The newly-reconstituted World Taekwondo Athletes’ Committee has elected Jordan’s Nadin Dewani and France’s Pascal Gentil as its chairpersons.
Both retired athletes, they were elected on the sidelines of the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships here.
Nadin Dawani, a member of the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission, became the first Jordanian taekwondo player to win an Asian title in 2012 and carried her country's flag at the Olympic Games in London that same year.
She served as Jordan's Chef de Mission at Rio 2016, where fellow taekwondo athlete Ahmad Abughaush claimed a first gold medal for the nation.
Gentil, meanwhile, is a two-time Olympic medallist, having won men’s over 80 kilograms bronze at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, and a world silver medallist from 1995 in the Philippines' capital Manila.
"The most important thing is engagement; for the athletes to be aware of what is going on in taekwondo and for them to know about the different educational programmes, such as Olympic Solidarity," he said of his agenda.
"Many countries do not know about this programme, so how can they use it?
"This is about giving back to the sport."
Dewani added: "For me it is about communication, about how to communicate with the athletes.
"Their voices need to be heard.
"When we were athletes we spoke, but nobody heard us, so now it is for us to solve the issue."
Opening channels of communication with the athletes is the Committee’s top priority.
"This is something we have to work on," Dewani said.
Early meetings between the Committee and the sport’s players could be ad-hoc and informal, on the sidelines of upcoming events, Gentil added.
"Being here and being at the Grand Prix and the other main events in the different regions, we will take the opportunity to hold meetings to make the athletes aware of what we are doing," he said.
The two Committee heads will serve four-year terms, starting today.
They both have also become automatic members of the World Taekwondo Council.
The World Taekwondo Athletes’ Committee had long been dormant, but with the new mission to be more athlete-centric and more committee-centric, it was rejuvenated on the sidelines of the World Taekwondo Grand Prix-Final in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku in December.