Kate Seary and Mhairi Maclennan on Kyniska Advocacy and policy change to protect athletes

Social Sport

August 16, 2021

The mission of Kyniska Advocacy is to create a sporting world that celebrates, protects, and respects women in sport. They advocate for progressive policies in women’s sport, enacting change one campaign at a time.

Kate Seary, Co-Founder: Kate is an experienced Welsh International middle-distance runner. She has been competing in athletics since 2008. Passionate about improving the culture of women’s sport, Kate is tirelessly innovative, actively fighting for policy changes to better protect and support women. Kate has a background in government and working with policy. She began formally campaigning for a safer and more equitable sporting environment last year.

Mhairi Maclennan, Co-Founder: Mhairi is a Scottish and GB international athlete with immense talent over track, road, and cross country. She is a tenacious and fearless competitor and campaigner, with big goals in sight for all women in sport, at every level. Mhairi is a fierce defender of grassroots sport, believing it is vital that our young people are protected and supported to grow into passionate athletes that love the sport as much as she does.

Discussed in this episode:

–Why policy is important for creating healthier sport cultures

–Patriarchal history in sports and how it affects sports today

–Sports structure in the UK

–Abuse in sport

–Taking the onus off of abused athletes

#ZeroToleranceUKA campaign

Atalanta NYC

–Changing the narrative around puberty and girls’ trajectory in running

Once a Runner by John L. Parker

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

The Bold Type, tv series


“It is a minority of coaches and officials that are abusing athletes, but one abusive coach is too many. We’re trying to minimize the number of coaches that could abuse. The way Mhairi and I believe that needs to happen is through policy change.” -Kate Seary

“We hold victims up to ridiculous standards to convince everyone that what happened to them is true. That’s where the structural change needs to comes in to play. We need to have systems that protect victims when they come forward. We need to have people on hand to manage the trauma of admitting, to yourself and everybody else, what happened to you…” -Mhairi Maclennan

Follow Kyniska Advocacy: InstagramTwitter

Follow Kate

Follow Mhairi

Follow Social Sport: Website, InstagramFacebook, Twitter 

Subscribe to the Social Sport Newsletter