The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today announced three time Olympian and former Team GB hockey captain Ben Hawes as the new Chair of its Athletes’ Commission.
Ben first competed for Team GB at Athens 2004 before captaining the side four years later in Beijing. His final Olympic outing was at London 2012 before retiring last year with 99 GB caps to his name, in addition to 128 caps for England.
The 34-year-old, who’s been part of the commission since its inception four years ago, will replace outgoing Chair Sarah Winckless in January 2015 for the start of his four-year term.
Sarah, a three-time Olympic rower and bronze medallist at Athens 2004, has served in the role since 2010 and recently acted as Chef de Mission for Team GB at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
The Athletes’ Commission is an advisory group set up to ensure the viewpoint and interests of all Team GB competitors are at the heart of everything the BOA does.
It looks to represent the interests of past, present and future Olympians by helping the BOA provide better services and support both during competition and after retirement.
The commission has 12 members in total, made up of a mixture of past and present athletes from both summer and winter sports.
Incoming Chair Ben Hawes said: “Competing for Team GB across three Games were the highlights of my sporting career, and continuing to be a part of this by chairing the Athletes’ Commission is a fantastic opportunity. It’s a great time to be part of the Team GB, following the success of Sochi and now the build up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and I can’t wait to get started and offer support to all those involved. Having already seen first-hand the important role the Athletes’ Commission plays within the BOA, I’m delighted to have been chosen for the role.”
Outgoing Chair Sarah Winckless said: “It has been a pleasure to serve as the Athletes’ Commission’s first Chair and the past four years have been a hugely enjoyable experience. My knowledge and understanding of the Olympic environment has been transformed, and the skills and friendships I’ve gained will be invaluable in the years to come. I’ve worked with Ben on the commission throughout my time as Chair and he’s an excellent candidate to take the group forward. I’m really pleased he’s taking on the position.”
BOA CEO Bill Sweeney said: “The athletes that compete for Team GB are the core purpose of the British Olympic Association and the work that the Commission does is crucial for our ability to support them before, during and after an Olympic Games. It’s great to have Ben on board and we’re excited about the future contribution this Athletes’ Commission will make in the run up to Rio and also Pyeongchang in 2018. I would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely than Sarah for the outstanding work that she has done during her term."