Updated: Jun 16
You’ve seen the hype around our Body Confident Collective Sport Guidelines, and think they’re amazing. They make so much sense. You WISH everyone around you in your sport would just follow these and fully understand them. But you’re not really sure how you get from this document to ACTUALLY making a change in your sport?
You are absolutely not alone. I’ve totally been there. I’ve been so frustrated with my sports at times all I have wanted to do was just quit and go hide away amongst my beautiful echo chamber of people who just get it. At times, this is the best, safest response and will save you a lot of mental load. But at other times you might just want to finally fight back and make the change you’ve always wanted to see.
We absolutely get you and want to make it easier for you to change the culture that you love. To no longer just be a passenger along for the wild diet culture ride, but someone who acts aligned with their values.
We developed these Sport Guidelines with exactly that in mind. We culminated all the powerful research and put forth our best argument as to why negative, shaming body image spaces work for absolutely no one. We know they don’t motivate good performance long term, we know they are the reason for so many people dropping out of their sport, and not to mention the reason for so many people not engaging in sport in the first place!
So, now what?
You’re in a wonderful position to influence change in your sport by using these Guidelines as a tool. We’ve developed a 4 step process for you to get started and have even developed a template for you to copy.
Let’s get started….
Step 1. Think about who the decision-makers are in your sport
In your sporting club, it might be the Club President, or in your national sporting organisation, it might be the CEO (or if they’re not super accessible, try the Wellbeing Coordinator).
Step 2. Track down the email or contact details of these decision-makers
Often in local clubs, they will be somewhere on the website, and for major sporting organisations, you might have to do some googling or try asking other people in the organisation to get those contact details.
Step 3. Once you’ve got their contact details reach out and let them know why this is an important issue to you and what your solution is
This step is a bigger one. We know that empathy and storytelling are often the best tools for connecting with people to get them to understand your point. We've included an example of an email structure you might want to send. Don't forget to download and attach the Sport Guidelines in the email. You can get them to your email here, or download it straight away here.
Dear [Insert name here],
I’ve been a competitor at the [Insert Club Name Here] for x years and am incredibly passionate about the wellbeing of my fellow peers and the culture of positive body image in this sport.
[Insert Your Story Here]
** Start with why body image is important to you, and how then move towards a solutions-based approach where you suggest how powerful improving the culture in your sport would be**
Note: your story is POWERFUL and you don’t need to tell everything. You don’t even need to tell anything personal about yourself at all, it can just be something you’ve observed amongst friends. We only recommend telling your story when you feel like it will be received with the honour and safety it deserves. So if you’re not ready to tell your story – you don’t have to, it doesn’t mean you won’t have great influence regardless. You can even skip the story if it feels more comfortable.
[Insert Solution Here]
E.g. A new body image not-for-profit made up of researchers and health professionals have developed the Body Confident Collective Sport Guidelines which detail how sporting clubs and organisations can take leaps toward safer and more inclusive body image spaces. I've attached the Guidelines in this email. This resource is free and is encouraged to be taken up by sporting organisations and clubs to promote positive body image for everyone involved in sport.
[Insert What You Want Here]
E.g. It would mean so much to me if [Insert Sporting Org/Club] could take the issue of body image seriously and take up these guidelines amongst our sport. Body Confident Collective are always open to supporting you in taking the next steps or giving you examples of how you could position them on your website and make them readily available for anyone to use.
I look forward to hearing from you and furthering the importance of body image in our sport.
[Insert Your Name Here]
Step 4: Press send and await your response
Often sporting clubs are volunteer-led, so don’t be afraid to have to wait a little while to hear back. If you haven’t heard anything in two weeks, we recommend following up with another email to check-in to further the discussion. In the meantime, if you need any support, don’t be afraid to reach out to BCC firstname.lastname@example.org
You are so capable of creating immense amounts of change in your sport! Make some noise and keep calling out body commentary when you hear it.
From one change-maker to another,
Body Confident Movement Lead
Developer of the BCC Sport Guidelines