Coach, writer and former elite athlete
Mara Yamauchi is a former elite athlete, two-time Olympian, and the UK’s third-fastest female marathon runner ever. Before becoming a professional athlete, she worked for the UK Foreign Office as a diplomat for ten years, both in Japan and as its head of diversity. She now works as a coach, mentor, commentator and writer. She is particularly interested in fairness and safety for female athletes at all levels – this partly stems from her personal experience of competing against athletes who used doping to gain an unfair advantage. Sport has been a major, positive part of her life since childhood, and she is concerned to ensure that sport is a fair, safe and welcoming activity for females, now and into the future.
“Having been an elite athlete, I have seen with my own eyes every day that sex matters in sport. The physical advantages males have, on average, compared to females are numerous and varied. This is because of sex, not because of identity, training habits, level of effort, or anything else. These sex-derived advantages are facts that are well documented. If we fail to recognise these advantages and organise sports accordingly, females will lose out. In competitive sport, the right to be included in competitions and teams is earned through years of hard work and sacrifice. Therefore, fairness is paramount.”