BAC AND BRITISH ROWING JOIN FORCES FOR GROUND-BREAKING ATHLETE-LED SELECTION CONSULTATION PROCESS
The BAC has joined forces with British Rowing to collaborate on a ground-breaking athlete-led consultation
into the National Governing Body’s selection policies, ensuring that the voice of Great Britain’s Olympic and
Paralympic rowers is listened to and acted upon.
British Rowing approached the BAC, as an independent body representing athletes across the highperformance system, to lead on the project after recognising that its policies could be strengthened by
input from athletes.
The BAC’s Athlete Engagement Manager, Kristian Thomas, has led on the consultation, speaking to 48
athletes, and gaining online feedback from 36.
Following this work, Kristian has now presented British Rowing with his report, which the organisation will
use to help form its selection policies and processes for Great Britain representative squads and including
the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Kristian Thomas said:
“We were delighted to be asked to undertake this work by British Rowing. The request shows real
commitment on their behalf to ensuring that the views of their athletes are heard, and the desire to work
alongside the BAC demonstrates the importance they placed on making sure that their athletes were able
to hold open and honest conversations about the selection policy.
“Athletes were very keen to engage with the process and share their thoughts on the many positive aspects
of the current selection policy, and what could be improved going forward.
“The project has given athletes genuine input into a policy that affects them, as well as allowing a National
Governing Body to gain honest and constructive feedback. It’s a model that we believe can be replicated
across multiple sports, and we are grateful to British Rowing for recognising its value.”
British Rowing Chief Executive, Andy Parkinson, added:
“The BAC is playing an increasingly significant role in representing the athlete voice across Olympic and
Paralympic sports and it has been fantastic to work with them on this athlete consultation.
“I, our Director of Performance Brendan Purcell and our performance leadership team place huge value on
the experiences and views of our athletes. The BAC has helped us capture their feedback in a meaningful
way and informed the development of a selection approach for all GB teams for the future.”
During the consultation, the BAC was supported by ex-athlete Jenna Woolven, who added her considerable
knowledge and experience of elite sport and consultation. The consultation team spoke with current and recently retired rowers, and worked to ensure that the sport’s athlete representative group was involved in
discussions around interviewees’ recommendations and suggestions.
About the British Athletes Commission
The British Athletes Commission is the independent representative body of almost 1,400 elite athletes who
form part of the World-Class Programmes of over 40 sports. We exist to support, represent and empower
Great Britain’s elite athletes.
We represent the interests of athletes by providing them with independent, confidential support and
expert advice. In addition to support and advice, we work with our members to ensure the collective
athlete voice is listened to and used to influence future decision-making. We also work to select and
support Athlete Representatives from across the sports system to influence change.
Further information is available at https://britishathletes.org
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