England Athletics Athlete Panel

Athlete panel collage

The Athlete Panel is an athlete representative panel which will provide feedback, advice and support England Athletics and the Board with key areas impacting domestic competition and participation in the sport.

The Athlete Panel aims to represent the voice of competitive athletes taking part in all disciplines and event groups at every level of competition.

The Athlete Panel was formed in 2024, with members all serving a two-year term. The panel members also work closely with the UKA Athletes’ Commission, who represent the voice of elite athletes competing at the highest level in sport.

England Athletics Athlete Panel Members

Beck Bennett

Beccka Bennett

Year of birth: 1998
Home town/city: Worcester

Beck’s passion for the sport was shaped by her father, an athletics coach, who coached her from the age of 11. After competing through her teenage years in cross country and on the track at 1500m, Beck still describes athletics as an ‘integral’ part of her life, and she regularly runs long distance recreationally and takes part in grassroots competitions.

In Beck’s own words: “I want to drive a collaborative approach with individuals from around the country from a variety of backgrounds, in order to improve the provision of the sport from grassroot to elite level.

“I am enthusiastic about driving engagement and I would love to give athletes at all levels a voice to promote inclusion and increase retention in athletics.

I hope that collectively as a group, we can listen to the voice of the athlete and act accordingly to better improve athletics. Retention is a key target of work that I would like the group to tackle; I believe the group can ignite the excitement and love that athletics brings to so many people, including myself.”


email: bbennett@englandathletics.org
Instagram: @beck___bennett

Dan Putnam

Dan Putnam

Year of birth: 1991
Home town/city: Chelmsford

A self-coached sprinter, Essex-based Dan won national titles at every age group over 200m and 400m, and represented both England and Great Britain on numerous occasions. He recently won the England Senior Championships title for the first time, and has also embarked on a coaching career.

In Dan’s own words: “I wanted to be a member of the panel as I believe athletics has the potential to have a huge future, but has been largely untapped to this point. I think there is disconnect between the athletes and those higher up in the decision making processes in athletics, and I want to help to bridge that gap.

“I believe as a group we can really provide the missing link between the competitors and the organisers, and become a lifeline for athletics in the UK. I believe that a lot of the elements that make track and field great are slowly dying in the UK, and as a group I hope we can inject some energy back into the way things are shaped in our sport.”

email: dputnam@englandathletics.org
Twitter (X): @putnam33
Instagram: @danputnam

Ella Fryer

Ella Fryer

Year of birth: 2004
Home town/city: London

Ella competes primarily over 400m and 800m, and has been part of England Athletics’ Youth and Junior Talent Programmes. A BUCS medallist in the 4x400m, she is on the Athletics Club committee at Oxford University, and also competes for St Mary’s Richmond and Thames Valley Harriers.

In Ella’s own words: “I wanted to be a member of the panel to use my experiences in the sport to help drive positive change, especially in regard to the youth system and teenage drop-out, as well as looking into other areas such as increasing equality in competition access and further growing the sport at a grassroots level.

“I hope the group can become an invaluable link between the athletics community and England Athletics, to ensure that as many opinions as possible are heard and so that the sport can be shaped according to the interests of everybody involved.”


email: efryer@englandathletics.org
Instagram: @ellafryer_

Ellen Barber

Ellen Barber

Year of birth: 1997
Home town/city: Harrogate

Heptathlete Ellen has a PB of 6028, which met the qualifying standard for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. She also has a strong record domestically, winning senior outdoor and under-23 indoor national titles.

In Ellen’s own words: “I wanted to become a panel member for many reasons. To firstly represent and help combined events and athletes on the circuit, making sure inclusion and participation within the sport is paramount but to also positively transform the experience of heptathlon/decathlon not only for the athletes but for the spectators, officials and staff.

“I would like to create more opportunities for combined eventers to represent their country internationally and to be more involved in championships, getting the recognition for the hard work we put in, especially with the enormous legacy combined events holds within athletics.

“I would like to create a culture within combined events that is enjoyable, competitive and exciting for all athletes at all levels that will make us all reach our full potential. This not only creates better performances, but keeps talented athletes in the sport, thereby creating more opportunities for medals and transition to world class performance.

“I hope as a group we celebrate the athlete by achieving all of the above but mostly by being the sounding board for all the athletes to help positively change their current experience. This will all stem from clear communication and informative action.”

email: ebarber@englandthletics.org
Twitter (X): @ellen_barber
Instagram: @ellen_barber

Harrison Mayne

Harrison Mayne

Year of birth: 2003
Home town/city: Redditch

Harrison has competed since he was nine, representing Loughborough Students over 1500m and 5000m, and in cross country, where he has also competed for Worcestershire and the Midlands. During an injury lay-off, he set up a social media company, and has since worked within athletics media for a variety of organisations.

In Harrison’s own words: “I wanted to be a member of this panel to help athletes of all ages and abilities to gain the same experiences and opportunities that the sport gave me. I also feel that as a sport, athletics is beginning to change through technology and innovative formatting of events, but this is all happening at a global level. To tailor these changes to athletes in England we have to understand what they want.

