My name is Joe Fuggle, former GB Junior 400m hurdler and the founder of theathleteplace™️, a platform supporting athletics athletes … and their parents.
I was a relatively established athlete with a successful junior and youth career and a few GB and England vests to my name – on paper, it looks fantastic! What you don’t get to see though are the ups and downs, the issues I faced that impacted not only my training and competitions but also my life. These things eventually got the better of me, I lost the love I once had for the sport and, if you know me, well … you know I lived for athletics. Currently, I’m on a journey to re-establish that love and I’m happy to say, I think I’m getting there.
Every athlete’s journey is a rollercoaster of highs and lows and when going through the difficult times, athletes often feel there is nowhere to go, no one to talk to. For example, injuries, the pressure of expectation, performance anxiety, training group relationships, can all impact an athlete’s performance, but these issues are also difficult for someone outside of sport to fully understand. This feeling that ‘no one understands’ can lead to athletes suffering in silence, bottling up their frustrations and worries which as we all know, can not only be a lonely place but can also become the slippery slope to mental illness. Sport should be fun but as we creep up the rankings other pressures suddenly appear, talking about these pressures and sharing our experiences with others is a powerful way of helping our fellow athletes and creating a supportive community.
So, what if getting support was made easier? What if there was somewhere you could go to seek help, where others understand exactly how you feel?
Realising that there wasn’t anything out there for athletes whilst also noticing an increasing number either going through tough times or quitting altogether, was the reason I set up theathleteplace™️. Personally, I love supporting others and helping someone achieve something, for some reason, makes me happier than doing it myself, don’t ask me why but it does! But it’s knowing that we’re providing something that will hopefully make athletics a happier, more fun, and less lonely place, that is the best feeling.
Initially designed to support athletes, it wasn’t long before we realised that parents too could probably do with a bit of support! We did a bit of research that confirmed this theory … parents often felt it was a long old lonely journey, often with scenarios where they felt out of their depth where a bit of moral support or advice from someone in the know would have made all the difference. As with the athletes, parents sharing their own experiences and offering advice to others, makes their involvement easier, a lot more fun, and less stressful. Considering a parent’s involvement often lasts several years, it stands to reason that this time should be enjoyable.
theathleteplace™️ is therefore here to support both athletes and parents.
The importance of parental support cannot be underestimated when it comes to an athlete’s enjoyment and success… and remember, parental influence goes way beyond just their athletic performance.
But how are parents to know how to help, when to help, and whether certain things they do are actually unhelpful?
We carried out a survey of athlete parents that identified that parents wished there was more information and support out there that was specifically aimed at them, somewhere they could go to tap into the experiences of others that had already been there and done it, so to speak, or where they could compare notes with others currently tackling the same issues.
This is where theathleteplace™️ comes in.
We are offering a solution… one that reduces the trial and error nature of raising an athlete… by providing an informative and entertaining service, produced exclusively for parents but to benefit both you and your athlete, a win-win for all.
Parenting an athlete can not only be challenging… but also, at times, a lonely experience… by growing and supporting a community of like-minded athlete-parents, we hope to make this journey easier and more fun by creating the platform you need to raise a happy and successful athlete on and off the track.
Click the button below to visit the parent-only platform.
At theathleteplace™️ we’re aiming to make a big difference to athletics in the UK by supporting one another to make the sport and ourselves the best, happiest and most successful we can be.
We’re in this together… so let’s make a difference together.
Here are some of the things we do:
theathleteplace Discount Portal:
- Athletics isn’t cheap… That’s why we all love a bargain! Our Discount Portal has one mission: Help athletes save money.
Peer to Peer Support
- Athletes can seek peer-to-peer support for whatever they’re going through with theathleteplace™️ community. Perhaps you can give or seek some guidance on any athlete-related topics?
U20 Buddy Scheme
- We launched the U20 Buddy scheme enabling athletes selected for Junior International competitions to chat and build relationships with their role models, those who have walked the walk and are still doing so.
We signpost athletes to the relevant platforms to get professional guidance. It’s as simple as that really!
*DISCLAIMER: We are not, nor are we claiming to be mental health professionals.