Eyes Wide Open

Speaker: Claire Heafford, athlete activist, former elite gymnast and leading campaigner for change within gymnastics
Date: Wednesday 15 December 2021
Time: 12 – 1pm
Venue: Online event

This event has now passed, however, you are welcome to watch the recorded seminar on demand.

Schedule

TimeSession
11:55Session opens online for joining
12:00Welcome
Dr Melanie Lang, Assistant Director of the Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport and ISR Fellow
12:05Eyes Wide Open
Claire Heafford, athlete activist, former elite gymnast and leading campaigner for change within gymnastics
12:45Q&A
13:00Close

Speaker:

Claire Heafford
Eyes Wide Open

Speaker abstract:

As an athlete and gymnastics coach, Claire has lived experience of physical, emotional and sexual abuse in elite gymnast settings. In 2011, she also became a whistle blower, having been witness to the grooming and a horrific physical assault of a 10-year-old child in a gymnastics training facility. Although the case she reported was investigated, the coach in question was reinstated – leading her to realise that the safeguarding and child protection measures the governing body had put in place were ineffective at best. This talk will explore the key challenges she has faced during the legal action and discuss the athlete activism of the #GymnastAlliance movement within the wider context of #MeToo and the findings coming out of Operation Hydrant, Operation Stovewood the report into Child Sexual Abuse in Religious Organisations & Settings, and Zoe Bellingham’s Inspectorate of Constabulary report into misogyny within the police.

Speaker biography:

Claire Heafford is an athlete rights advocate, former elite gymnast and leading campaigner for change within the sport of gymnastics. She is the initiator of a group legal action in the UK comprising 40 athletes in a civil case against British Gymnastics. In 2020 she also founded the campaign group Gymnasts for Change which has now become a global network of former and elite gymnasts, coaches and parents who are engaged in a series of legal actions and reform processes around the world to end abuse within the sport.

This event has now passed, however, you are welcome to watch the recorded seminar on demand.