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uk athletics athletes' commission members 

Chair - Hannah England (1500m) 


Hannah is a World Championship silver medallist in the 1500m and has been a professional athlete since graduating from the University of Birmingham in 2009. She was indoor and outdoor NCAA champion before an international career that has seen her compete at two Commonwealth Games, two European Championships, two World Championships and the 2012 London Olympic Games. 

She is one of the commission's actively competing athletes and hopes that her presence in the competition environment will improve the commission's perspective on what it's like being a current athlete. 

She joined the commission because she is passionate about optimising communication between athletes and our governing body to enable an effective and positive relationship. She is also passionate about the welfare of athletes throughout their career and hopes to see the conversion of more world class athletes into world class coaches. 

Hannah put herself forward for chair of as she felt well-placed to compile and present athlete opinions and is excited about driving the commission's agendas to bring about significant and positive changes. 


Vice-Chair - John Pares (Ultra-Distance)


John Pares is an ex-rugby player turned endurance athlete who won Commonwealth gold and bronze for Wales at 24-hour running in 2011 and 2009 respectively. He represented Great Britain & Northern Ireland at four World and European Championships between 2007 and 2013, and was part of a bronze medal winning team in the latter in 2010. He has also represented Wales five times over the 100km discipline.

Since retiring from the international competition, John has taken over as manager of the British 24-hour team, thus continuing to work closely with athletes at representative level. While working with the squad, he has helped them identify their values of performance, team spirit, longevity and confidence, something equally applicable to him as an individual and to the Athletes’ Commission.

John brings 30 years of international business experience to the role, including HR, project management and Health & Safety, and has worked closely with governments and government authorities.

His main role has always been to develop individuals and high-performing teams by challenging, supporting, coaching and listening, something that is clearly applicable to British Athletics. John has a close affinity with ultra-distance athletes and having competed at the highest level while developing a career outside of athletics, he feels he is experienced to represent all hard-working athletes and is looking forward to making a contribution to the future of our sport through the Athletes Commission.  


Rick Yates
Vice-Chair - Richard Yates (400m Hurdles) 


Richard retired from athletics in 2016 having competed for both England and Great Britain & Northern Ireland for over a decade in the 400m hurdles. Richard is a former British champion and won a bronze medal for England in the 4x400m relay at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India in 2010.  

Richard studied law alongside his athletics career and is now a qualified solicitor specialising in the area of sports law. His involvement in athletics has grown by virtue of his dealings with a number of athletics-related legal matters on a regular basis.  

Richard’s motivations for becoming involved with the Commission are a general passion for the sport and to create a link and further transparency between the governing body and athletes. Richard is also keen to ensure that the views and ideas of the athletes are given sufficient weight at board level with the ultimate aim of driving the sport forwards on a positive basis.  

He hopes to assist the Commission with general legal guidance and has a specific interest in helping athletes with issues stemming from selection and funding related matters.  


Holly Bradshaw (Pole Vault)




Ashley Bryant (Decathlon) 



Abdul Buhari (Discus)


Abdul is a London 2012 Olympian. He won the English and British titles in 2011 in the discus. Following this, he went on to represent Great Britain & Northern Ireland at World and European Championships, and the Olympic Games.  

He is driven by his own experiences and the support network that has assisted in his journey. He recognises the potential to bridge the gap between athletes and the resources available and how the connect is the invaluable difference between success and failure.  

As a commission member, Abdul will focus his efforts in embedding a transitional process from sport to industry. He is a private banker who managed both his career at the bank whilst on his Olympic journey. He understands the importance of the balance of both and is testament of its benefits.


Dan Greaves - (F44 Discus)



Andrew Heyes (3000m / Cross Country)




Stephen Miller
Stephen Miller (F32 Club Throw)


Stephen is a Paralympic athlete who has represented Great Britain for over 20 years, mainly in the F32 club throw event. He has competed in six Paralympic Games, seven World Championships and five European Championships, winning over 27 international medals. 

In 1996 he became Britain's youngest ever track and field Olympic or Paralympic gold medallist at the Atlanta Games. He then went on to be undefeated in all competitions until 2005.

Stephen held the F32 club throw world record from 1997 to 2008 and won gold at both the Sydney and Athens Paralympics, before agonisingly missing out on a third successive title in Beijing, coming away with silver.

At the London 2012 Paralympics, he was named team captain for the British athletics team. After London, Stephen had hip replacement surgery and came back to win bronze at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. 

He was born with cerebral palsy, a form of brain damage that affects signals from the brain to the muscles and makes balance and coordination more difficult than usual. 

Stephen holds a number of positions on boards and committees, including being a member of the World Para Athletics Athlete Advisory Group; secretary of NUDSA (Newcastle United Disabled Supporters Association); and Chairman of Northumberland FA Inclusion Advisory Group. 

In 2013, he FoundedSMILE Through Sport - A non-profit community interest company that aims to inspire, educate and promote the enjoyment of disability sport through training and sport development. As part of his role, Stephen delivers motivational speaking and coaching. 

Stephen is passionate about athletics and joined the Athletes’ Commission to help the development of the sport, improve processes and standard to ensure more people can access the sport and reap the benefits. 


Naomi Ogbeta (Triple Jump) 




Vanessa Wallace

Vanessa Wallace (F34 Shot Put) 

Vanessa is a Paralympic thrower and the current triple British record holder for shot put, javelin and discus in the F34 class. 

She is a student at the University of East London doing her undergraduate in Sports & Exercise Science and is studying for her Athletics Coach licence.

Nessa was appointed to the Inspiration Programme Board for the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships, playing a key role in the organisation ahead of the Championships.

She has joined the Athletes' Commission to be a vocal advocate for all athletes and to encourage and support positive changes within our sport, including in areas such as coach support and the welfare of athletes on the development pathway. 



Richard Whitehead (T61 100m & 200m)