INTERVIEW – Emma Mason on the 2013 Athletes’ Commission Elections

As votes come in for the BWF Athletes’ Commission elections, Badzine spoke to current vice-chair Emma Mason (pictured) about the organisation and what it does for the players. By Michael […]

As votes come in for the Athletes’ Commission elections, Badzine spoke to current vice-chair Emma Mason (pictured) about the organisation and what it does for the players.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives).

This time round, a star-studded line up are standing for the three positions available on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Athletes’ Commission: Imogen Bankier (Scotland), Cai Yun (China), Koo Kien Keat (Malysia), Kaveh Mehrabi (Iran), Greysia Polii (Indonesia), Yuhan Tan (Belgium), Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (Denmark) and Wang Xin (China). The votes will be counted and announced on Thursday 7th March.

Badzine: Firstly what is the Athletes’ Commission?

Emma Mason: The Athletes’ commission was set up in 2008, and is a six-membered, peer elected body that represents the views players have and deals with the issues they might face throughout their careers. It is the direct line between the players and the Badminton World Federation, as the chair of the commission; currently Kaveh Mehrabi (Iran) sits on the BWF council.

Badzine: So when are the elections and how do they work?

Mason: The elections happen every two years, when three new members stand to replace the incumbents who will have sat on the commission for a total of four years. The players must vote for one male representative, one female and then a third of either gender. This time round the elections took place over four days, at two of the big tournaments. I’m here collecting the votes at the All England Championships and Rodrigo Pachecho Carrillo was collecting them last week at the German Open.

Badzine: Why did you stand for the Athletes’ Commission?

Mason: I was already a member when I retired in 2011, but it is a way for me to give back to the sport. We help players, who are our friends and colleagues, ensuring that the athletes voices are heard. We hope to aid the players by providing a pathway for them to communicate their issues and aim to improve the sport for them where possible.

Badzine: What’s it been like?

Mason: It’s been great to work with such a great group of people. All the members whilst I’ve been here have been hugely committed. I’m sure the new members will be just as committed and I’m excited for any fresh ideas they will bring in with them.

Badzine: So what is the change you are proudest to have overseen?

Mason: Well the commission is a relatively new to the world of badminton, so we’ve been really glad to see its profile raised significantly whilst I’ve been on the panel. Kaveh Mehrabi (pictured right) in particular, as well as all the members have been great at this and we’ve really seen the players more aware of us.

Badzine: There are some very well known players standing this year, that’s obviously testament to your increasing reputation.

Mason: Yes, definitely. We’ve seen the biggest turnout for these elections and obvious we’re really delighted with it, particularly with the enthusiasm shown for the process from those standing and voting.

Badzine: Any parting comments?

Mason: I’m just really happy to be a part of this and see it flourish. I’m looking forward to when the commission sits down for its first meeting after the votes are counted and the new members instated, to get back to discussing the issues, both new and old.

Many thanks to Emma Mason, who gave up her time in what was a very busy schedule during time for this interview.

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