The Athletes’ Commission, made up of current and recent high performance athletes, provides a mechanism for the views of high performance athletes to be heard, and helps to ensure athlete wellbeing is appropriately considered by Athletics New Zealand. The current Athletes’ Commission members: Dame Valerie Adams (chair), Sarah Cowley-Ross, Quentin Rew, Anna Grimaldi, Eliza McCartney, Julia Ratcliffe, Tom Walsh, Malcolm Hicks and Lucy Oliver.
Athletes Commission Terms of Reference here
Profiles on the Athletes’ Commission members
Dame Valerie Adams (Chair)
One of the all-time greats of New Zealand athletics, Dame Valerie enjoyed an unparalleled career of shot put success spanning more than 20 years.
A World U18 and U20 shot put gold medallist, the Auckland-based thrower later went on to enjoy a dazzling career as a senior athlete. Dame Valerie won two gold, one silver and one bronze medal across five Olympic Games, and also claimed eight world titles (four indoor and four outdoor). Across five Commonwealth Games she also won three gold and two silver medals. From 2006 to 2014 she was unbeaten across 107 competitions, and in 2014 was named Female World Athlete of the Year.
Dame Valerie holds the Oceania shot put record with 21.24m.
A versatile all-round athlete and now an accomplished broadcaster and writer as well as Athletics NZ selector, few people are as immersed in the sport as Sarah.
A former winner of New Zealand titles in four different events (100m hurdles, long jump, high jump and heptathlon), she also represented her country in heptathlon at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2012 London Olympics. Sarah later specialised in high jump, finishing ninth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Today she is a regular writer for LockerRoom and a highly regarded athletics commentator for Sky Sport.
The most outstanding New Zealand male race walker of his generation boasts a proud international career spanning more than a decade.
A New Zealand record-holder for the 20km (1:21:12) and 50km (3:46:29) race walks, he most notably excelled in the latter event. A five-time World Championship representative and three-time Olympian, Quentin’s highlights include a 12th place finish in the 50km race walk at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and a tenth place in the 50km race walk at the 2015 World Championships. In 2018 he also finished fifth in the 20km race walk at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
One of New Zealand’s leading Para Athletes, Anna made her international debut when winning long jump T47 bronze at the 2015 IPC World Championships. The following year she announced herself as a major star when, at the age of 19, she claimed a stunning long jump T47 gold medal with her last jump in the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
In 2019 Anna claimed long jump silver at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai before retaining her Paralympic title at the Tokyo 2020 Games with a Paralympic record leap of 5.76m. She also holds the national long jump T47 record with a best of 5.91m.
Among the most engaging and popular New Zealand athletes of recent times, the Auckland-based pole vaulter is one of the world’s finest at her craft.
After winning a World U20 bronze medal in 2014, just two years later she made a huge impact when winning bronze at the Rio Olympic Games at the age of just 19. More success followed in 2018 when placing fourth at the World Indoor Championships, and later that year she added a silver at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Her national record of 4.94m – also set in 2018 – sits number five on the all-time outdoor world rankings.
One of New Zealand’s most accomplished throwers over the past decade, the hammer ace has consistently delivered her best on the big occasion. Raised in Hamilton, the Princeton University graduate finished fourth at the 2012 World U20 Championships, and two years later won Commonwealth Games silver in Glasgow.
Four years later she went one place better at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to strike gold. Julia also impressed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, placing ninth. She set her personal best and then national record of 73.55m when winning the 2021 New Zealand title.
A top-quality performer when it counts, Tom has consistently harvested medals on the biggest stage. A winner of successive Olympic bronze medals at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, he has also claimed three world titles with 2016 and 2018 World Indoor victories, and in 2017 a world outdoor success.
Tom also won silver (2014) and gold (2018) medals at the Commonwealth Games. His monster lifetime best effort of 22.90m earned him bronze at the 2019 World Championships and elevated him to sixth on the all-time shot put world rankings.
An accomplished all-round endurance runner, Malcolm has enjoyed a proud career both domestically and on the international stage. A winner of New Zealand senior titles on the track, road and cross country, it has however since been his move up to the marathon where he has most impressed.
In 2019 he finished an excellent 27th in hot and humid conditions in the marathon at the Doha World Championships. He also represented New Zealand over the 42.2km distance at the Tokyo Olympic Games. His PB of 2:10:04 set at the Seville Marathon places him fourth on the all-time New Zealand rankings.
One of New Zealand’s leading female distance runners of the recent past, Lucy excelled over both the 1500m and 5000m.
Running her slick 1500m PB of 4:05.78 in San Diego – which still sits second on the all-time New Zealand rankings for the distance – later that year she ran at the London Olympic Games, reaching the 1500m semi-finals. In 2014 she featured at both the Commonwealth Games and World Indoor Championships, and in 2016 competed at her second Olympic Games in Rio in the 5000m. She retired shortly after Rio and worked as a Care and Protection Social Worker. Today she is a stay-at-home mum with two daughters.