The Voice of Great Britain's Elite Athletes
The British Athletes Commission (BAC) is a member’s association for individuals who have represented their Home Nation or Great Britain across a broad range of sports. The recognised sports cover disciplines for able-bodied athletes and for those with disabilities. Most of the recognised sports are Olympic and Paralympic, but not exclusively so.
The Athlete Advisory Group (AAG) is a small body of elite athletes past and present that represents the members in the recognised sports of the BAC. Its main purpose is to inform the BAC Board and executive on the organisation’s position regarding athlete related matters and to assist in the BAC in decision-making and setting strategy within the context of the high-performance sporting environment.
Terms of Reference
Click here to view the Athlete Advisory Group (AAG) Terms of Reference - Athlete Advisory Group TOR March 2017.pdf
Sarah Davies (Member of AAG since August 2017, Weightlifting)
Sarah started weightlifting in 2011 whilst at university studying to be a PE teacher. Since then she has competed at 3 world championships, 4 European championships and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
She was also the first British person to win the European under 23 Championships in 2015. Recently she finished 6th at the World Championships which was Britain’s highest finish for 15 years.
Frances Houghton (AAG Member August 2017 onwards, Rowing)
Fran is originally from Oxford, but now living in Cornwall since retiring from her professional rowing career in 2016.
She competed for Great Britain from the age of 14 to 35, winning 4 World titles and 3 Olympic Silver medals, and was the first British woman to be selected for 5 Olympic Games (Sydney - Rio).
Silver in Rio was the first ever Olympic medal for a British Women’s 8+.
Currently she works as a mentor for the True Athlete Project, and with GB rowing, and has recently been appointed Independent Athlete Advisor to GB Shooting.
Outside of sport she is a trained cook, speaks Spanish and loves walking. (Photo courtesy of Nick Middleton Photography).
David Hill (AAG Member, Paralympic Swimming and Paralympic Triathlon)
David grew up in Exmouth and at the age of 3, his parents, Gill and James, taught him to swim, as they wanted him to be safe and competent in water. He started to complete his swimming badges pretty much straight away and his parents also taught his older sister, Keira, to swim. She enjoyed training regularly with Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society (ES&LSS) and as he grew older, David became intrigued by her willingness to train and some sibling competitiveness took over. He went along to a training session with her and loved the social aspect the club brought and was keen to progress up the lanes to become the best that he could be.
David finished his 15-year career as 2 x Paralympian in Swimming & Triathlon, World & European Medallist, British Champion and ParalympicGB's Youngest Athlete at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games and Top 10 Finisher in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. David is also now Head Coach at Exmouth Swimming Club where he took his first strokes as a 3-year-old.
Abdul Buhari (Athletics)
Abdul's energy and passion for athletics encouraged him to put himself forward for the committee position. He is driven by his own experiences and the support network that has assisted in his journey. He recognises the potential to bridge the gap between athletes and resources available and how the connect is the invaluable difference between success and failure.
As a committee member Abdul will focus his efforts in embedding a transitional process from sport to industry. He is a Private Banker who managed both his career at the bank whilst on his Olympic journey. He understands the importance of the balance of both and is testament of its benefits.
Kate Richardson-Walsh (Hockey)
Kate Richardson-Walsh is a retired British female hockey player who captained GB for 13 years. Making her international debut in 1999, Kate’s international career spanned over 17 years with more than 370 appearances for her county. In 2016, she became the most capped female player in her country’s history. Alongside her GB honours, Kate captained England since 2003 where she won the European Championships in 2015 and secured two bronze and two silvers in four successive Commonwealth Games.
After winning bronze in the London 2012 Olympics, Kate’s greatest achievement as a player came at the Rio Olympics where she was instrumental in leading GB to their first ever women’s hockey gold medal. In winning gold Kate also made history in becoming one half of the first same-sex married couple to win an Olympic medal playing in the same team. Some of Kate’s individual honours include being shortlisted for the FIH World Player of the Year, winning Team GB Hockey’s Athlete of the Year, twice winning the prestigious Hockey Writers’ Player of the Year, and in 2017 was awarded an OBE for her services to hockey. Kate was also nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award in December 2016.
Since retirement, Kate has turned towards using her experiences in coaching, motivational speaking and in ambassadorial roles. Kate frequently visits schools and clubs to encourage grassroots development of the game, whether that be through coaching or speaking at events. Kate also regularly presents at corporate events to provide businesses with valuable insight in the world of elite sport, helping them to develop leadership and communication in the workplace.
She currently serves as an ambassador for the Women’s Sport Trust, strongly supports disability hockey as an ambassador for Access Sport, and uses her knowledge of elite sport to support current athletes in her role as Athlete Advisor on the BAC AAG. Kate has also previously sat on the British and European Olympic Athlete’s Commissions.
Martyn Bernard (Athletics)
Martyn started competing in athletics at the age of 8, his parents thought it would be a great way to burn off some of his endless energy.
It was a few years before Martyn moved from 800m to the high jump, but he never looked back.
During Martyn’s high jump career he achieved his dream of becoming an Olympian in 2008 Beijing. He also won four national titles, and medals in the European Championships, Commonwealth Games and World Cup.
Over the course of Martyn’s athletics career he gained degrees in Law and psychology. Martyn has also worked with a number of charities such as Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Street Games, Sporting Champions, Walkabout Foundation, Hoops Aid, and Right to Play. Martyn takes great pleasure in working with charities and sharing his passion for sport.
Heather Fell (Modern Pentathlon)
Heather is an Olympic silver medallist in Modern Pentathlon and former world number one. Despite having her funding withdrawn after university, Heather forced her way back into the GB squad with a series strong performances that ultimately secured her the opportunity to compete at the Beijing Games in 2008.
Since retiring from full time sport Heather has gone on to discover other sports and try new adventures such as cycling from John O’Groates to Lands End and sailing across the Atlantic in the Clipper yacht race.
Heather has been a member of the BAC Athletes Advisory Group since 2009. She also served on the British Olympic Association’s Athletes Commission for four years and currently chairs the Team Bath Athletes Forum.
Heather now competes in triathlon as an amateur athlete and stepped up to Ironman distance last year qualifying for the world championships in Kona at her first race. When not training for triathlon she is working within the sport as a presenter on the triathlon YouTube channel Global Triathlon Network.
New Members - currently awaiting profiles:
Graham Edmunds (Swimming)
Graham Edmunds is the athlete representative on the British Swimming board and in his time as a Para-Swimmer he competed at three Paralympics Games and won gold in Beijing and Athens in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay (34pts).
In 2010 Graham was appointed to UK Anti-Doping's newly formed Athlete's Committee along with fellow Paralympian Helene Raynsford
In 2013 he was reappointed to the Athletes Committee of UK Anti-Doping for a further three years.
Lawrence Clarke (Athletics)
Joel Cassells (Rowing)
Andrew Burns (Judo)
Matt Lister (Canoeing)
Liz Johnson (Para-Swimming)