Olympian Chelsea Edghill elected to chair Athletes’ Commission

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The Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) on Tuesday announced the establishment of the long-awaited Athletes’ Commission.

According to the GOA, this Commission will comprise athletes who have represented Guyana at multi-sport Games, Regional Games and/or participated in National Championships within the past eight years.

As described in its Mission Statement, the Commission will ensure the viewpoints of athletes are placed at the heart of the GOA’s decisions, serve as an effective link between athletes and the GOA and maximise support and lobby for increased participation of athletes of Guyana through Olympic Solidarity and other programmes.

The GOA expressed thanks to Tiffany Solomon, Rondel McArthur and Joshua Griffith, who were appointed to a steering committee in early 2020, for their diligent efforts in drafting the Constitution, which will form the framework of the Commission.

In April 2022, affiliated National Federations were invited to nominate athletes to serve on the Commission. Six Federations responded, nominating a total of 12 athletes; in addition to the three on the Steering Committee.

A meeting was subsequently convened to select the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson to lead this new Commission. Nine of the 15 nominees attended and voted in Olympian Table Tennis player Chelsea Edghill as Chairperson and Joshua Griffith as Vice-Chair.

The athletes expressed joy at the formation of the Athletes’ Commission, stating that it is long overdue and can only augur well for Guyana’s athletes.

They stated that the athletes go to Games and know what the challenges are; adding that this will be an opportunity for the voices of the athletes to be heard.

They noted that if they work together, collectively, across all of the sports disciplines, changes can be made from the athletes’ perspective.

The executive members of the GOA welcomed the members of the Commission and urged them to meet as soon as possible to start working.

They were told that the resources of the GOA are at their disposal. They were also reminded that while doing the work of the Commission, they represent all athletes.

Under the soon-to-be-adopted updated Constitution of the GOA, a representative of the Athletes Commission sits on the Executive Committee, two representatives are included among the Members of the Association and attend Council Meetings and the Commission is entitled to one vote for the election of Officers of the Association.

Aliann Pompey OLY, four-time Olympian and President of the Panam Sports Athlete Commission, said, “I know first-hand the effort and hard work that went into making this day happen. It’s a critical step for athletes in Guyana; the implications cannot be over-stated. Thanks to the GOA for staying with this process to the end. Congratulations to Chelsea, the Commission Chair.”

The establishment of the Athletes’ Commission is an exciting accomplishment and the members of the executive look forward to working with them for the benefit of the athletes.

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