New Commission is the brainchild of Kelly Sotherton and aims to give athletes a voice at the highest level

Nine members, including British javelin record-holder Goldie Sayers, have been elected to a newly-formed Athletes’ Commission, UK Athletics (UKA) has announced.

Formed with the purpose of ensuring athlete voices are heard by UKA’s Performance Oversight Committee and the UKA Board, nominations were invited from athletes who have competed for British Athletics in the last six years.

The other elected members following the first wave of the nomination process are Abdul Buhari (discus), Jamie Bowie (400m), Hannah England (1500m), Dai Greene (400m hurdles), Stephen Miller (club throw), John Pares (ultra distance), Isobel Pooley (high jump) and Richard Yates (400m hurdles).

Each member will be invited to stand for an initial two-year term of office, while, once filled to capacity, the Commission will vote among themselves to choose who is to become the Chair. The Commission chair will serve for an initial term of four years.

The governing body announced that further attempts to adhere to the initially-identified minimum percentages for representation, which can be found here, will be made via an extension to the deadline for nomination submissions.

The ‘invitation to submit nominations’ deadline has been extended to July 26 in order to give eligible potential Commission members additional time to submit a nomination form, with an emphasis placed on encouraging Paralympic, female, WCP (World Class Programme) and BAME nominees to come forward.

The new Commission is the brainchild of former heptathlete and now coach, Kelly Sotherton.

As Athletics Weekly wrote when highlighting the plans in the May 18 edition of the magazine, Sotherton knows this is not the first time the idea has been tried in British athletics but she is optimistic that the timing is right for it to work.

After being encouraged to pursue the concept by UK Sport’s chief executive Liz Nicholl, Sotherton approached UK Athletics with a vision and plenty of ideas and the governing body has spent much of the past year fine-tuning the proposals and turning them into a practical plan which effectively forms a bridge between the desires and concerns of athletes and the UKA Board.

UKA president, Jason Gardener, said: “I’d like to formally congratulate each of the nine members appointed to the Commission – I am sure each individual will bring their own perspective and insights to the Commission based on their experiences to date, each of which will be as important as the next as we strive to continue delivering excellence as the national governing body for athletics.

“We are keen to achieve a diverse Athletes’ Commission and with the invitation to submit nominations process now extended through to Wednesday 26 July, I would appeal to female, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic), Paralympic and current WCP (World Class Programme) athletes out there who feel they have something to offer to register their interest before this extended deadline.

“Ultimately the Commission will allow for the voices of former and current international athletes’ to be heard by both the UKA board and UKA’s Performance Oversight Committee via a direct line of communication, and the Commission is something we will all benefit from having in place.”