Last Sunday afternoon, we were proud to be featured in a well-written article from talented senior reporter Ayesha de Kretser at The Australian Financial Review.
To us, it felt like an accomplishment. A culmination of the hard work our team had been doing in the months prior to secure this very important seed round of funding.
On reflection, however, it means so much more.
If 2021 can be remembered for just one thing, for us it will be the conversation that sparked about athletes and their mental health. Finally, the issues that had ensured for decades were put on a global stage, and in a meaningful way.
Led by influential names in sport such as Simone Biles, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, it became clear that a shift was well overdue: one that would lead to more athletes and sports advocates talking openly and honestly about mental health.
When Simone Biles stunned millions of spectators around the world during the Olympics with her decision to choose to protect her mental and physical health rather than compete, the strength she showcased through vulnerability set an important example for athletes at all levels and sparked a ripple effect that no doubt saw increased resources thrown at elite athletic programs to increase endurance and derisk major issues.
But is that too late in the game?
Positive habit forming behaviours and belief systems start early, and we need to be doing the work now to prepare our future athletes as they evolve up the ranks.
It is no longer a question of why an athlete’s mental health needs to be supported, but how quickly can coaches, clubs and organisations work proactively to drive this change through education and empowerment.
It would be foolish to suggest that iNSPIRETEK’s recent success was not weaved into the emerging demand for tools that not only support young athletes, but coordinate key data to inform our policy makers.
For the team at iNSPIRETEK, the positive impact this change will have on millions of young athletes around the globe can not come soon enough.
Through iNSPIRETEK’s suite of products, headed up by CTO Kieren Dowding and championed by a driven executive team including CEO and Founder Annie Flamsteed, CRO Nikita Porth and HOD Brad Walker, the company’s initial goal of reaching three million athletes by June 2022 is quickly becoming a reality.
If 2020 and 2021 have helped to identify the problem of mental health in sports, 2022 needs to be the year that any stigma attached to youth and athlete mental health is replaced with empathy, understanding, and action.
So, when reflecting on articles such as the one that appeared in the AFR, we are equally proud that we are doing our part in continuing a critical conversation.