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Frayne appointed to World Athletics Athletes’ Commission

MELBOURNE: Few athletes in Australia’s elite crop are as experienced as three-time Olympian Henry Frayne.

Known for his incredible feats on the long jump runway, Frayne has now leaped into a new role, and one that holds immense promise for athletes worldwide.

His recent appointment to the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission will see the 33-year-old use his wealth of experience and powerful voice to advocate for positive changes within the sport.

As he takes on this new role, he envisions a future where athletes are at the heart of every decision and the spirit of fair competition thrives.

“I’m at the twilight of my career now, and at this point, I really want to ensure the sport is left in a better place for the next generation of athletes,” Frayne said.

“Those who know me know that I can be outspoken and I want to utilise that trait to tackle issues within our sport,” Frayne said.

A vital link between athletes and the global governing body, the World Athletics Athletes’ Commission ensures that the voices of those on the track and field are heard at the highest level of decision making.

“The challenges we face as athletes these days can be really complex, and traditionally, we have been under represented in having a voice on the direction of the sport,” Frayne said.

“It’s only getting harder to make it as a professional athlete, in the sense of training full time without another job, and to have a 10-15 year career like I’ve been lucky enough to have. I’m energised to be a strong athlete advocate and am looking forward to seeing what comes from it.”

Frayne’s vision for the future of athletics encompasses integrity and fairness, and creating more supportive environments for athletes throughout the length of their careers.

Frayne has identified an interest in ensuring athletes’ rights are safeguarded, with an intent to address support systems for athletes surrounding management, coaching, federations and sponsor interactions.

“In our sport the inability to safeguard oneself often comes from the non-lucrative nature of track and field in comparison to other sports. Athletes often aren’t able to invest the time or money to ensure they are getting a fair go because those assets are often in short supply.

With my legal background, I have a real interest in addressing this area of our sport and I hope to offer solutions to situations where athlete are being exploited.”

“I’m also big on accountability. This is because, in my view, it is essential to ensure the integrity of our sport. I believe that if athletes are going to be scrutinised and held to the highest of standards, then the rest of our sport should adhere to similar standards.”

Together with the new Chair of the Commission in New Zealand’s athletics icon Dame Valerie Adams, the pair make up a strong Oceania representation.

“The Chair and Vice Chair have seats and voting rights at World Athletics Council meetings, so it’s great that we have Val as Chair. She will be the Athletes’ Commission’s voice on the Council and will have Oceania’s perspective front of mind. We really couldn’t have stronger representation than we do,” Frayne said.

“It’s important for Australia and New Zealand to have a strong voice as we are two of the most remote countries in the world from an international sporting perspective. We have some unique issues that US and European countries, for example, don’t necessarily face, so I think having us on the Athletes Commission, with those unique views in mind, will help us make a difference,” he said.

For Frayne, this is more than a commission position, but a responsibility he will wholeheartedly embrace.

“My appointment is really new and I haven’t quite got around to addressing how exactly to best represent Australian and Oceanian athletes. As a member of the Athletes’ Commission I represent all athletes, but in particular I want to ensure I am communicating the views of, and advocating for our local athletes and the issues they are facing.”

Elected

Valerie Adams (NZL) throws – chair (2023-2027)

Matthew Hughes (CAN) long distance – deputy chair (2022-2025)

Lisanne de Witte (NED) sprints (2022-2025)

Diego Garcia Carrera (ESP) race walk (2023-2027)

Adam Gemili (GBR) sprints (2023-2027)

Ivet Lalova-Collio (BUL) sprints (2022-2025)

Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) jumps (2023-2027)

Aisha Praught-Leer (JAM) middle distance (2023-2027)

Anna Ryzhykova (UKR) sprints & hurdles (2022-2025)

Lea Sprunger (SUI) sprints & hurdles (2022-2025)

Jasmine Todd (USA) jumps (2023-2027)

Toshikazu Yamanishi (JPN) race walk (2022-2025)

Appointed

Paola Bonilla (ECU) long distance (2023-2027)

Milcah Chemos Cheywa (KEN) middle distance (2023-2027)

German Chiaraviglio (ARG) jumps (2023-2027)

Henry Frayne (AUS) jumps (2023-2027)

Halimah Nakaayi (UGA) middle distance (2023-2027)

Su Bingtian (CHN) sprints (2023-2027)

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