‘We must put our athletes first', says Welsh sport boss

A major ethics conference in Cardiff next week will call for sport to put the focus firmly on athlete care.

As part of the Sports Ethics and Integrity Conference 2018, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson will deliver a keynote speech about how the landscape has changed since the launch of her Duty of Care in Sport Review in April 2017. 

International speakers will come together at the Principality Stadium this Wednesday 14th November to discuss athletes' rights and the duty of care.

Athletes and coaches will also take centre stage, including former Wales international footballer David Cotterill and UK coach of the year and former sprinter Christian Malcolm.

David Cotterill

And Head of Elite Sport at Sport Wales, Brian Davies says the mix of contributors will fuel the debate:

"These issues are so important because we deal with people - in our case athletes and coaches.

"Everything should be athlete and coach centred and they should be involved in how they are coached and the programmes that impact on them. It's not to say that isn't happening but this is a chance to put forward ideas and listen to respected people in the sector.

"Sport has prided itself on giving people a moral compass and we need to focus on that because it's at the heart of what we do. There are examples of practices that we should rightly applaud, and it's about exploring how we can maintain a process of continuous improvement.

"The bedrock of sport is ethics and integrity, sportsmanship and good behaviours. Never more so has that been the case when there have been so many issues challenging those values and behaviours.

"We're incredibly fortunate to have Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson come back to Cardiff and give her thoughts on her report, where progress has been made and where it needs to improve, as well as hear from a number of experts with their own expertise on these key talking points.

"It'll be a conference looking at a philosophical view, a practical view as well as a legal view. This is all incredibly important."


Professor Nicola Phillips, of Cardiff University and Team Wales Chef de Mission at Gold Coast 2018, will deliver a keynote speech about the responsibilities to athletes. Also appearing at the conference will be Nicole Sapstead of UK Anti-Doping, John Donnelly of UK Sport and Dr David McArdle of Stirling University.  The conference will be opened by the Welsh Government's Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas.

Tickets for the conference are available to purchase: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sports-ethics-integrity-athletes-rights-and-the-duty-of-care-tickets-50860328612