HomeNews ArticlesParalympic gold medalist Ellie Cole adds voice for safer sport
Australian Dolphins | 09 March 2022

Paralympic gold medalist Ellie Cole adds voice for safer sport

Four-time Paralympian and six-time world record holder Ellie Cole has joined Sport Integrity Australia’s Athlete Advisory Group to provide an athlete voice on sport integrity issues.

The role of the Athlete Advisory Group, which includes 12 athletes from Olympic, Paralympic and professional sports, is to inform the Sport Integrity Australia policies and strategies which impact athletes, drawing on their insights into the pressures and influences that can threaten the integrity of sport.

With an incredible 17 Paralympic medals and an Order of Australia Medal, Cole is one of Australia’s most accomplished Paralympians. She says she chose to join the Group to help provide a safe, fair and inclusive environment for athletes from grassroots all the way to elite sport. 

“As athletes we have a wealth of lived experience to provide to Sport Integrity Australia,” Cole says.

 “The biggest challenge in this space is for athletes to have a comprehensive understanding of what currently threatens integrity,” she says. “Sport Integrity Australia do a fantastic job in educating its members on what these threats look like and how to mitigate these threats.”

When it comes to sport integrity Cole, who is also an Executive Member of the Australian Swimmers Association, is most passionate about member protection.

 “I have a particular interest in protecting members of sporting organisations from bullying, intimidation, harassment and discrimination,” she says.

  Sport Integrity Australia CEO David Sharpe says to truly understand the pressures within sports the agency needs to work closely in partnership with everyone who holds a piece to the puzzle – and that includes athletes. 

 “I couldn’t be happier to have Ellie on the Advisory Group,” Sharpe says. “She joins a team of athletes, all whom are leaders in their sport, to help us ensure that no one in sport is left behind.”

 Sharpe says that the athletes’ voice has never been more important. 

 The Athlete Advisory Group :

Ellie Cole4 x Paralympian, 6 x world record holder, Executive Member of the Australian Swimmers Association.
Bronwen Knox4 x Olympian (water polo), 2 x Olympic Bronze medallist, Sport Integrity Australia education presenter.  
Damon Kelly2 x Olympian, 2 x National Champion, former Australian Weightlifting Federation board director. 
Cassie FienMarathon runner. Won 2016 Oceania Half Marathon Championships. Sanctioned athlete. 
Jenna O’HeaAustralian Opals Captain, Lifeline Mental Health Ambassador.
Jonathan GoerlachParalympic triathlete, 5 x Australian National Paratriathlon Champion, Member of World Triathlon Athlete Committee.
Katrina FanningMost capped female rugby league player in the world when she retired. Board Member, Canberra Raiders & Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council.
Bronwen DownieOlympic rower, 2 x World Rowing Championship Gold medallist. Former NSW State board member. 
Blake Gaudry2 x Olympic trampolinist, 11x Australian National Champion, Athletes’ representative. 
Tom SymondsRugby league player, Players Operations Manager at Rugby League Players Association. 
Sam PoolmanRetired professional netball player, Board Member Australia Netball Players Association. 
Eric MackenzieWest Coast Eagles AFL player, AFL Players Association players’ delegate, International Testing Agency athlete ambassador.