The SportsAid Vault



Season 1, Ep. 1

The SportsAid Vault Podcast, produced by Hogarth Worldwide and Gramercy Park Studios, is here to bring you insight and inspiration from the country’s most talented young athletes! Each month, a special guest will open up their own ‘personal vault’ as they reveal the secrets to their success and how their age-group level achievements led to them making their mark in the senior ranks. We will also hear about each guest’s first steps into their sport, the importance of their family and support network, challenges they’ve faced, future ambitions and the ‘person behind the athlete’. Each episode will contain a themed discussion, specifically based around the guest’s own unique experiences, where they will offer practical advice, different approaches and alternative ways of thinking which have proved effective in their careers so far. There will also be a quickfire Q&A covering a range of topics, inside sport and out, allowing us to get to know them better!

More Episodes


Team England Futures....what does it mean to be Part of the Pride?

Season 2, Ep. 1
The SportsAid Vault Podcast, produced by Hogarth Worldwide and Gramercy Park Studios, is back for a second series and being brought to you in association with Commonwealth Games England and the Team England Futures programme! Each episode will see us providing you with unique insight ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, alongside special guests, as Team England get set to impress on home soil. The second series of the podcast, hosted by Tom Gayle, BBC sports presenter, commentator and reporter, is inspired by Team England Futures. The programme, which is being delivered by SportsAid on behalf of Commonwealth Games England and Sport England, will see over 1,000 talented young athletes and aspiring support staff attending Birmingham 2022. The programme aims to give the next generation of athletes a first-hand look behind-the-scenes.…experiencing a major Games in the flesh and better preparing them for future multi-sport competitions. It also plans to help aspiring support staff understand what opportunities they could be presented with at a major Games….as well as the challenges they may face along the way.The second series kicks off in style with Danielle Brown MBE and Tim Lawler MBE as our special guests! Episode one is themed ‘Part of the Pride’ and sees Danielle and Tim talking about what it means to be part of Team England and representing its values, their excitement for Birmingham 2022, the build-up towards this summer’s Games, and the importance of Team England Futures.Archery legend Danielle made history by becoming the first Paralympian to represent England in an able-bodied event at the Commonwealth Games – winning team gold in Delhi back in 2010. Danielle is also a five-time world champion and double Paralympic gold medallist having topped the podium at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 - both times in the women’s individual compound event. Danielle is now a motivational speaker, children’s author and champion of inclusion….as well as an ambassador and mentor for the Team England Futures programme at Birmingham 2022. Tim is the Chief Executive of SportsAid – a position he has held since 2004 after a seven-year spell at Saracens Rugby Club where he was the youngest Managing Director in Premiership Rugby. Back in 2011, Tim was the first person to be publicly named as a London 2012 Olympic torchbearer in recognition of his work with SportsAid….and his passion for supporting and providing opportunities for young people.During Tim’s tenure, the charity has been given responsibility to manage several Sport England-backed programmes including the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, the Backing The Best programme and, more recently, Team England Futures. Tim is also Chair of the LTA Tennis Foundation.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Special....a unique look behind the scenes in Japan

