Ukraine’s Viktoriya Koval enjoyed a fruitful archery career that included several World Cup medals and an Olympic appearance at Beijing 2008. Now, however, she is more focused on representing the interests of her fellow archers within the Olympic Movement and shaping the future of the sport. Here, she discusses how the commission is putting athletes’ needs first.

  • World Archery Athletes’ Commission chair Viktoriya Koval explains how the commission is ensuring young athletes have access to key education programmes
  • Athletes from different sports often have the same problems, and should work together to solve them, she says
  • The global athlete community will discuss key issues at the upcoming 2019 International Athletes’ Forum

I love our great sport and have enjoyed being a part of the international archers’ community, but I wanted to play a more active role, knowing about all the important news and changes that take place. I want to help make it better, and as chair of World Archery’s Athletes’ Commission, you become a member of the World Archery Executive Board, so you are able to make an even greater difference.

I discuss a lot of important topics with the other commission members, such as the latest rules and the needs of our athletes. We then give proposals to World Archery or their committees. We also share information with active archers about the various programmes that are available to them, like scholarships or post-sport career advice.

Vision for the future

In the short-term, we are discussing rule changes, ensuring we have a friendly atmosphere among all competitors and a strong connection with World Archery. We are also focusing on providing athletes with all the necessary information on topics such as doping, education and other programmes, particularly for young archers.

In the long-term, we are aiming for a stronger connection with the IOC, other International Federations (IFs) and WADA. We need to protect the interests of archers both on the field and off the field. We also want to help establish athletes’ committees within all National Federations and make archery more popular throughout the world.

We need to work together to better communicate clean sport, especially to young athletes

A united front

We have the same problems, no matter what sport. All of us are fighting issues such as doping, which are discrediting sport as a whole. We need to work together to better communicate clean sport, especially to young athletes and have a strong answer for those who break the rules.

Working closely with athletes from different sports is very important as we can learn from each other and create new possibilities.

Athlete representatives from all IFs and National Olympic Committees will be able to share best practices and discuss key issues at the 2019 International Athletes’ Forum, which will take place on 13-15 April. To find out more about the Forum and how you can participate, click here.

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