Following the release of the Charter of Athletes’ Rights by the Australian Athletes’ Alliance on Wednesday, Sydney stars Jarrad McVeigh and Ted Richards have endorsed the four policies that form its foundation.
The Charter, that includes 15 fundamental rights and responsibilities for each professional Australian athlete, has been developed following a period in which the governance of Australian sport has been called into question.
Speaking at the launch of the Charter, McVeigh echoed the words of AAA General Secretary Brendan Schwab in believing this was a big first step in the right direction for Australian sport.
“Professional athletes are people first, and athletes second,” said McVeigh.
“The role of player associations is important to ensure athletes’ views are taken into consideration and given appropriate weight” – Ted Richards
“Despite the enormous demands and privileges of their profession, they are entitled to the same rights as all hard working Australians.”
The AAA will use the Charter to ensure specified standards are reached in the treatment and compensation of athletes and to increase the accountability of sports’ governing bodies for issues of common interest.
The four foundation policies of the Charter are headed by Good Governance, Integrity, Athlete Development & Wellbeing and Health & Safety.
Swans full-back Ted Richards highlighted the role of the Players’ Association in the establishment of the Charter, saying a strong athlete voice is the key to creating positive change among all sports.
“The role of player associations is important to ensure athletes’ views are taken into consideration and given appropriate weight,” said Richards.
“In the AFL we are fortunate to be represented by a strong and respected Association that has the best interests of both players and the game at heart.”
Fellow Swans defender Jarrad McVeigh agreed.
“Through players being united in support of the work being done by the Players’ Association with the AFL and clubs, we are fortunate to have the large majority of these arrangements in place, but there is always a need for continuous improvement in these areas.”
The Charter can be viewed in full here.