Dame Valerie Adams elected as World Athletics Athletes’ Commission Chair

Photo: Producers of ‘More than Gold’

New Zealand athletics icon Dame Valerie Adams has been elected as World Athletics Athletes’ Commission chair following the first meeting of its membership this week.

The double Olympic shot put gold medallist and eight time world champion (four outdoors and four indoors) is serving her third term on the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission. In 2019 she was elected as deputy chair.

The election of Dame Valerie further cements her rising influence in global athletics. She also currently serves as chair of the Oceania Athletics Athletes’ Commission and was formerly chair of the Athletics NZ Athletes’ Commission.

Elected to the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission as chair will ensure Dame Valerie will also continue to be one of two athlete representatives on the World Athletics Council.

Both the chair and deputy chair of the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission are full voting members of the sport’s decision-making body.

Canadian 3000m steeplechase record-holder Matthew Hughes was elected as deputy chair of the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission.

The 26-member Council also includes a second Kiwi, former Athletics NZ Board Chair Annette Purvis, who secured election in Budapest in August.

Dame Valerie Adams said after serving as deputy chair of the Athletes’ Commission during her previous term, she was honoured and excited to have been elected as chair by her peers.

“The Commission plays a vital role in representing the voices and interests of athletes in our sport, and I am committed to continuing the work done by my predecessor.

“With the support of the Commission and the entire sporting community, we will strive to create a positive and empowering environment for athletes to thrive.

“I look forward to working closely with my fellow Commission members to make a lasting and beneficial impact on our sport world-wide.”

Athletics NZ chief executive Cam Mitchell said the election of Dame Valerie as chair was testament to the respect and status she held within the global sport.

“We are confident Dame Val will be a terrific chair of the Athletes’ Commission and an outstanding voice for athletes in the sport.

“Meanwhile, we are also excited and proud that not only Dame Val, but her fellow New Zealander Annette Purvis will be a part of the World Athletics Council, ensuring a strong Kiwi presence on the pivotal decision-making body within the sport.”

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