Former high jump star Brendan Williams of Dominica has been confirmed as the new Chair of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Athletes Advisory Commission (AAC), becoming the first Caribbean athlete in history to lead the athletes commission of a major International Sports Federation.
Williams, who competed for Dominica in the Commonwealth Games at Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014, has been the Caribbean representative on the CGF AAC since its formation in 2018.
He is also Chair of the Dominica Athletes Commission, a Board member of the Dominica Olympic Committee and serves on the athletes commission of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC).
Williams will become the new AAC Chair, as well as the Athletes Representative on the CGF Executive Board, from today (March 31, 2021) until the conclusion of the 2023 CGF General Assembly.
Williams replaces former hockey player Rhona Toft as the AAC Chair. Toft is Scotland’s most decorated and leading goal-scorer, who represented her country at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games.
CGF President Dame Louise Martin DBE said: “I could not be more delighted to see Brendan become the new Chair of the CGF Athletes Advisory Commission.
Brendan will be an exceptional leader of the AAC and an inspirational representative for all Commonwealth athletes at a time when the athlete voice in global sport has never been more needed or more important.
This is a special moment for Commonwealth Sport in Dominica and across the Caribbean and I know that the entire region will be enormously proud of him.
Finally, I would like to thank Rhona for her huge commitment and support to the Movement as she helped established the AAC as part of our Governance.”
New CGF AAC Chair Brendan Williams said: “I am honoured to be named as the new Chair of the CGF Athletes Advisory Commission. My ambition is to proudly represent every Commonwealth athlete and to ensure that the athlete voice is at the heart of absolutely everything the Commonwealth Sport Movement does.
This is a proud moment for me and my family but also everyone involved in sport in Dominica and across the Caribbean.
It shows that no matter how small the island, this Movement is built on equality and opportunity. I am excited to bring my experience and perspectives to the AAC and the Executive Board and working with all of the Commonwealth regions, members and athletes to support and drive an athlete-centred approach.
I must also pay tribute to Rhona, who is a great friend and mentor to me, and I look forward to building on her legacy.”
Former CGF AAC Chair Rhona Toft said: “I am so proud of what the CGF Athletes Advisory Commission has achieved and honoured to have played a role in helping to establish the group at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
As the AAC begins an exciting new chapter, I could not be more thrilled to see Brendan appointed as my successor.
The AAC could not wish for a better or more capable individual to champion the athlete voice and I look forward to working closely with Brendan as he transitions into the role.”
Dominica Commonwealth Games Association (DCGA) President Billy Doctrove said: “When the DCGA made the recommendation for Brendan to serve as the Caribbean Representative on the CGF AAC in 2018, we never in our slightest dreams thought he would have gone on to become the Chair in just three short years.
From 2018, Brendan has hit the road running and impressed everyone in the CGF with his commitment and enthusiasm in his role. He has displayed an exceptionally high standard of leadership and we are indeed very proud of his achievement.
To have become the first Caribbean athlete in history to lead the Athletes Commission of a major International Sports Federation, again following a strong recommendation by the DCGA, shows in no uncertain manner the high regard and respect that his peers have of him and also in the leadership of the DCGA.
We have absolutely no doubt that Brendan will be a success in his new role and we guarantee our continued support and encouragement to him as he seeks to provide excellent, inspirational leadership and representation to athletes throughout the Caribbean and beyond. We offer our sincere congratulations to him, a most wonderful and genuine individual and we wish him the very best.”
About the CGF Athletes Advisory Commission
The members of the Athletes Advisory Commission are:
Brendan Williams (Chair): Dominica, Athletics (High Jump), 2010 and 2014 Games.
Natalie Du Toit (para-sport representative): South Africa, Swimming, seven-time Commonwealth Gold medallist at 2002, 2006 and 2010 Games;
Dr Nicole Forrester: Canada, Athletics (High Jump), Commonwealth Gold medal (2010) and Bronze (2002);
Colin Gregor: Scotland, Rugby Sevens, 2006 and 2014 Games and Captain from 2009-2014;
Lim Heem Wei: Singapore, Gymnastics, competed at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning silver in 2010
Lechezdani Luza: Botswana, Boxing (51kg), 2006 and Commonwealth Silver medallist at 2002 Games;
Alison Shanks: New Zealand, Track Cycling, 2006 and Commonwealth Gold medallist (3000m Individual Pursuit) at 2010 Games;
About the CGF
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is the organisation that is responsible for the direction and control of the Commonwealth Games, and for delivering on the vision of the Commonwealth Sports Movement: through sport, we build peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities across the Commonwealth.