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Some beautiful quotes and insights from athletes interviewed.

Results correlated with known indexes of job quality in the general population with parity in understanding and acceptance of security, work characterisation, autonomy, rewards and importance of relationships. Significant importance was placed on mental health, identity and stressors specific to the elite sport environment.


Measurement of job quality remains difficult with the absence of employment in this athlete group therefore a new paradigm may be needed to understand this more deeply. The study found many characteristics, considered to be significant with regards to job quality, correlated with the experience described by elite athletes. The main exceptions to this were; terms of employment, pay and benefits and work-life balance in terms of time and intensity. Despite the extensive body of research pertaining to mental health in this group, there remain questions in terms of pressure related to wellness in the context of performance. Furthermore, what strategies are in place to tackle the duty of care issues, like bullying and discrimination. If the term ‘job’ was removed with a focus on the component parts associated with ‘occupation quality’ perhaps a new paradigm could be created specifically to the elite athlete group.

Rebecca Joyce

Innovation Consultant with roots as a Chartered Physiotherapist. Passionate about human endeavour, behaviour and the power of human stories.

Rebecca currently works for The English Institute of Sport as an Olympic Sport Lead Innovation Specialist. She is an experienced and accomplished leader of cross-functional teams with the purpose of improving performance in pursuit of medals with Olympic and Paralympic athletes. With over 12 years of experience in high-performance sport, her principal strengths lie in managing unique projects with a focus on both problems solving and the design and implementation of solutions with the athlete firmly at the centre. A solid foundation in Sports Medicine, Ergonomics and Human Centred Design has provided some unique opportunities to work on a wide variety of projects. Key achievements have come from taking considered leaps to pursue dreams and aspirations, all of which have brought me to where I am now. Undertaking an MSc in Ergonomics and Human Factors is no exception to this.

Major project

Are the Values and Characteristics associated with Job Quality applicable to the Occupation of Elite Athlete: An Exploratory Study


2018 winner of the UK Sport Innovation award for significant impact on female athlete health specifically around the applied research in saddle health in British Cycling.
2018 Loughborough University Diploma Ergonomics and Human Factors