Athlete Leaders Network Media Release27 January 2023
DJ Forbes Appointed General Manager of Athlete Leaders Network
*Please note: DJ Forbes and Sarah Cowley Ross will be available for interviews at 1130 this morning at Royal Akarana Yacht Club in Orakei, Auckland. Please RSVP to Lewis Hampton. Rugby Sevens legend DJ Forbes has been appointed General Manager of the newly formed Athlete Leaders Network (ALN). The ALN is a new, sector wide athlete platform set to increase the strength and mana of the athlete voice by ensuring that athlete perspectives are brought into decision-making across the high-performance sport system. Forbes will bring a wealth of athlete experience to the role, having captained the All Blacks Sevens at more than 80 tournaments. He has won six Sevens Series World Titles and is a Commonwealth Games gold and silver medallist. In 2017 he received the Kirk Award, in recognition of the work he carried out with the NZRPA (New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association) which included developing the women’s Sevens game, advocating for Sevens Olympic inclusion, and improving player welfare and wellbeing standards. Forbes brings additional athlete voice experience to the role, having been the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s Athlete Engagement Manager for the past four years. Forbes is leaving the NZOC to take up the newly created ALN General Manager role. “I’m really pleased to be granted this opportunity and I’m looking forward to ensuring New Zealand’s athletes are empowered to increase their influence in decision making across the high-performance sport sector,” said Forbes. “As a former athlete I understand the importance of having a platform to share our experiences and perspectives, and I’m excited to help grow this new mechanism.” “Our first job is to grow awareness and we’ll be working to make sure that all the athletes out there in the New Zealand system know what the ALN is and how to connect with us. “We’ll also be connecting with sports, bringing the ALN representatives together for meetings and continuing to upskill and empower our athletes. By empowering athletes to have more of a say in decisions which affect them, important matters including wellbeing will be at the forefront of conversations within sports.” As General Manager Forbes will be responsible for leading and developing the ALN. He will manage the operations of the network and is specifically responsible for helping athletes grow skills that will empower the athlete voice within National Sporting Organisations and across the sporting sector, allowing athletes to have more of a say in decisions which affect them. ALN Interim Board Member Sarah Cowley Ross says Forbes brings a wealth of advocacy and leadership experience to the role. “DJ is a considered leader and a passionate advocate for athletes,” said Cowley Ross. “He has lived the athlete experience and also has valuable experience in the advocacy space. DJ brings a huge amount of mana to the role and we’re really pleased to appoint him as General Manager.” Forbes was appointed by the ALN Interim Board and will begin in the role in February. The ALN Interim Board comprises Sarah Cowley Ross (NZOC Athlete’s Commission Chair) Ben Sandford (former WADA Athlete Committee Chair), Anna Taylor (Paralympics New Zealand Athletes’ Council member), Troy Garton (Boxing ALN representative) and Marcus Daniell (Tennis ALN representative). A full board recruitment process will be undertaken shortly.
ENDS For further information please contact: NZOC Communications and Content Manager Lewis Hampton +64 27 451 8090