BASES’ Role Models initiative for underrepresented members

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One of the key early priorities for the BASES Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Group was to provide members with a greater awareness of the diversity within the membership. Our Role Models initiative for underrepresented members will look to do just that. Specifically, we are looking to increase the visibility of underrepresented groups within BASES, which we hope will also help raise the aspirations of underrepresented BASES members, and be an opportunity to connect and to network.

Members can nominate Role Models who are either Professional, Graduate or Student members of BASES and from underrepresented groups (women, people with disabilities, people from minoritised ethnic groups within the UK , low-socioeconomic groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, non-conforming and others people).

BASES will promote our Role Models by recognising them on this dedicated Role Models webpage, through social media and through the Journal of Sports Sciences’ (JSS) podcast.

If you know of a BASES member that has inspired or empowered you, someone who you feel deserves recognition for the work they do and the support they provide to people, please nominate them as a BASES Role Model via this form. Nominations are welcome each month, with a deadline of the 28th of each month.

Overview:

  • Any level within academia and industry can be nominated as a Role Model (e.g., BSc, MSc, PhD, academic)
  • All nominated Role Models will receive a recognition email and will be recognised across the BASES’ social channels
  • Selected Role Models will be invited to appear on the BASES’ Role Models webpage and The Sport and Exercise Scientist publication
  • Role Models will be invited to be interviewed on the Journal of Sports Sciences’ podcast
  • Role Models will be encouraged to become part of the BASES mentoring programme (yet to be finalised)

This initiative aims to:

  • Increase visibility, and subsequently number, of underrepresented groups within BASES
  • Support the BASES mentoring programme, currently being finalised
  • Raise aspirations and achievements of underrepresented BASES members

Eligibility:

  • Nominated Role Models need to be a Professional, Graduate or student member of BASES
  • Nominated Role Models must be from under-represented groups (based on Sport England definition this includes: women, people with disabilities, people from minoritised ethnic groups within the UK , low-socioeconomic groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, non-conforming and others people)

Selection:

  • Members of the BASES EDI Advisory Group will score nominations
  • 12 Role Models will be selected each year, aiming for at least one per month. (this is adjustable, depending on nominations received)
  • Those Role Models selected will be contacted by the EDI Advisory Group and asked to provide some information regarding the achievements they are most proud of, their career progression to date, who empowers them, who are their role models, and what advice they would you give to others embracing their journey in Sport and Exercise Sciences.
  • The Role Model profile will be included within the BASES’ Role Models’ Hall of Fame

Nomination process:

Please use the form here to make your nomination

Measures of success:

  • Increase in the number BASES’ members from underrepresented groups
  • Increase in the visibility of underrepresented BASES’ members through online platforms (e.g., BASES’ website, BASES’ social channels, JSS podcast)
  • Increase in the number of underrepresented individuals on BASES’ standing committees and advisory groups
  • Growth in the number of underrepresented individuals on the BASES mentoring programme (to be finalised), who have also been identified in this initiative

Hall of Fame

February 2022

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Ali Mahoney

Accredited Sport & Exercise Scientist (Psychology)

ithinksport Ltd

Ali was nominated by Prof Brendan Cropley:

“Through her company iThinkSport, Ali has championed female and LGBT sport and physical activity. She has done this by helping to facilitate change in these contexts and thus start to address the issues associated with the prejudice, stigma, and vitriol directed towards females and LGBT individuals. Throughout this work, and her wider applied practice, Ali consistently lives her personal and professional values, using them to navigate her way through difficult and uncompromising situations and to demonstrate the care and compassion required to make positive change.

Ali has worked hard since becoming a BASES Accredited practitioner to break down barriers to sport participation and elite development, as well as challenge the stigma directed towards female and LGBT athletes and sport/physical activity participants. Her aim has also been, in a small part, to encourage LGBT people into the sport science field, and through her work she has really begun to help LGBT individuals to explore their opportunities and overcome a range of challenges that have been presented by traditional (inappropriate and unethical) values and rhetoric.”

What achievement are you most proud of?

My earliest achievement is still my proudest achievement. When I started the BASES accreditation process, I worked with a guy who was aiming to join the Parachute Regiment in the British Army. I remember having a big dose of impostor syndrome prior to our first meeting, but thankfully this didn’t last long.

I supported him with mental skills training to get through the brutal ‘P Company’ selection course. The best moment for me was receiving an email from him saying that he’d completed the course successfully and was now proudly wearing the Red Beret as a Para.

What is your career progression to-date?

My career progression in Sport Psychology has developed over quite a long period! It started with an MSc in Applied Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Wolverhampton in 2005 when I was working in their Athletic Union. I studied part-time in the evenings which was quite a challenge alongside a full-time job. That was my first introduction to Sport Psychology – I didn’t even know it was ‘a thing’ until then.

Fast forward 10 years and I did an MSc in Applied Sport Psychology at Cardiff Met University (2015). That was the course that steered me into my BASES accreditation and gave me the confidence to start my business, “ithinksport”.

Since becoming accredited I’ve worked with lots of different organisations including local clubs, right through to National Governing Bodies. I’ve also worked with individual athletes from grassroots to elite.

Who empowers you? Who are your role models?

There are so many to mention but these two people really stick out for me.

Prof Brendan Cropley was one of my lecturers and my BASES Supervisor; he guided, challenged, encouraged and supported me on my journey to becoming a practitioner. He gave me all the confidence I needed to start and continue with my accreditation journey.

Dr Nico Kolokythas, a friend and colleague, has been a role model to me throughout my journey. I’ve always been inspired by his thirst for knowledge, his attention to detail and his willingness to ask questions to challenge the status quo.

What advice would you give to others embracing their journey in Sport and Exercise Sciences?

Don’t be shy to ask for help! If you see someone doing the role that you want to do, reach out and ask for some advice. I’ve had quite a few emails from Sport Psych students asking different questions about how I got started, where they can find job opportunities, what qualifications they need etc.

If you’re just starting out in your chosen field, I’d suggest building a network of contacts who are already doing the work you’re interested in. LinkedIn is great for this, and is also a good way to see any job opportunities that might come up. Build a profile for free, add what opportunities you’re looking for and don’t be shy in direct messaging someone with your questions!

About BASES

BASES stands for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.

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