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Triathlon Cymru Director of Safeguarding and Child Protection awarded MBE

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Elaine Hunniford (née Francis), a British Elite Athletes Association Athlete Support Manager and Triathlon Cymru Board Member, has received an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours for services to young people and safeguarding in sport.

Currently the BEAA’s Head of Safeguarding, Elaine has spent her career advancing welfare in various roles that span the social, charity and sporting sectors.

In 2021 she was seconded to the BEAA to lead the support team established to offer end-to-end case management for children, families and elite athletes affected by allegations of mistreatment in gymnastics. In this role Elaine helped to ensure support for over 280 survivors and their families, and played a significant part in leading the BEAA’s engagement with the Whyte Review.

And in April 2023, Elaine joined the Triathlon Cymru Board of Directors, as Non Executive Director of Safeguarding and Child Protection. Martin Kitchener, Chair of Triathlon Cymru, sends congratulations to Elaine on behalf of the Board and operational team. This honour is well deserved and Triathlon Cymru benefit greatly from her knowledge and expertise on the Board.

Her career began as a social worker and senior social worker in her native south-west England before she took on a team manager role at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 2019.

Commenting on the award, Elaine said: “I am immensely honoured – and feel incredibly proud – that my work has been recognised in this way. It always has been and continues to be the greatest privilege that individuals feel able to share their experiences with me and trust me and my decision making to do the right thing. This nomination is a testament to the work of all my employers and colleagues past and present who, like myself, remain committed to ensuring anyone in need of safeguarding is supported to the highest possible standards.”

BEAA CEO Anna Watkins said: “Elaine is a huge asset to the BEAA and elite sport within Britain, working tirelessly to promote athlete welfare and best practice across the system. Her previous roles demonstrate her passion for and knowledge about safeguarding and she is a hugely deserving recipient of recognition – although I’m sure she’d be the last person to acknowledge that about herself! I’d like to congratulate and thank her on behalf of the whole BEAA and all those she has supported during her career.

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