BOA and the British Red Cross have aimed to celebrate "kindness" during Mental Health Awareness Week ©BOA

British Olympic Association (BOA) and official charity partner the British Red Cross have aimed to celebrate "kindness" during Mental Health Awareness Week.

The week runs from May 18 to 24, with the Mental Health Foundation making kindness the official theme for this year’s campaign.

The BOA has published "Kindness is What Makes Us" which features athletes from nine summer and winter sports reciting an emotive poem.

The poem is aimed at highlighting the importance of kindness to ourselves and others to support our mental health, especially during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Participants include badminton player Gabby Adcock, gymnasts Becky Downie and Beth Tweddle, boxer Cheavon Clarke, canoeist Liam Heath, rugby sevens player Tom Mitchell, taekwondo’s Lutalo Muhammad, hockey’s Helen Richardson-Walsh, rower Vicky Thornley and skeleton star Lizzy Yarnold.

"Mental health awareness is such an important topic, not just from the point of view of being a professional athlete, but for every single one of us," said Tweddle.

"During these times of uncertainty we must recognise the unique challenges that everyone is facing, and small acts of kindness can go a long way.

"Whether it be checking in with your teammates, your coach, friends or family, it costs nothing to be kind, so let’s make sure we’re all doing our bit to look out for each other."

The "Kindness is What Makes Us" video aims to build on the BOA’s overarching marketing campaign for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games "This is What Makes Us."

The campaign is designed to bring the nation together and celebrates stories of overcoming the odds, courage, diversity and success that belong to the athletes representing Britain at the Olympic Games in 2021.

The campaign also aims to raise awareness for the free coronavirus support line established by the British Red Cross.

The support line aims to provide assistance for people who are staying home and finding it difficult to access food and medication, or feeling lonely or worried.

"As lockdown continues, we know that some people are finding it challenging", said Dr Sarah Davidson, head of psychosocial and mental health at the British Red Cross.

"Everyone needs a listening ear and someone to talk to at one stage or another. 

"We want the public to know that if they need to talk, we’re here to listen.

"For 150 years, the British Red Cross has helped the nation through its darkest days and coronavirus is no exception.

"We are focused on supporting the most vulnerable people through this crisis and if you’re feeling lonely or worried, or staying home and finding it difficult to access food or medication, we can provide support.

"Because whilst this virus may keep us apart, kindness will keep us together".

The free Red Cross coronavirus support line can be accessed by calling 0808 196 3651, while information is also available via their website here