Eilidh Child goes be­hind the scenes


Athletics Weekly - - Contents -

EILIDH DOYLE ad­mits her new po­si­tion on the Scot­tish Ath­let­ics board has opened her eyes as to the amount of work which goes on be­hind the scenes of the sport, writes Euan


Scot­land’s most dec­o­rated track ath­lete, who took up the post in Septem­ber, said: “I’ve had two meet­ings so far and it’s def­i­nitely made me learn a lot more about what goes on in the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“At my first meet­ing, my mind was blown. I thought ‘man, there’s a lot go­ing on!’ As ath­letes, you’re just in your own lit­tle bub­ble and just fo­cused on train­ing and rac­ing – which is what you should be do­ing – but it’s nice to see how the or­gan­i­sa­tion works.”

Doyle in­tends to be a bridge between the board and the ath­letes, with the sub­ject of ath­lete wel­fare very high on her list of pri­or­i­ties.

Ham­mer thrower Chris Ben­nett re­cently spoke openly to the BBC about his strug­gles with men­tal health and Doyle, speak­ing at an event to mark 100 days to go un­til the Eu­ro­pean In­door Cham­pi­onships in Glas­gow, added: “Men­tal health is­sues are so im­por­tant right now, and sup­port­ing the ath­letes.

It’s a dif­fi­cult sport to be part of be­cause every­thing is based on per­for­mance, per­form­ing well and win­ning medals.

“If you’re not per­form­ing well, you’re not get­ting fund­ing, you’re not get­ting the sup­port you need and it then be­comes about try­ing to get your­self out of that sit­u­a­tion.

“When you see Chris, he’s this jovial, jokey kind of guy and you don’t ac­tu­ally un­der­stand there’s a lot more go­ing on there than he lets on so I think that was re­ally im­por­tant (he spoke about it).

“Hope­fully that’s opened the eyes of peo­ple on the board of Scot­tish Ath­let­ics, Bri­tish Ath­let­ics and all the or­gan­i­sa­tions to say ‘we need to make sure there’s a sup­port there for these guys’.”

Eilidh Doyle: sur­prised by vol­ume of grass­roots work

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