Founder and CEO of iNSPIRE Sport and Toowoomba local Annie Flamsteed has made it her mission to support aspiring young athletes by equipping them with the life skills needed to succeed both in and out of the sporting arena.
Annie competed on the national stage as a National Level 10 elite gymnast, training upwards of 30 hours a week. She was a talented athlete, but unfortunately did not fulfill her dream of competing for Australia. Annie says this was one of the reasons she created iNSPIRE. “It seemed I had all I needed to succeed but something inside of me was missing- and that turned out to be self-assurance, education and understanding about what I needed to do health wise to achieve my goals,” she said.
Annie also created iNSPIRE as a result of her personal struggles with anxiety, and sport-related injuries. “I wish I had a tool like this at my finger tips to help me manage it better,” said Annie of her struggles. “I was the outgoing, fun loving, well supported gymnast growing up who had all the talent, but I still struggled to find the tools I needed to live and perform at my best. I guess the real turning point for me was when I started uni, and realised how big the mental health issue was in youth sport.” With 46 per cent of young athletes in Australia being diagnosed with mental illness in 2017, Annie knew she had to use her experience, and the experiences of others like her, to develop an easy support solution for athletes and their clubs globally. Thus, iNSPIRE Sport was born.
During her time as an athlete, Annie admits she went through difficult periods, but it was also one of the most exciting times in her life. “I was living the dream of training full time in a sport I loved, but I was also struggling to manage the general life pressures of a teenage girl in the 21st Century along with the pressures of competitive sport and a perfectionistic attitude adding more pressure to myself.” It was during this time Annie saw the gap in the market for a community to help prepare young athletes for the overwhelming demands of all aspects of their lives. “I want little Annie’s to feel more confident whether they achieve their goals or not. I want young athletes to know its okay to not be okay, and still be an elite athlete and I want to also give them tools to better manage their lives.”
iNSPIRE Sport provides young athletes and their clubs access to expert content and guidance on a range of wellness issues including sports science, psychology and nutrition. It offers support via technology and also face-to-face, utilising software that allows athletes and coaches to track wellness, but also engage in educational programs. For more information download the iNSPIRE Sport app or head online.
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