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Enhancing Mental Health Support for Athletes: Games Time Journals for Paris 2024

15 May 2024

The UK Sports Institute (UKSI), Team GB, and ParalympicsGB have partnered to produce a journal for athletes and staff heading to the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

Building on the success of the journal introduced during the Tokyo Games, this revamped version is designed to provide athletes and staff with invaluable tools to nurture their wellbeing before, during and after what will be one of the most intense and exciting times in their career.

The Games Time Journal will be distributed to athletes during Team GB and ParalympicsGB Kitting Out days and serves as a companion in their journey towards mental resilience and wellbeing during the Games. Embracing a playful and organic design, the journal incorporates elements of the vibrant city of Paris, encouraging athletes and staff to explore their surroundings and immerse themselves fully in the Games experience.

More than just a notebook, the journal aims to capture the holistic essence of the Games, shifting the focus beyond performance results. With designated spaces for journaling, accompanied by prompts and tips, athletes and staff are encouraged to reflect on their experiences and emotions. Additionally, the journal offers creative outlets such as drawing, colouring, and various puzzles to engage athletes in moments of relaxation and self-expression.

Head of Mental Health at the UKSI Sam Cumming explained: “We know how intense the Games time period can be for those involved with the Games and we are really pleased to be supporting them with this resource.

“The Games Time Journals represents a significant step forward in prioritising mental wellbeing, equipping athletes and staff with tools to navigate the pressures of elite competition and fostering a supportive and inclusive Games environment.

“A highlight of the Journals for Paris 2024 is the collaboration with Boccia athlete and Paralympian, Claire Taggart. Claire has created bespoke puzzles and colouring pages for the journal, bringing her own unique perspective and passion for empowering athletes and staff.”

The journal’s content has been developed through a collaborative effort, having been led by the UKSI’s Mental Health, Performance Lifestyle, and Sports Psychology Teams, with contributions from Team GB and ParalympicsGB. Former and current Olympic and Paralympic athletes and staff have also contributed their insights, ensuring that the journal resonates deeply with athlete and staff needs.

Two versions have been created, one for the Olympics and one for the Paralympics. Both will share common themes and content, but they will differ in imagery and quotes to reflect the unique characteristics of each event. Additionally, both versions will include specific details on where and how to access mental health support during the Games.

Plans are underway to distribute the journals during the Kitting Out process for both Olympic and Paralympic athletes and staff, with the aim to reach every athlete and staff member travelling to the Games. Recognising the diversity of athlete and staff needs, a plain text version of the Paralympic journal will be available for visually impaired athletes, along with digital versions accessible to all participants.