ASICS EMEA has affirmed its commitment to supporting athletes by making mental health part of all new and existing athlete contracts.
Recognising the growing pressures elite athletes face, ASICS has introduced new resources to better protect and support athletes’ mental health, a positive step forward in the sporting industry.
Gary Raucher, Executive Vice President, ASICS EMEA said: “At ASICS, our five letters have meaning. ASICS is an acronym from the Latin phrase Anima Sana In Corpore Sano or ‘a Sound Mind in a Sound Body’. Which is why caring for the wellbeing of athletes has always been at our core. While we’re proud to help them win and break records, the long-term physical and mental wellbeing of the athletes means more to us than any medal or podium place.
“Our aim is to support athletes to reach their performance goals without compromising their mental and emotional wellbeing. We are acutely aware that the early detection of any negative mental and emotional health symptoms is essential. Which is why we are offering access to psychological support through a network of caregiver providers.”
Supporting Athletes’ Mental Health
ASICS will fund mental health support for all its sponsored athletes with industry experts, including Daria Abramowicz, high-performance sports and performance psychologist of world number one tennis player, Iga Świątek. Abramowicz will lead a group of specialised experts who will provide confidential assistance to ASICS athletes.
“Stress and anxiety are at record highs for us all, including elite athletes. Which is why I am proud to be working with ASICS on this project to provide mental health resources to more athletes. I’ve seen an increase in brands talking about how they support mental health in sport but ASICS is now doing something about it, so I am thrilled to work closely with the team to provide tools and resources to help improve their mental wellbeing. By offering confidential support, I believe we can help normalize what is normal and help them on their journey to a sound mind in a sound body,” said Daria Abramowicz, high performance sports and performance psychologist.
ASICS ambassador, Lucy Charles-Barclay said: “Being an elite athlete comes with all kinds of pressures. And to get through the tough times and thrive, you need support for your physical and mental wellbeing. While there is more talk about mental health, many athletes still lack the support they need at the right time. ASICS is setting an amazing example for the industry by offering confidential, on-demand mental health support for athletes that need it.”
A Commitment to Support Mental Health in Elite Sports
In March 2022, UK mental health charity Mind released its ‘Mental Health in Elite Sport’ report, supported by ASICS. The landmark report draws on the insights of organisations and athletes from across the sport sector. The report highlights the progress being made to tackle mental health in elite sport, but also highlights key areas to focus on including, more work to tackle stigma and more funding to treat mental health problems.
Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity at Mind, said: “We know from our own research that more needs to be done to tackle stigma and encourage athletes to speak up and seek help. So, it’s fantastic to see ASICS shine a light on mental health in elite sport, help to normalise conversations about it and, crucially, provide mental health support to their athlete ambassadors. We want to help create a sporting culture where athletes can not only compete but thrive.”
Inspiring people to move for positive mental wellbeing
As part of all new contracts in European region, ASICS athletes are also encouraged to be ambassadors of movement for positive mental health. Through the words and actions of athletes, ASICS hopes to reinforce the positive message; that sport doesn’t just uplift the body, but it also uplifts the mind. ASICS is also hoping to normalise conversations around mental health by encouraging athletes to be open and honest about how they are feeling.