29th March 2017


29 March 2017

·         The commission will comprise of up to 12 elected members

·         Four commission members nominated to represent the Olympic podium and podium potential, plus Paralympic podium and podium potential, by current WCPP athletes

·         All British athletes (over 18) who competed for British Athletics within the past six years will be eligible to stand for election as a Commission (meeting certain criteria)

·         All British athletes (over 18) who competed for British Athletics within the past six years will be eligible to vote

·         The Chair will be elected by members of the commission

·         Maximum terms of eight years per Chair and four years per Member


As part of its on-going review process, UK Athletics (UKA) has today announced the creation of an “Athletes’ Commission”, which will provide a formal mechanism whereby the perspective and expertise of Great Britain’s international athletes will be heard by the Board and Performance Oversight Committee on the many initiatives and programmes operated by UKA.

Providing a direct and formal link between athletes and the UKA Board, the driving force behind the creation of the commission has been former athlete and Olympic medallist Kelly Sotherton.

Sotherton said: “I have always passionately believed that, as athletes, we need a formal voice and role in the on-going future development of our sport.  I’m pleased UKA were open to this idea and that we have been able to work together to create a platform that allows athletes to provide effective input into decision-making at all levels of the organsiation.

“I think UKA and athletics as a whole will really benefit from the unique insights and perspective delivered by the athletes and I look forward to seeing its work come to fruition in the years to come.”

The Commission will ensure that athletes possess a meaningful voice on important matters that are heard at Board level, in turn allowing the UKA Board to benefit from the perspective and expertise of international athletes in its deliberations and decision making.  The commission will also be able to bring matters to the Performance Oversight Committee for discussion and recommendation. 

UKA Chief Executive Niels de Vos said.  “Kelly came to us with the idea of this commission after she joined the IAAF commission in Beijing, with the end goal of having the athletes’ voice at the heart of everything UKA does.  As such, we have worked with her to develop a meaningful commission that we feel will add real value to UKA and the wider governance of athletics, as we look to develop the sport over the next decade.”

President of UK Athletics, Jason Gardener commented: “This was an idea that had to come from an athlete, so I am glad Kelly took up the challenge.  I believe that this Commission will provide athletes with a fantastic opportunity to help shape the way that UKA is committed to be athlete centred.  I’m excited at seeing the positive difference athletes can make to the governance of our sport, which includes ensuring that the interest of the athletes remains at the forefront of UKA’s aims and objectives.”

At any given time, the membership of the Commission will have at least 33% of members being: male and female; members from able bodied and Paralympic events; current international athletes (have competed for GBR in the last 12 months). Plus, have at least 15% of members from non-Olympic/Paralympic events and have no more than two athletes from any one event.  Whilst ensuring that the make-up is representative of the British athletics team in terms of BAME.

Full terms of reference for the Athletes’ Commission can be found below: