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22 October 2007, 02:05 pm
First Meeting For ISAF Athletes' Commission
The Athletes' Commission
Back row (left to right), Roope SUOMALAINEN (FIN), Monica AZON (ESP), Ben BARGER (USA), Marcelien DE KONING (NED). Front row (left to right), Laura BALDWIN (GBR), Andreas KOSMATOPOULOS (GRE), Olga MASLIVETS (UKR)

ISAF Athletes' Commission

Over the weekend of 20-21 October, the ISAF Athletes' Commission met at the ISAF Secretariat in Southampton.
Nominated and elected by their fellow sailors during the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships, the ISAF Athletes' Commission is made up of a representative from each of the eleven Olympic events. The meeting was the first time the Commission had met since their election.

Seven of the Athlete Commission members were able to join the meeting, with the others having the appropriate reason for non-attendance in that they were all competing at regattas. Feedback from all representatives was sought prior to the meeting, to ensure all opinions were included in the wide ranging discussions.

The two day meeting opened with the re-appointment of Marcelien DE KONING (NED) as chairman. Ben BARGER (USA), the representative for the windsurfer men, was appointed as Vice-Chair. With a broad list of issues to consider, the Commission took the approach of an initial group brain storming on each issue before going to break out groups to fully consider and make more detailed recommendations. The detailed recommendations were then presented to the whole group for consensus approval.

As well as considering issues facing elite sailors campaigning for the Olympic Games, the Commission's role also extends to the complete sailing spectrum from entry level through to youth and on to the transition after elite competition.

Amongst the many issues discussed were, Marketing and Media, Communication to/from sailors, World Rankings, Race Management, Equipment and Measurement, Event Management, Athletes' Health, Ethics and Fair Play, Youth, Education, Anti-Doping, new classes, Racing Rules of Sailing, the Olympic Games and ISAF Events.

The Athlete's Commission will also work towards supporting the objectives of the ISAF Strategic Plan.

Committed to working in partnership with the sailors on event issues, ISAF requested the Athletes' Commission to appoint a group who will work directly with ISAF. Marcelien DE KONING, Dan SLATER (NZL) and Olga MASLIVETS (UKR) were appointed to take on this role.

The ISAF Athletes' Commission reports directly to the ISAF Executive Committee. Laura BALDWIN (GBR) and Andreas KOSMATOPOULOS (GRE) will be the Commission representatives who will meet with the ISAF Executive Committee during the 2007 ISAF Annual Conference in Estoril, to provide feedback across the wide range of subjects discussed.

An extremely valuable and productive two days was the consensus of all.

This coming weekend, 27-28 October, DE KONING will be heading off to Dubai to represent the ISAF Athletes' Commission at the IOC Athlete Forum. The IOC Athlete Forum brings together athlete representatives across all Olympic Sports and the IOC Athletes' Commission, which includes windsurfer Barbara KENDALL (NZL). The three main themes of the IOC Athlete Forum are:

1. The involvement of the athlete in the preparations for the Olympic Games
2. Athlete education and career management
3. The athletes' network

The work of the Athletes' Commission will soon be available on a dedicated microsite through the ISAF website. This will also provide for two-way feedback through forums and email signs up to ensure the voice of the sailors is brought directly to the Athletes' Commission and to ISAF.

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