Fell: New BOA role will not throw me off track
HEATHER FELL insists her new role on an athletes' commission will not derail her own 'very real' modern pentathlon ambitions.
Tavistock's Fell is one of six Olympians, chosen by their peers at the start of the year, to serve on the British Olympic Association (BOA) Athletes Commission.
As a commissioner, Fell will fulfil an advisory role which will deliver the athletes' views direct to the BOA.
Fell, who won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, said she was very proud to have been selected and excited about her new role within the Olympic movement.
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The 29-year-old was one of 21 candidates contesting the six places on the commission – all of whom must have competed at an Olympic or Winter Games since Sydney 2000.
The other athletes elected along with Fell are rowers James Cracknell and Katherine Grainger, track and field's Christian Malcolm, diving star Leon Taylor and hockey's Kate Walsh.
Fell will serve a four-year term as a commissioner which will take her up to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
Fell, overlooked for last year's London Games, is a world top 10 ranked modern pentathlete and said she has no intentions of closing the door on her career any time soon.
And that includes the 2016 Games in Brazil, as Fell is not writing herself out of any script, after being disappointed at missing out on London.
In point of fact, the Devonian is training hard in preparation for this year's busy round of events, which get under way next month in the United States at the first World Cup at Palm Springs (February 20-24).
And it is full on after that with events coming thick and fast for the Great Britain star throughout the summer.
But Fell sees no conflict between feeding her own modern pentathlon career ambitions, while at the same time working as an athletes representative.
She said: "No, I don't see any problem at all, in fact, I'm just very proud to have been given the trust of my fellow athletes in what is still a largely new initiative."
The silver medallist at last year's World Cup Final added: "I'm still as keen as ever to compete for Great Britain and keep my world ranking as high as possible – nothing in my mindset has changed there.
"I still get a thrill at competing for my country and have been putting in the hours in training to keep my fitness levels up.
"And clearly, I'm aware of the responsibility that comes with my role on the commission and I'm confident both can be fulfilled.
"Mine and my colleagues' roles within the commission is to give the athletes a channel or voice, if there is something that is worrying them, straight to the BOA.
"The commission came about in part as a recommendation from the IOC (International Olympic Commission) in order to do that – give athletes a voice.
"And that's what myself and the others will be trying our best to achieve.
"It's important the Olympic legacy is upheld and the commission is an important cog in that process.
"However, I will be trying just as hard as an athlete to compete in as many tournaments as I can.
"Although it's not an Olympic year, 2013 is extremely busy for us modern pentathletes and our season has started slightly earlier, too.
"I'm off to Palm Springs and then another World Cup meet in Rio in March and two more to follow in April, plus the European Championships later in the summer – plus the commission duties – so this year should be lots of fun."