20th September 2021

Statement by UKA CEO Joanna Coates on the forthcoming BBC documentary

Tonight on BBC1 at 10.35pm the documentary ‘Nowhere to Run – Abused by our Coach’ will be broadcast. It is already on BBC iPlayer.

Having watched it this morning, it is a truly heart-breaking watch.

I want to thank Charlie Webster and others for their bravery in coming forward and sharing their stories.

I have been clear since I took over as CEO of UK Athletics, everybody must feel safe to come forward and tell us what is going on. If they don’t then we will have failed.

Everybody must know they’ll be listened to and the information they provide used in the right way. They will be treated respectfully and supported properly as individuals.

I make no apologies that this has been my number one priority and over the last 18 months we have been fighting to make changes to overhaul the safeguarding structures. Anyone who feels otherwise is not welcome in this sport.

We have a whole new team in place, new ways of working, supported by investment in the best possible tools and systems. It is unrecognisable from what was in place just a couple of years ago. But these improvements will only work if the culture is right, and people trust that we will look after them and take their concerns seriously.Please come forward and report any concerns, whether it is about yourself or someone else. No matter where or when it might have taken place, please contact us via: https://www.uka.org.uk/submit-a-concern or by email to safeguarding@uka.org.uk

You will be listened to. You will be believed.