Sports

British Gymnastics: Abuse support helpline set to close after receiving 221 calls

Olympic bronze medallist Amy Tinkler said she “would give up her Olympic medal” to have never experienced mistreatment within gymnastics.

A support helpline set up in response to abuse allegations within gymnastics is set to close after receiving 221 calls.

More than half of the calls resulted in a referral to agencies such as the police or social services.

A total of 34 individuals have completed online therapy sessions.

Since July, BBC Sport has revealed a series of stories of former and current gymnasts alleging mistreatment at all levels of the sport – including Olympic medal-winning gymnasts Amy Tinkler and Nile Wilson, plus Olympians Becky and Ellie Downie.

Evidence from the helpline has been provided to the independent Whyte Review – regarding gymnasts’ wellbeing and welfare – which is yet to conclude.

British Gymnastics has also set up an independent complaints process to oversee allegations of mistreatment, while a campaign group called Gymnasts for Change was established.

British Gymnastics chief executive Jane Allen retired in December amid the ongoing investigations, admitting the organisation had “fallen short” in protecting its athletes.

Despite the helpline’s closure, the NSPCC and BAC urge “anyone with a concern to get in touch,” and it is “never too late to speak out about your experiences to seek support”.

From 1 March, the NSPCC’s main support helpline will resume responsibility of dealing with concerns.


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