Athletes Commission educates athletes

Namibian Olympic medallist, Gaby Ahrens heads the Athletes Commission.

The Namibian Athletes Commission, headed by two-time Olympian Gaby Ahrens, is increasing its activities and presence in its quest to help all athletes across the country. In this regard, the commission hosted its first ever workshop on 18 July at the Olympic House in Windhoek.

The Athletes commission represents the rights and interests of athletes and makes recommendations to the National Olympic Committee (NNOC) and Namibian Sports Commission. The aim of the workshop was to provide the athletes and their federation representatives with some broad spectrum of information, which they were requested to share with their respective federation and athletes. “It was the first of its kind in Namibia and the feedback was very positive,” Ahrens said after the event which saw 15 people attend.
Lesley Vermeulen, a veteran Lawns Bowls player and Human Resource Manager from accounting giants PWC, talked about conflict management, a field she is confronted with on almost a daily basis. Her information included advise on the various conflicts than occur or can occur frequently between athletes, federations and coaches, stressing the fact that conflict is not always negative, but it also gives opportunity to improve.
Furthermore, Heiko Diehl, Managing Director of Proactive Sports Marketing and Management and holder of a MEMOS degree in sports organization management, introduced the IOC’s Athlete Learning website This site provides especially athletes and coaches with interesting topics and free courses offered by various universities online.
Another highlight of the workshop was the topic of doping. Jason Snyders from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) stressed the importance of educating athletes on the dangers of doping, the list of prohibited substances worldwide and the procedures that athletes need to know before stepping onto the international sports arena.
To further increase their work and help local sports men and women, the Athletes Commission is planning another Workshop in 2015. The date is yet to be set. Topics covered will be misconduct, setting a good example and ADAMS registration for WADA.