British Olympians announce MIND as their Charity of the Year, fundraising in memory of one of their own, judo champion Craig Fallon OLY
The GB Olympians’ Association (GBOA) has today announced that it has chosen leading mental health charity Mind as its Charity of the Year for 2020.
Mind is a leading mental health charity in England and Wales, working to help anyone with a mental health problem. In any given year in the UK, one in four people will experience a mental health problem, yet hundreds of thousands are struggling to access the help they need.
GBOA’s fundraising will be in memory of Craig Fallon OLY, a double Olympian and a European and World Judo Champion, who tragically took his own life earlier this year.
Chair of the GBOA, Joslyn Hoyte-Smith OLY, said:
“We are immensely proud to be supporting Mind as our Charity of the Year for 2020. However, our pride comes hand-in-hand with much sadness as fundraising begins in memory of one of our own members, and one of the country’s greatest ever judoka, Craig Fallon OLY. In our sporting lives as Olympians we strive to give of our very best and accept that this will deliver many highlights but also that there can be lows. In selecting Mind as our charity for 2020, we are sending out a clear message that as part of our aim to inspire a nation, we want to encourage everyone to be alert to their lows, to feel able to speak about their mental health, to support others and to seek support when that is needed too.”
GBOA will be organising a series of events throughout 2020 at which there will be opportunities for its members and the public to fundraise for Mind in Craig’s memory. Specifically, there will be Olympian representation in the Virgin Money London Marathon on 26th April 2020 and at the Vitality Westminster Mile series on 24th May 2020 where GB Olympians from 1948 to 2018 hold an annual celebration by taking part in their own mile ‘race’.
Responding to the announcement, Chief Executive of British Judo, Andrew Scoular said:
“It is fantastic news that British Olympians have chosen Mind as their Charity of the Year for 2020. The loss of Craig hit the judo community incredibly hard and the decision by the group to fundraise on behalf of a charity which will help to prevent future tragedies like this is only a positive thing. We will be fully supporting the Olympians throughout their campaign in an Olympic year to build awareness and to help raise as much money as we can for this very worthwhile cause. We have consulted with Craig’s family and they are are delighted with the GBOA’s support and will look to join any awareness raising campaigns.”
For Mind, Emma Ihsan, Head of Corporate Partnerships, said:
“We are really delighted that The GB Olympians Association have chosen to partner with us over the next year. The money they raise will help to fund our vital services including Mind’s Infoline, which provides confidential information and advice, and the campaigning we do to ensure that the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year get the support and respect we deserve.”