Following success of the pilot programme, Paralympic silver medallist Grace Harvey has been selected as part of the second cohort to undertake the initiative designed to empower athletes to make a difference to society.
The second edition of the Powered by Purpose Programme, delivered by UK Sport in partnership with The True Athlete Project, is about to get under way - with twenty athletes from a diverse range of sports and backgrounds benefitting from a six-month programme designed to empower them to use their platform as prominent sportspeople to make a difference to society while they are still competing.
Para-swimmer, Grace Harvey, will participate alongside athletes at differing stages of their competitive careers from various Olympic and Paralympic sports. The group will collectively meet to interact and engage in a series of workshops and mentoring sessions centred on learning how to use their own voice and influence for the greater good.
"I’m really excited to be part of the programme." said Harvey
"I applied because I’m really passionate about oral health and increasing education but I didn’t know where to start from, when actioning and implementing social change. I hope to learn how to go about becoming a social change maker and translating my passions into something constructive that can actually enhance the lives of others."
Those taking part will hope to achieve the same levels of success as those enjoyed by the first cohort to complete a pilot version of the programme in 2022-23 - which included Tully Kearney and Suzanna Hext.
Every one of the pilot participants reported they now had greater confidence to make a difference on social issues, felt equipped with tools and resources to address social challenges, and believed their enhanced strengths would enable them to make a social impact.
Those outcomes align strongly with one of the key pillars of UK Sport’s current ten-year strategy, which is to Inspire Positive Change. UK Sport believes athletes can contribute in this way to a happier, prouder and more connected society.
The programme is designed to ensure that athletes develop as people as well as performers. They should move forward with a sense of autonomy as they use their platform to make an impact in a context that has meaning to them.
Commenting on her experience as part of the first cohort, Tully Kearney said: “The workshops and incredible guest speakers, as well as the other athletes on the course, really opened my eyes to how much we can actually use our platform to make worthwhile change and how powerful our voice can be.”
The success of the first cohort to complete Powered by Purpose
demonstrates how much social impact Olympic and Paralympic athletes can
achieve, and adds to the value and viability of the investment made by the
British public in elite sport in this country.
Dame Katherine Grainger, chair of UK Sport, said: “I’m delighted to welcome the second cohort of athletes to the Powered by Purpose programme. The success of the pilot programme, and those who took part in it, was a source of enormous pride to me and to everyone at UK Sport. It is brilliant to be partnering with fantastic team at The True Athlete Project to deliver this programme once again.
“It’s so encouraging to see that many athletes genuinely want to use their platform and influence to make a difference to social causes that matter to them.
“I wish the new group of athletes every success in their work on the programme, and look forward to watching them explore the positive social impact that is so important to us all.”
The full list of 20 athletes who comprise the new cohort can be found in the UK Sport press release: www.uksport.gov.uk/news