14 June 2017
Following a nomination procedure the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) has today announced the composition of a new Athlete Commission for the period 2017-20. The role of the Commission is to advise the OCI Executive Committee on all athlete related matters and to ensure that the voice of Irish athletes is heard in all future OCI decision making.
Six nominations for the Commission were received from OCI Members. These were as follows:
• Derval O’Rourke (Athletics)
• Judy Reynolds (Equestrian)
• David Harte (Hockey)
• Shane O’Connor (Snowsports)
• Melanie Nocher (Swimming)
• Gavin Noble (Triathlon)
The OCI Executive Board met on June 7th 2017 and agreed that the Athlete Commission would benefit from all six candidates who represent a mix of summer individual/team and winter sports and so all six were appointed. The OCI Executive Board also appointed three additional Olympians to the Commission:
• David Gillick (Athletics)
• James Nolan (Athletics)
• Kenneth Egan (Boxing).
The nine person Commission will have its first meeting later this month at which it will select a chairperson who will become a member of OCI Executive Committee.
Speaking today OCI President Sarah Keane said; “The new Athletes Commission announced today will have a very important role in the future decision making of the OCI. The OCI Executive Committee is very grateful that so many talented Olympians have agreed to make themselves available to participate in this Commission and to speak on behalf of all Irish Olympians. We want to ensure that athletes have a strong voice at the OCI board table and this Commission will allow that to happen. I look forward to working with the Commission over the coming four years.”
Contact: Aileen Gaskin: 087 772 4717 or Olive Stephens 085 853 5647
Kenneth Egan from Clondalkin, Dublin best known for winning a Silver Medal in the final of the 81 kg, Light-Heavyweight boxing final at the 2008 Olympics. He won the European Gold Medal in the 2008 Athens Olympic Qualifiers and a European Bronze Medal in 2006 and 2010 at Light-heavyweight. The former boxing champion works as an addiction counsellor and is a Fine Gael councillor representing Clondalkin on South Dublin County Council.
David Gillick specialised in the 400 metres and he won the European Indoor Championship in 2005 and 2007, as well as the Irish National Outdoor Championship in 2006 & 2007. He set the Irish Indoor record of 45.52 seconds in the 2007 final. The time also beat the Irish outdoor record of 45.58 and was within the Olympic 'A' qualifying standard for the 2008 Games. On 4 July 2009 he ran 44.77 seconds in a race in Madrid to set a new national record. David is currently involved in media work and was a winner of TV Celebrity Masterchef 2013.
Irish international runner from 1996 until 2008 and two time Olympian David specialised in the 800 metres between 1996 and 2000 before changing to the 1500 metres. Having graduated from UCD in 2008, with a BSc in sports management James is currently head of athletics with the Paralympic Council of Ireland.
Gavin was a professional triathlete from 1999 to 2013. He represented Northern Ireland at the 2002 & 2006 Commonwealth Games and Ireland in the European Cup and World Cup campaigns. He competed for Ireland in the London 2012 Olympics in the men's triathlon. He was ranked 4th in Europe (2008), European Cup Winner (2006), Asian Cup winner 2011 and multiple European, World Championship, World Cup and World Triathlon Series Grand Finalist. Gavin currently works with Wilson Hartnell /Ogilvy as head of digital content and social.
Judy is an Irish Olympic dressage rider. Representing Ireland she participated at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Reynolds also competed at World Equestrian Games (in 2006, 2010 and 2014) and at three European Dressage Championships (in 2007, 2011 and 2015). Reynolds participated at two editions of Dressage World Cup finals (in 2016 and 2017). This year Judy became the first Irish dressage rider to qualify for the World Cup finals where she placed 4th. She was named the Irish dressage Rider of the Year in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
David is a professional hockey player from Kinsale in Co Cork. He is a qualified physical education and biology teacher having graduated from DCU in 2010 with an honours degree. David then moved to Holland and has been playing hockey professionally in the Dutch hockey league for the last seven seasons. He captioned Ireland to the Rio Olympic Games and has 187 caps for his country to date.
Melanie was an Irish swimming champion. She competed at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics in the women's 100 metre and 200m backstroke. She won a bronze medal at the European Short Course Championships 2012 and was Irish National Champion six times before she was 19.
Derval is a former track and field athlete, competing in the sprint hurdles. She competed at 3 Olympics Games. Derval was World Indoor Champion and a four time European athletics medallist. Derval is the Irish record holder in the 60 meter and 100 meter hurdles. Today Derval is a bestselling author who works in the health and fitness sector as the founder of Fit Foodie, a healthy lifestyle brand that creates solutions to eat well and keep moving.
Shane is an ex-alpine ski racer who represented Ireland in five World Championships and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. He was born in Dublin and began his skiing career at the age of five. Shane currently works a full-time job as the Head of Technology Risk and Security Assurance for a proprietary trading firm in Dublin’s IFSC.
What is the Athletes Commission?
The Olympic Council of Ireland Athletes Commission represents the athletes of the member National Federations of the Olympic Council of Ireland.
An eligible athlete is an athlete who participated in either of the last 2 Olympic Summer or Winter Games previous to the General Meeting which elects him/her.
The appointees shall have participated in an Olympic Summer or Winter Games.
Role of the Commission
a) To ensure that the athlete’s point of view is taken into account in OCI decision making
b) The OCI Athletes Commission is a consultative body of the OCI and acts as a voice for the Irish athletes.
c) To ensure strong channels of communication are in place for athlete specific issues at the appropriate level.
d) To respect the rights of athletes within the Olympic Movement and to draw up recommendations to that effect.
e) To put forward nominations for representatives to sit on other OCI commissions and working groups when requested
f) Upon election to prepare strategic goals for approval by the Executive Committee for the next Olympic Cycle.
g) To prepare an annual plan each year to be submitted to Executive Committee for approval.
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