football Association.

Sarah is qualified in safer recruitment, GDPR, and understanding equality and diversity.

Sporting hero: Jonny Wilkinson

Elaine Hunniford

Athlete Support Manager and Head of Safeguarding
Elaine joined the BEAA as Head of Safeguarding and an Athlete Support Manager in March 2021.

She was seconded to the BEAA from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to lead the support team set up to offer end-to-end case management for children, families and elite athletes affected by allegations of mistreatment in gymnastics.

Elaine held a team manager role at the NSPCC from 2019, and before that gained considerable experience in social worker and senior social worker roles in both England and Northern Ireland.

As part of her role at the BEAA, she works alongside both athletes and sports to ensure that safeguarding processes are understood and correctly implemented.

Sporting hero: Simone Biles

Emma Speer

Athlete Support Manager and ED&I Lead
Emma joined the BEAA permanently in October 2021, after almost a year seconded to the organisation from the NSPCC to provide support to children, athletes and families submitting evidence to the Whyte Review regarding mistreatment in gymnastics.

As well as being an Athlete Support Manager, she leads on equality, diversity and inclusion within the organisation, ensuring that the BEAA is constantly progressing in this field.

Before this, Emma worked as a helpline practitioner for the NSPCC, following a role as a Senior Safeguarding Children and Families Officer at a secondary school in Leeds.

Based in Belfast, Emma is passionate about sport, having played international football for Northern Ireland at youth level and completed a degree in sports studies at Leeds Beckett University.

Sporting hero: Jessica Ennis-Hill

Fiona Semple

Athlete Support Manager
Fiona previously worked as a Performance Lifestyle Advisor with the UK Sports Institute, alongside a role at the University of Stirling, which oversaw the distribution of a government grant to elite athletes in education.

Based in Glasgow, Fiona is passionate about sport, having recently retired after almost a decade in international hockey.

She completed a law degree at the University of Glasgow, along with a sport and physical activity degree from the University of Strathclyde, and an MSc in performance coaching from the University of Stirling.

Sporting hero: Laura Muir

Milly Kellyman

Athlete Community Manager
A former skeleton athlete, Milly works with our members across sport to further strengthen the athlete community, enhancing the BEAA’s role in uniting Britain’s elite sportspeople.

Before joining the BEAA she was an athlete with the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association, having represented Great Britain in the Europa Cup and won bronze on just her sixth start. Before joining her World Class Programme, Milly earned a degree in Child and Youth Studies, trained as a teacher and taught primary school children alongside training.  

She came to the BBSA’s attention as part of UK Sport’s Discover Your Gold talent identification, having previously been a keen 100m sprinter.  

Milly’s role involves supporting athletes on a one-to-one basis, as well as working to bring the athlete community together as a whole.

Sporting hero: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Jenny Cripps

Head of Alumni Relations
Jenny joined the BEAA in late 2022 to oversee the launch and growth of our alumni platform which connects and supports former elite athletes.

Jenny previously managed the Athlete Services Team for the British Olympic Association over nine years. Her experience focused on the athlete preparation and support programme, engagement strategies, team culture and post-retirement support for Olympians. She led athlete support programmes at each Olympic Games since Sochi 2014 and was part of the leadership team for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.  

Jenny’s career started in developing university sport, before working in sports development for the London Borough of Brent, focused on clubs and coaching. She went on to be part the Education Team for UK Anti-Doping, which included a secondment to the World Anti-Doping Agency for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Sporting hero: Eve Muirhead

Ben Mountain

Communications Manager
Ben joined the BEAA at the start of 2023 as Communications Manager, handling the organisation’s digital and media presence.

With a background in football, Ben began his career as a freelance writer with brands like SPORTbible and Paddy Power, and today still writes for FourFourTwo.

He moved to the BEAA from Premier League club Crystal Palace, where he worked for four years, overseeing their website, app and matchday programme output.

Sporting hero: Gordon Banks

General
Certifications: 
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BEAA is with you.
Reach out to us using any of the channels here.
Alternatively, get in touch via our chat.