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Scottish Athletics leading the way in addressing eating disorders in sport

THE past couple of years have been dominated by talk of governing bodies’ duty of care to their athletes and Scottish Athletics are leading the way in this country in the battle against eating disorders in sport.

This evening, on the eve of the Great Edinburgh Cross-Country, Scottish Athletics will host a seminar in Edinburgh entitled ‘Supporting Athletes with an Eating Disorder’ which aims to address the issue and generate dialogue which will reduce the stigma.

There will be two guest speakers at the event, Louise Capicotto, a BPS Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist (in training), as well as Jayne Nisbet, a former Scottish high-jump internationalist who suffered from an eating disorder throughout much of her career.

Capicotto works closely with the Female Coaching Network and having been involved in sport for much of her life, she has a considerable interest in increasing the level of support in this area, as well as reducing the stigma around eating disorders and she is optimistic that this seminar is a step in the right direction.

And with the statistics showing that athletes are far more susceptible to developing eating disorders than the general population, there can be no delay in addressing the subject. “I did research last year on how sport psychologists can support athletes with eating disorders or with disordered eating,” she said. “The reality is that you don’t wake up one day with an eating disorder, it’s a continuum and you start off with disordered eating before it develops into an eating disorder.

“This seminar is great because it highlights that this issue is everyone’s responsibility, it’s not just one person’s. It’s not an area that should be scary but I think it is an area that some coaches do feel uneasy approaching. So we’ll talk about what you should try to put in place to make the athlete feel more comfortable.”

Capicotto can also draw on personal experience having suffered from…

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