Former Paralympian Jessica Smith joins us on the episode for a very honest discussion on diversity, and inclusion for people with disabilities.
As an elite swimmer who represented Australia in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Jessica isn’t a stranger to the pressures of performance and scrutiny. But when it comes to athletes with disabilities, this is compounded by the lack of much-needed psychological, financial, and infrastructural support, as well.
After retiring at the age of 22 to address her eating disorders and mental wellbeing, the athlete turned to being a loud and strong advocate for disability awareness, diversity and inclusion. She was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her outstanding achievement and service towards this cause.
As a co-founder of Touch, a talent management and inclusivity consultancy, which she set up after moving to Dubai in 2019, Jessica works with her team to provide opportunities for athletes with disabilities, and leads the conversation around effective inclusion and diversity.
In the episode, Jessica takes us into conversations on inclusion that are rarely spoken about. She opens up about finding and losing her identity to swimming, and then regaining it once she moved away. She also shares her thoughts on what more can be done to diversify the sporting ecosystem and how to start the conversation around inclusivity and community integration.
To follow Jessica, find her on instagram at @jessicasmith27 andwww.jessicasmith.com.au
To learn about Touch Dubai, visit www.touch-dubai.com/
Today’s episode was supported by the awesome and adventurous team at Deep Dive Dubai, the world’s deepest pool. Check them out for some truly awe-inspiring scuba and freedive experiences.
Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore.
For more info, visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettleset
We hope you enjoy the episode!
Dawn & Afshan