February 07 2019

Understanding the high-performance environment from an athlete and sport perspective

The elite sport environment seeks to drive and deliver world class success on a global stage.  Athletes and performance staff work tirelessly in pursuit of excellence and achieving personal bests.

At key points in an Olympic and Paralympic cycle performance decisions need to be made around team selection for major championships including the Olympic and Paralympic Games; decisions will also be made around whether an athlete will continue on the sports performance programme and retain the subsequent funding given to them.

We have also seen over the past couple of years athletes speaking out about the environment and culture within their sport; raising concerns and allegations of a bullying nature, together with expressing serious concerns over their mental health and wellbeing.

The seminar will deliver a variety of perspectives from across the sporting system.  The first session will include a keynote from Victoria Aggar, Executive Chair of the British Athletes Commission (BAC) followed by an athlete experience and perspective.  The second session will have an NGB, the BPA and an experienced barrister discussing their challenges and expectations in this area.

The expectation at the end of this seminar is that those supporting or contracted to work in elite sport in the lead up to Tokyo 2020 and beyond, will have a greater context and balanced overview of how the system operates and the expectations from all parties.




The role of the BAC


Athlete perspective




NGB perspective


NPC perspective


Barrister Perspective


Networking - Attendees will have the opportunity to directly question the speakers at the end of their delivery.

Victoria Aggar

Victoria AggarSpeaker

Victoria is a retired Paralympic athlete who has won World Titles in 2006 and 2009 as well as a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. Named as one of the ‘Top 20 Most Influential Women in British Sport’, Victoria has remained actively involved in high performance sport since retiring and has recently been re-elected for a second 4-year term as Chair of the British Athletes Commission. Prior to this, Victoria worked as Athlete Services Manager at the British Paralympic Association and now remains close to Paralympic Sport by sitting on the BPAs performance advisory group. 

Victoria is also a non-executive Director on the board at the English Institute of Sport and in March 2020 was appointed as a board member on Athletics Integrity Unit. Victoria continues her quest for clean sport in this new role. She had previously been a member on World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) athlete committee but resigned early in the second term in protest of their dealings with the state sponsored doping in Russia.

Samantha Murray

Samantha MurraySeminar Host

Samantha Murray is an Athlete. 

Sara Symington

Sara SymingtonSeminar Host

Sara Symington is the Performance Director for England Netball.

Phil Smith

Phil SmithSeminar Host

Phil Smith is the Deputy Chef de Mission for the British Paralympic Association.

Peter Crowther

Peter CrowtherSpeaker

Peter Crowther serves as managing partner of Winston & Strawn’s London and Brussels offices. Widely recognised as a leading competition and trade lawyer, a significant part of his practice involves working within the firm’s market leading global sports law practice.

Peter handles a wide range of sports matters including governance issues, complaints and investigations relating to athlete welfare, performance development, funding, selection, classification, doping, and athlete agreements.

Peter also advises on commercial agreements including in respect of tournaments, athlete boycotts, and related competition issues.