Athletes’ Commissions in NOCs

ONOC takes credit for being the first IOC Continental Association within the Olympic Movement to have an Athletes’ Commission in every Member NOC.

ONOC is the first Continental Association to give funds to its Athletes’ Commission.

Following the establishment of the ONOC Athletes’ Commission, one of the key activities of its founding Chair Barbara Kendall (NZL), was to promote the concept of athletes’ commissions at National Olympic Committee (NOC) level within Oceania.

This outstanding legacy is being sustained and expanded by Karo Lelai (PNG) who is the current Chair of the ONOC Athletes’ Commission. Given that establishment is only one part of the structure toward delivering Agenda 2020 Recommendation 18, much of the ONOC Athletes’ Commission focus is on planning and implementation of activities that keep athletes’ engaged in overall governance, decision-making and safeguarding and championing of athletes within Oceania throughout the Quadrennial. 

This work finds further growth and depth in the ONOC Athletes’ Commission work linked to Agenda 2020+5 Recommendations 3, 4 and 5 in the 2021 to 2024 Quadrennial.

Every Member NOC Athletes’ Commission of ONOC, engages by way of an Annual Athletes’ Forum where recommendations are prioritised and put forward as a guide for the ONOC Athletes’ Commission to implement. Every annual forum reviews progress of the implementation of these recommendations and adds or amends as per discussion. This ensures that the interests of athletes remain at the forefront of both NOC and ONOC levels.

Contribution to ANOC and the Olympic Movement

It also finds representation at ANOC where Karo Lelai is Chair of ANOC Athletes’ Commission and at IOC level where she is IOC AC Liaison. She is joined at the IOC AC level by James Tomkins (AUS) and Sarah Walker (NZL) who are both IOC Members and members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

One of the largest contributions the ONOC has made to the Olympic Movement is through its contribution to the creation of the Toolkit on establishing Athletes’ Commission at NOC level. This work was led by Barbara Kendall and Natanya Potoi. 

The suite of resources can be found in a toolkit shared by ANOC.


Establishment of an NOC Athletes' Commission


Governance and representation

At the 2019 International Athletes’ Forum, athlete representatives lobbied for strengthening of financial support to Athletes’ Commissions at NOC level and other sporting organisations. From 2020, the IOC has created the NOC Athletes’ Commission Activity Grant - an annual grant of USD10,000 available to every NOC toward the support of athletes.

The NOC ACs in Oceania meet to elect representatives and Executive positions for the ONOC Athletes’ Commission representing their voice at Continental Association level. 

The directory below provides the names of all NOC level Chairs of Athletes’ Commission within ONOC.

ONOC NOC Athletes' Commissions

Directory of AC Executives