Sun | Oct 17, 2021

Dacres ready to serve

Published:Friday | December 27, 2019 | 12:00 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer

World Championship silver medallist Fedrick Dacres believes that he has the mindset necessary to effect change for Olympic athletes.

Dacres will be among the 30 candidates seeking to be a part of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes Commission (AC).

The candidates, who span across 30 countries and 19 summer sports, will vie for four available positions in the 23-member group, of which 12 are voted in by the athletes.

Dacres said that he was humbled by the opportunity to serve the sport in this capacity.

“It’s a good feeling. I am just honoured even to be selected and to be nominated. To be a part of the IOC, it really would be a good stepping stone. I’m grateful that my nomination was accepted and I am now a part of the 30. It’s a good feeling and, hopefully, we can do it right,” Dacres told The Gleaner.

The 25-year-old initially thought that he wasn’t ready for such an important role, but had his concerns eased by Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) President Christopher Samuda, who gave him his seal of approval.

“I thought I was a bit too young, because I am just coming into track and field and just becoming a full athlete in terms of accomplishment,” he said. “I thought I was a bit young and inexperienced, but (Samuda) said that he has faith in me and he would really like for me to run for the post, and I said OK.”

Balancing act

He will be balancing his preparations for the Olympics with building a mandate that seeks to convince his fellow athletes to put him in the committee. He feels that his frank personality will help in getting things done. He also said that it was very important that Jamaica be a part of the discussions on an international level.

“I don’t like the fluff. I don’t like to beat around the bush and all that. I think that if something needs to be said, it should be said, and I think that’s what I bring. I think I am a very straightforward person and ... to me, that’s a big thing,” he said.

“We are a small country and I think we don’t have as much people as the USA and all of that. I think to have a small island there, it really gives hope to other small islands that we are actually making waves and making ground.”

Samuda echoed the sentiments of Dacres, emphasising the need for the country to have a seat at the table in crafting policy.

“We had nominated him because we felt that Fedrick has the sport credentials. But separate and apart from that, I think Fedrick has a lot to contribute in terms of policymaking on behalf of athletes, and certainly at that level, Jamaica needs a voice because we are very influential, particularly in track and field, and I think we have a lot to contribute to policymaking on the Athletes Commission,” Samuda said.

The elections to replace the four members, whose terms are set to conclude, will take place at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

The outgoing members are IOC AC Chair Kirsty Coventry (Zimbabwe), Vice-Chair Danka Bartekova (Slovakia), Tony Estanguet (France) and James Tomkins (Australia).

Polls will be open from July 14 to August 4, 2020.