Scottish Duo Selected to First-Ever CGF Athletes Advisory Commission

October 26, 2017

Two former Team Scotland athletes have been named as part of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s first-ever Athletes Advisory Commission, as the initiative was launched with under six months to go until the Gold Coast 2018 Games.

The Commission will be chaired and represented on the CGF Executive Board by Rhona Simpson, Scotland’s most-decorated Hockey player who competed at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games. Rhona will be joined on the Commission by Colin Gregor, Scotland Rugby 7s’ highest capped player and third highest points scorer of all-time. Colin represented Team Scotland at two Commonwealth Games, including as captain at Glasgow 2014.

With the aim of engaging and representing athlete views and helping understand and grow the profile, meaning and impact of Commonwealth Athletes, the Commission will form an integral part of the CGF governance and management structure and will be an influential voice to strengthen the links between athletes, administrators and Games organisers.

CGF Athlete Representative and Athletes Advisory Commission Chair Rhona Simpson said: We have been given a far-reaching mandate to not just participate in Games and board decision-making but empower Commonwealth athletes to advance the aims and objectives of the Commonwealth Sports Movement. I’d like to sincerely thank all of the newly-appointed Commission members, and I look forward to working alongside them to help develop and deliver the best and most inclusive-possible sporting experience for Commonwealth athletes at all levels”.

Colin Gregor added: I’m excited to join the Athletes Advisory Committee, the Commonwealth Games played such a massive part of my life as an athlete and it’s great to now have the opportunity to ensure athletes’ priorities are included on such a wide scale. I look forward to working with the other members from across the Commonwealth, and Rhona as Chair, to ensure that athletes continue to be at the forefront of CGF actions.”

The inaugural commission was selected at the recent CGF Executive Board meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, after a regional nomination process, bringing together a highly-accomplished group of Commonwealth athletes and medallists with significant previous Games and sports, civic and academic leadership experience.

CGF President Louise Martin CBE said:
“Commonwealth athletes are ambassadors of a great movement whose purpose has been carried and shared across decades, across generations and across borders. As we recognised in Transformation 2022, the creation of an Athletes Advisory Commission affirms our commitment to being an athlete-centred, sport-focused movement.  We are thrilled and thankful that such a diverse and decorated group of inspiring sports leaders, representing each of our regions, will help shape the future direction of this vitally important initiative through Gold Coast 2018 and beyond.”

In addition to Rhona Simpson and Colin Gregor, the Commission members are:

  • Ms Natalie Du Toit (para-sport representative): South Africa, Swimming, seven-time Commonwealth Gold medallist at 2002, 2006 and 2010 Games;
  • Dr Nicole Forrester: Canada, Athletics (High Jump), Commonwealth Gold medal (2010) and Bronze (2002);
  • Mr E Niluka Rushan Karunaratne: Sri Lanka, Badminton, 2006, 2010 and 2014 Games;
  • Mr Lechezdani Luza: Botswana, Boxing (51kg), 2006 and Commonwealth Silver medallist at 2002 Games;
  • Ms Alison Shanks: New Zealand, Track Cycling, 2006 and Commonwealth Gold medallist (3000m Individual Pursuit) at 2010 Games;
  • Mr Brendan Williams: Dominica, Athletics (High Jump), 2010 and 2014 Games.

The Commission was selected to ensure an optimum mix of skills and competencies and balanced representation in relation to region, team and individual sports and para-sport. Women and men are equally represented with four positions each, supporting the Federation’s commitment to gender equality. Members will hold office for a period not exceeding four years and shall be eligible to serve a maximum of two consecutive terms. The Commission will meet in person for the first time on the Gold Coast next April.

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