28/03/2024- GBR Fencer


Marcus Mepstead appointed to Athlete Advisory Forum to strengthen athlete voice.


Marcus Mepstead is one of 10 current or former British athletes appointed to a new group that reviews elite sporting policies from an athlete perspective. Run by the British Elite Athletes Association, the new Athlete Advisory Forum (AAF) will be chaired by GB Hockey captain Hollie Pearne-Webb in an effort to increase the strength of the athlete voice at the top of decision making in elite sport.

The forum will discuss and feed back on proposals that affect athletes by organisations such as UK Sport, as well as the strategic direction of the BEAA itself, covering topics such as coaching, culture, ED&I, finances, representation, safeguarding, selection, social impact, support and welfare.

Marcus joins a group comprising: Hollie Pearne-Webb (Chair, hockey), Asha Philip (Vice Chair, athletics), Alice Davies (rowing), Dan Greaves (para-athletics), Brad Hall (bobsleigh), James Mazarelo (hockey), Seonaid McIntosh (shooting), Grace Reid (diving) and Kirstie Urwin (sailing).

A double Olympian, Marcus qualified in 2020 as Britain’s only fencer after the sport lost its funding and as the number one athlete in the European Qualification Zone. He also holds a World Championship silver medal and European Games gold, but as importantly has been recognised for his environmental work, winning the IOC Climate Award for sustainable travel.

After being appointed, Marcus commented,

“In joining the AAF, my focus is simple: make things tangibly better for the athletes following in our footsteps. It has been a direction of mine over the last few years (with my sustainable athlete model) but being a part of the AAF allows me to not only directly assist in strategies and policies – ensuring the focus is on the athletes they’re intended to support – but also to dive into the causes and help shape change for the future of all sports in the UK.”

With UK Sport making athlete input into policy development part of its response to the Whyte Review, these athletes will play a crucial role in representing the interests and perspectives of their peers, helping to foster an athlete-centred environment within elite British sport. Find out more about each of them below.

In a recent BEAA athlete survey almost 80% of participants said they thought better connection with athletes in leadership positions was important or very important. As the representative body for Britain’s World Class Programme athletes, the BEAA hopes the AAF will further strengthen the athlete voice within the high-performance system.

Chair Hollie Pearne-Webb said,

“This is a really big step in promoting a diverse range of athlete voices on behalf of the wider community when important decisions are taken. We had many capable applicants but I’m incredibly pleased with the group we’ve selected and look forward to working with stakeholders across elite British sport in the years ahead.”

BEAA CEO Anna Watkins added,

“After a thorough recruitment process, I’m delighted with the calibre of this group and the breadth of experience it can call upon. Putting the athletes’ perspective at the heart of decisions is hugely important, and this forum will work with our partners in elite sport as well as other athlete commissions to further strengthen the athlete voice.”

Athlete Advisory Forum members are appointed for two-year terms, with possible two-year extensions. They will meet roughly six times a year to discuss items selected by the Chair.

Staff wishing to engage the AAF on a subject should email the forum administrator Grace Stanley, who will raise topics for consideration via the Chair. The BEAA will publish top-level summaries of meetings on their website: British Elite Athletes Association


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