Great Britain’s most-capped international of the modern era is to take on a new role as British Basketball extends its responsibility to its players and staff.
Stef Collins is to become the organisation’s Duty of Care Guardian, who will be responsible for ensuring that players and staff are looked after properly as they compete for their country.
Collins, who is already on British Basketball’s board of directors, will lead the process to give all those involved a voice in the programme, which expanded in 2017 to take overall responsibility for junior teams from U16s level.
This is in line with the “Transforming Basketball in Britain” strategy which outlined “a collaborative culture with all partners to provide the environment required” to create a single unifying vision for the game.
In direct response to Dame Tanni-Grey Thompson’s Government-commissioned review, British Basketball has approved a Duty of Care policy and action plan which incorporates the work already undertaken over the last year with the FIBA Timeout programme.
Duty of care is also an important part of the league licence recently agreed between British Basketball and the BBL.
While Collins is the board member responsible in this area, player committees or representatives will have the opportunity to put their views across, while an independent process for consultation and whistleblowing will be established.
Basketball remains one of the most diverse sports in the UK and we will gather data to measure just how diverse the game is, both in paid and volunteer roles. Equality training will be undertaken by all staff and there will be zero tolerance shown towards those who go against the values of basketball.
The aims include helping athletes in education and at all levels of the GB talent pathways. Induction sessions will be held with all new players and staff, with parents invited should their child be under the age of 18. Selection and deselection criteria will be made transparent, while there will be an independent presence during selection and appeals processes.
We want to ensure that our players are given all the support their health requires, be it mental and physical health. We have signed the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s “Mental Health Charter” and will strengthen our links with NHS mental health teams. In addition, we will consider the separation of medical services within our performance department, to ensure that medical advice cannot be compromised.
British Basketball chief executive Lisa Wainwright says, “It is a pleasure to see Stef appointed to the role, which will build on our work in this area. We want to ensure that the voices of players and staff are heard throughout the organisation.”
“Our policy is the right one especially in the current climate and ensuring its delivery will be one of our key tasks in the future.
Stef Collins said, “I look forward to taking on the responsibilities within this role. As a player myself, I am determined to make sure that we look after our players and give them a chance to speak up.
“Ensuring that we understand the many diverse backgrounds of our players and staff is very important to me. Our policy reflects that priority and we can deliver on this.”