Increased Compensation, Athlete Rights Among Results Of Global Athlete Survey

Global Athlete launched a survey in September of 2019 that provided feedback on current issues such as athlete rights, welfare and representation.

Global Athlete is an international athlete-led movement that aims to collectively address the balance of power between athletes and administrators.

491 athletes responded to the survey, with 48 countries represented from 40 summer and 16 winter sports. 44% of the athletes were actively competing with the sport as their primary confession, 31% competing but not as a primary profession, and 25% were retired. 31% were Olympic athletes, 8% Paralympic athletes, 46% international level and 15% competed nationally.

Key Conclusions

Athlete Welfare

  • Athletes rights are “somewhat respected” by the Paralympic Movement, the International Olympic Committee and International Federations “but more needs to be done”.
  • Verbal abuse, unfair team selection and fear of retribution are athlete’s top concerns.
  • More work needs to be done to support athletes’ rights and to offer athletes a safe place to report concerns.
  • More support required for mental health, sport career transition and ongoing medical care, along with retirement funds and financial planning.
  • Para-athletes want to see improvements to classification rules.

Athlete Compensation

  • Athletes don’t receive the appropriate amount of compensation from the IPC, IOC and National Federations.
  • The IOC, IPC and International Federations should pay athletes for attending their Games.
  • Athletes should have the right to build and sell their own brands at National Competitions, the Olympics and the Paralympics.

Athlete Representation

  • Athletes have a low level of representation.
  • Athletes should have 50% of voting rights within sporting organizations on rules that are being developed that affect them.
  • There is a need for collective independent athlete representation.
  • Athlete committees should be independent of sport federations.

The primary purpose of Global Athlete is to give athletes a more represented voice in the world of sports. You can read more on their website here.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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