By Paul Osborne 

The BAC is set to work with Pride Sports to to ensure its services are meeting the needs of LGB athletes ©BACThe British Athletes Commission (BAC), the members' association representing the interests of high-performance athletes in the UK, has announced plans to ensure its services are meeting the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes.

Following the conclusion of the Commonwealth Games in August, the BAC will be working with UK LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) sports development and equity organisation, Pride Sports, to consult with athletes, to hear their concerns and to find out what role BAC can play in optimising their experience within performance sport.

The consultation will take place amongst performance athletes who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, both those who are public about their sexuality, and those who are not.

"The BAC works in a high performance sport environment where our members are seeking selection for their national teams (or Team GB/Paralympics GB) and to win medals," said Ian Braid, chief executive of the BAC.

"To maximise their potential, a number of critical factors have to be aligned including their mental and emotional welfare.

"The sexuality of an athlete should not have an impact on an athlete's performance or the environment in which he/she trains, but we know it can.

"The BAC is seeking to understand the nature and the scope of this potential issue and to put in place appropriate support mechanisms for athletes."

Ian Braid and Lou Englefield will join a panel discussion on LGBTQI Rights and Wrongs at Pride House Glasgow today ©TwitterIan Braid and Lou Englefield will join a panel discussion on LGBTQI Rights and Wrongs at Pride House Glasgow today ©Twitter

The consultations are likely to take around three months and will be carried out by Pride Sports directors, Lou Englefield and Dr Anna Verges.

A final report, including recommendations, is due to be presented to the BAC in December this year.

With Pride House Glasgow opening here in Scotland yesterday, Englefield and Braid will be on hand to discuss "LGBTQI Rights (and Wrongs)" in a panel session this afternoon.

Prior to the discussion, Englefield expressed her "delight" at the prospect of working with the BAC.

"We are delighted to be working with the BAC to ensure their services meet the needs of LGB athletes," she said.

"We believe this is the first consultation of its kind in the UK.

"Speaking in confidence with a range of athletes we hope not only to support the BAC to refine its existing services, but also to improve our own understanding of the performance environment for LGB athletes."

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