Douglas & Gleeson elected Athlete Reps

Douglas & Gleeson elected Athlete Reps

Montell Douglas and Nick Gleeson have been elected as the Athlete Representatives for the British Bobsleigh teams this season.

The pair will act as the voice of the athlete group in discussions with team management as the squads step up their preparations for the Olympic Winter Games in February of next year.

They will become a key part of the programme’s communication processes and will ensure regular contact and flow of information both from and to the athletes, as well as providing an additional check and balance between performance strategy and delivery.

Douglas, who was a summer Olympian in 2008 and part of the Team GB squad at the Winter Games in 2018, and Gleeson, who became the country’s youngest-ever Olympic bobsledder in PyeongChang three years ago, were elected by their peers and will hold the roles for the next 12 months.

“I’m really honoured to be nominated as an athlete rep for the coming Olympic season,” said Douglas, a former British 100m record holder who has been part of the British Bobsleigh set up since the summer of 2016.

With all the battles we as athletes have had to contend with over the past year, let alone the adversity we've overcome within this Olympic cycle up until now, I want to be a true voice for the athletes and hope to make a difference that will impact the current climate within British Bobsleigh and beyond.

“It’s very important for athletes to have their own voice in this day and age of sport and I feel that an athlete rep is exactly what is needed,” added Gleeson, who finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships with Brad Hall and has fast become a senior figure in the squad despite being just 23 years of age. 

With the 2022 Winter Olympics quickly approaching, it is very important that we stay in contact with the Performance Management Group (PMG) and ensure that the athletes heading towards the Olympic start block are being given the best opportunity to perform.

"The athlete rep positions will be key to ensuring athlete needs and ideas are presented along the way to ensure a route to success. It allows all athletes within the BBSA - from development through to Olympic level - to express any concerns or questions that they may have and to receive a professional and truthful answer in reply.

“Having good communication between the athletes and the PMG is only going to benefit us in the long run: it will allow us to negate any ‘fake news’ which may be spread between the athletes (it always happens!) and it will also help the PMG organise the yearly calendar by allowing Montell and myself to add athlete advice on matters which we think may benefit the wider athlete pool.

“I also believe it’s a good move for helping the BBSA grow post the 2021/22 season to bring in the next generation of bobsleigh athletes. The athlete reps will play a key role in helping them understand the sport and the standards they need to meet ensure they follow a pathway to success.

“Personally, I see it as a good role within BBSA during my athletic career - it allows me to gain a much better understanding of the link between management and the athletes and I’m looking forward to it.”