Three-time Olympian Aimee Willmott has been elected as the new Athlete Representative to the British Swimming Board.
Nearly a year after she retired from a 12-year career as part of senior British teams in the pool, Aimee (now Aimee Booker) will take up the role which serves as a crucial go-between from the athlete body to the Board, ensuring competitors from across the aquatic disciplines are represented and have their views on all matters voiced as part of a drive for continuous improvement.
Aimee - a previous athlete representative for swimming - will also lead the overall Athlete Representative Group (ARG), interacting with them, other athletes and relevant stakeholders to promote a sustainable performance culture.
The 29-year-old is relishing the chance to get started in this new position out of the water. She said: "I'm really looking forward to working in my new role of Athlete Representative at British Swimming. To be voted in by my old teammates and athletes from other aquatic disciplines is a special feeling.
"It's a real privilege to be able to have a voice for the athletes in a sport I shared most of my life with. It won't only be my 'athlete voice' that I want my fellow board members to hear as I am now retired - I want to give the current athlete voice chance to be heard. I hope to regularly meet with representatives in all aquatic disciplines to hear what they want feeding into the organisation that contributes to their medal-winning success!
"I am sure there will be lots to discuss and I cannot wait to get started."
Aimee and Paralympian James Hollis - a medallist at the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham - were the outstanding two candidates put forward for voting. British Swimming Interim Chair Adele Stach-Kevitz was impressed by all involved in the process and is excited by what Willmott can bring to the position, following on from the successful involvement of two-time Paralympic champion Graham Edmunds.
Stach-Kevitz said: "We are delighted to welcome Aimee on to the British Swimming Board. We know how valuable her insight will be, with athletes' voices at the forefront of her mind - as was the case with her predecessor Graham Edmunds, who we thank for his fantastic service across both his Board terms.
"Aimee's knowledge and experience, both as a swimmer who has competed regularly at the highest level and as a long-established senior leader in the Olympic team, will stand her in great stead.
"Selecting the final two candidates for this vote was a really difficult decision, with Aimee and James impressing most across a high-calibre field. The candidates who nominated themselves for the process were all very impressive, demonstrating a clear passion for engaging with our aquatic disciplines, the board and, most importantly, athletes across all our sports. Seeing the maturity of athletes we have across the aquatics teams bodes very well for the future. We are very excited to have Aimee join the board."
Outgoing Athlete Representative Edmunds reflected on his time in the position by saying: “The most amazing part of the British Swimming Board, which I hadn’t realised before I joined, is how everyone on the Board is so focused on what they can do to help the athletes achieve their goals, including overseeing so many things in the background to ensure athletes don’t have to worry about these areas themselves.
“As an athlete, I was focused on doing the best I could in the pool. Moving to this position, I was able to see events from the other side of the pool, and I enjoyed watching competitions for the first time in a number of years. The elations of victory and the tears of pain were shared, as I knew exactly what it was like to be where that athlete was at that time.
“I really hope that Aimee will have a similarly enjoyable time and get these new experiences in the role, while making an important contribution to the organisation.”