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Nowhere to Run: Abused by Our Coach

Duration: 1 x 52'

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After Charlie Webster and her friends were abused by their coach, they never spoke again. Years on, an email out of the blue sets her on a journey back to her past to find them.

Charlie Webster is a broadcaster and journalist. She’s covered the world’s biggest sporting events. But there is one story she’s never been able to tell.
When she was 12, Charlie joined an all-girls running group in Sheffield. Running became her passion and escape, and the girls in her running group were her best friends. It was a dream.

But all that time their sports coach was abusing her. She never spoke to any of her friends about what was happening to her."It became my own secret that I pushed really far down, but I carried it with me everywhere".

When Charlie was 19 their coach was arrested and convicted. He was sent to prison for 10 years.

And it was only then that she realised she wasn’t the only one he’d abused No-one had ever spoken to Charlie about it – not the police, not the athletics club – no-one. She left Sheffield and didn’t speak to any of her friends again. To this day she doesn’t know what they went through. She has no idea who spoke up, or who else was abused by their coach.

Now she wants to find out. She’s finally ready to talk to them – but she doesn’t know if they’ll talk to her.


Charlie’s journey to find the friends she left behind all those years ago reveals a compelling personal story – of a tight-knit group of teenagers pushed apart by a predator who operated in plain sight. As Charlie finds each member of her old running group, she discovers what happened to them. 
Each discovery reveals a different side to their collective story. The more friends Charlie finds, the more she is able to piece back her past to really understand what happened to her.

But there is another question that needs answering – how was this allowed to happen?

As she digs deeper into her own past, Charlie wants to find out if what happened to her and her friends could happen again. She wants to know how young athletes are protected now.

What she discovers is that abuse is still happening today – and the system is still failing young athletes, in exactly the same way. And that is something Charlie is determined to stop.

Finding the friend who spoke out, whose testimony convicted their coach, brings Charlie the final answers she’s been searching for.

And bringing the friends back together who haven’t spoken in decades, enables them to find the support and friendship that was taken from them all those years ago.

For BBC 3/BBC 1

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