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Willmott and Tai named as members of Team England's Athlete Advisory Panel

Commonwealth gold medallists Aimee Willmott and Alice Tai MBE have officially been named as members of the Athlete Advisory Panel for the Birmingham 2022 Games.

A total of nine athletes from varying sports were named as part of the panel by Commonwealth Games England, with Willmott holding the vice-chair position alongside Denise Lewis OBE, who will chair the panel.

The panel has been created to ensure that preparations are athlete-centred and performance-driven, according to Team England.

They have described it as “a highly experienced collection of English athletes who will discuss a wide range of opportunities and challenges facing the delivery of the host team”.

The group will work with Commonwealth Games England to ensure the best experience possible for athletes.

Between now and the commencement of the Games in July 2022, the panel will meet quarterly to discuss and decide upon various topics.

These will include performance services, kit design, athlete spaces, and the Team England Futures Programme which aims to inspire young athletes.

Para-swimmer Alice Tai MBE will be a defending champion at Birmingham 2022 after her gold medal in the S9 100m Backstroke event at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. She also won a silver medal in the S9 100m Freestyle.

She said: “It’s my absolute honour to be named on the Athlete Advisory Group ahead of Birmingham 2022.

“It allows me to share athletes’ voices and opinions around the Games.

“Hopefully I can make someone’s first Games as special as mine were and help make those amazing memories for them.”

Her teammate, Aimee Willmott, has effectively ruled out defending her Commonwealth Games 400m Individual Medley title on home soil in two years’ time.

The news she was set to join the Athlete Advisory panel originally emerged in April this year.

At the time, Willmott said: “I’m extremely honoured and excited that I’ve been accepted to the board of Commonwealth Games England.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for me. I’ve had such great success at the Commonwealth Games from the age of 17 up until the Gold Coast where I won gold in the pool on night one of the Games.

“I’m just really looking forward to sharing my experiences with the rest of the board and hopefully we can produce great athletes in the next generation coming through.”

Mark England OBE, Team England’s Chef de Mission, highlighted the importance of the panel: “It is so important that the views of athletes are front and centre in our planning and delivery of the Games.

“So I’m thrilled that we’ve formed this Athlete Advisory Group.

“Everyone involved brings relevant experience and insight and I’m looking forward to working closely with this group of athletes to deliver the best experience possible for Team England.

“I’m confident it will be a terrific Games for everyone involved.”

The members in full are:

  • Denise Lewis OBE, Chair – Commonwealth Games England President
  • Aimee Willmott, Vice Chair – Swimming, Commonwealth Games England Board member
  • Ali Jawad – Three-time Paralympian and Commonwealth, Paralympic and World medallist – Para Powerlifting, Commonwealth Games England Board member
  • Alice Tai MBE – Reigning Commonwealth and Olympic champion – Para-swimming
  • Alistair Brownlee MBE – Two-time Commonwealth Gold medallist, double Olympic champion and four time World champion – Triathlon
  • Ama Agbeze – Two-time Commonwealth Games medallist including Gold as part of the Team England squad in 2018 – Netball, Commonwealth Games England Board member
  • Amy Jones – England cricketer and first choice wicket-keeper – Cricket
  • Anyika Onuora – Former sprinter and Olympic, Commonwealth, World and European medallist – Athletics
  • Declan James – Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games medallist – Squash.
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