Season 1, Ep. 8
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games produced so many top-level performances and outstanding medal successes for Great Britain to celebrate….it’s hard to know where to start! We felt it was time for another special episode of the SportsAid Vault Podcast which reflects on the Paralympics and gives you the inside track on the Games in Tokyo. So what do we have in store? In this episode, recorded just a few days after the Closing Ceremony, we’ll be finding out about the logistical challenges posed by the delayed Games and how athletes were supported during this time.We’ll discover what it was like competing without live crowds, hear about life in the Athletes’ Village and relive the stand-out moments for ParalympicsGB which captured the nation’s attention. We’ll look at the reception the team have received since coming back home and discuss the impact of a shortened, three-year cycle ahead of Paris 2024. We’ll also delve into how the next generation of para athletes are identified, highlight the growing popularity of the Paralympic movement and why increased exposure - and representation - can help inspire more disabled people to take up sport. Our first guest on this special episode is Alasdair Donaldson - the Paralympic Talent and Development Manager at British Triathlon. He acts as the sport’s Operational Lead for the Paralympic Games - where the para triathlon team won one gold, one silver and one bronze medal in Tokyo. Alasdair joined British Triathlon in 2013 and leads the delivery of Talent ID programmes to help identify the next generation of para triathletes. Prior to this, he was an Endurance Coach at UK Athletics which saw him working at the World University Games and the Youth Olympics. Our second guest is Fabienne André - a T34 wheelchair racer who made her ParalympicsGB debut in Tokyo. She competed in the T34 Women's 100m and 800m - coming fifth and fourth respectively. Earlier this year, she won gold in the 100m and 800m at the World Para Athletics European Championships. Fabienne was a highly successful swimmer, winning bronze and three silver medals at the Cerebral Palsy World Games in 2018, but switched to wheelchair racing shortly afterwards. The 25-year-old works as a Physiotherapist Assistant at the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. Co-hosted by Tom Gayle, BBC sports presenter, commentator and reporter, and Dominic Mensah, current Great Britain tumbling sensation, the SportsAid Vault, produced by Hogarth Worldwide and Gramercy Park Studios, launched in February and has welcomed a number of exciting guests to share their career insights. Footballer Lotte Wubben-Moy, triathlete Alex Yee and para swimmer Louise Fiddes - all of whom competed in Tokyo - have previously featured. Alex won gold and silver on his Team GB debut, while Louise returned silver and bronze on her first outing for ParalympicsGB.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Special....the importance of sports psychology and mental fitness

Season 1, Ep. 7
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are in full swing….and it’s time for a special episode of the SportsAid Vault Podcast! So what do we have in store for you? Well, as we know, reaching the Olympics and winning a medal for your country is often considered to be the ultimate goal for many athletes. In this episode, recorded on the morning before the Opening Ceremony, we decided to focus specifically on sports psychology and mental fitness. How do you mentally prepare for a major competition like the Olympics? How do you handle the ups and downs of high-performance sport? How can your mind take you to the podium? Our first guest on this special episode is Chris Shambrook - Performance Director of BelievePerform and Psychology Consultant for the Great Britain Rowing Team at five Olympic Games. He has been working in the world of high performance for over 25 years. His first Olympics were in Sydney in 2000….and he has played a key role for the rowing team at the Games in Athens, Beijing, London and Rio. Chris has a PhD in Psychology and is an Honorary Professor at Staffordshire University. He works closely with SportsAid and talented young athletes through the charity’s partnership with BelievePerform. Our second guest is Nekoda Davis - a British judoka who represented Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. She competes in the -57kg category and won her first senior medal when representing Team England at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. She followed up that success in subsequent years with a huge array of podium finishes at Grand Prix and Grand Slam events around the world. Two of Nekoda’s biggest achievements to date have seen her secure podium finishes at the IJF World Judo Championships - claiming bronze in Budapest in 2017 before taking silver in Baku in 2018. Chris highlights the mental challenge of preparing for an Olympics and how athletes have to focus on performing independently of unique circumstances presented by the Games. He talks about creating a balance between the process and outcome, avoiding a ‘threat state’ and having a ‘challenge mindset’ to deliver your personal best. He discusses the need for self-care, the importance of training the mind and making full use of your support network. He also covers missing out on selection, acting as a travelling reserve, dealing with unexpected success and making sense of disappointments. Nekoda, who withdrew from selection for Tokyo in order to aid her rehabilitation from a concussion injury, offers insight on the mental adjustments athletes have had to make in the build-up to the Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She reflects on her experience at Rio 2016, how she dealt with the emotions caused by her second-round loss, and how she assessed areas for future improvement. She also examines the increased interest in psychology in recent years and how she puts greater emphasis on the journey, as well as the enjoyment of the sport, over medal success.