British Athletics wins backing for helping mothers competing at Tokyo Olympics

Laura Kenny gave birth to her son in August 2017 (PA Images)
Laura Kenny gave birth to her son in August 2017 (PA Images)
16:20pm, Thu 10 Oct 2019
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Cycling's Laura Kenny is joining a support group for mothers competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

The group, founded by the British Athletics Commission (BAC), has been named the Mothers in Elite Sport Network. Their aim is to help support athletes who are juggling motherhood with their respective sports.

BAC have created a private Facebook group where athletes can find support with things such as childcare, returning to sport after giving birth and the physical affects of being pregnant.

Kenny, who is a four-time Olympic champion, said: "They are putting in place this group where you can speak to other athletes who've had a baby.

"I was looking at it and there are eight who are currently qualified for Tokyo.

"You look at the wider world and I'm amazed at how many there are. It's inspirational."

The 27-year-old won her first medals as a mother at the European Championships in 2018. She won gold in the team pursuit and elimination race.

Kenny added: "I always wanted to have a baby in the middle of my career. I wanted to be a young mum and so I was willing to hang up my wheels for a year.

"I wanted to treat my career like any other mother. I've shown you can do it but there are so many role models now."

Kenny says that she takes inspiration from other incredible mothers like Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

"Allyson Felix is absolutely incredible." Kenny said. "I know just how hard it is to come back so to do that after eight to 10 months is incredible.

Shelly-Ann had hers roughly at the same time as me, so she's had two years to get back."

Kenny also spoke about having to be away from her son in order to train. "It never feels like I am doing a job. Because it is so difficult to leave this little person, I would not give that up if I didn't enjoy it.

"I can't explain the feeling of winning, it's overwhelming. But before you can reach that point, you have to love the day-to-day stuff and have that sheer love to just get on a bike.

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