“I hope the panel can connect to as many athletes as possible and utilise all avenues to access every demographic within the sport. I hope we can facilitate change that benefits all and that we can create the foundations of a long-term, sustained conversation between athletes and the governing body.”

email: hmayne@englandathletics.org
Twitter (X): @harrisonrmayne
Instagram: @harrison.r.mayne
LinkedIn: Harrison Mayne

James McCrae

James McCrae

Year of birth: 1997
Home town/city: Newark

James competes across a range of distances on the track, road and cross country, having got into athletics whilst at school. He continued to compete during his time at the University of Birmingham, and now runs for Hallamshire Harriers, and has won the northern indoor 1500m (2019) and outdoor 1500m (2022).

In James’ own words: “I wanted to be on the panel to help give something back to the sport and to try and help it evolve. I think there are things that the sport is doing well that we don’t shout enough about, and I want to promote those, but equally there are challenges, such as falling participation, that I want to work with others on the panel to try and address. I’m hoping we can keep the important traditions of the sport whilst promoting a few new ideas too.

“I believe that the panel’s main task is to be a voice for all athletes competing across all levels of the sport, and I’m hoping the group can highlight key issues athletes are facing to England Athletics and hopefully brainstorm some good solutions for them. I want athletes to be aware of our work, and be comfortable coming to us with feedback about the sport that we can use in our discussions. I’m hoping the group can be innovative, and come up with some cool ideas to improve competitions in the sport in particular too.”

email: jmccrae@englandathletics.org
Twitter: @JamesMcCrazy15
Instagram: @mccrazy15

John Beattie

John Beattie

Year of birth: 1996
Home town/city: Retford

John began his athletics career as a 16-year-old, and his journey has taken him all the way through to Great Britain and England representation, including an appearance at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. John has since switched to coaching, and runs his own business.

In John’s own words: “To build my coaching business, I’ve had to learn how to understand clients’ desires, provide value and keep things exciting so that they stay and want more. All of these things will also enhance the sport of athletics as a whole, so I’m excited to join the athlete panel and use my athletics and business experience in a new way.

“I am keen that the panel be used to give athletes a louder voice. Governing bodies, competitions and events, and clubs could all be improved if they listened to athletes more and gave them more input into decision making. Ultimately the sport of athletics is first and foremost about athletes and they have to be listened to.”

email: jbeattie@englandathletics.org
Instagram: @johnrwbeattie

Laura Weightman

Laura Weightman

Year of birth: 1991
Home town/city: Leeds

A Commonwealth and European medallist and a double Olympian, Laura called time on her illustrious athletics career in October 2023. She also has considerable experience as a coach, and has worked as a Performance Lifestyle Advisor, supporting the development of young athletes.

In Laura’s own words: “I am passionate in giving back to the sport that has given me so much and contributing to the future of athletics. I am eager to represent the athletics community as a relatable and informed voice to encourage open conversations with athletes of all levels to support the development of athletics as a whole. As a group I hope we can combine all our own personal experiences and engage with the wider athletics community to share the collective athlete voice.”

email: lweightman@englandathletics.org
Twitter (X): @lauraweightman
: @lauraweightman1

Nisha Desai

Nisha Desai

Year of birth: 1984
Home town/city: Nottingham

Nisha’s involvement in the sport spans 30 years, from a cross county and middle distance runner to a 10-time Northern champion over 400m hurdles, England representative, and European Masters champion in the W35 category. She is also involved in supporting athletes at her former clubs – Morpeth Harriers and Trafford – and coaches at Amber Valley and Erewash.

In Nisha’s own words: “I wanted to become a panel member so that I could contribute to advancing our sport at club and championship level, and give back to the sport that has given me so much. I feel it is important that we keep looking at innovative ways to engage with all athletes at all levels within our sport, as it should be fully inclusive.

“I am hoping as a group we can help to make some changes that will improve the overall experience of participation and competition for the athletes, coaches and parents within the sport and bring back some of the excitement, buzz and enjoyment to all competitions.”

email: ndesai@englandathletics.org
Twitter (X)
: @nisha400hdesai
Instagram: @nisha400hd

Tor Bennett-Williams

Tor Bennett-Williams

Year of birth: 1998
Home town/city: Northampton

Tor has earned multiple medals in his home region of the West Midlands, and has also claimed a British Universities title. Away from competing, he has a coaching background, and has worked on the delivery of major events including the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

In Tor’s own words: “With nearly half my life dedicated to athletics as both an athlete and coach for clubs such as Wolverhampton & Bilston AC and Birchfield Harriers AC, I understand the sport’s challenges. My goal is to minimise these challenges and contribute to shaping the sport for the benefit of all stakeholders.

“As part of an exciting cohort I want to build a strong foundation for the future. I am eager to delve deep into the core issues affecting athletics, identifying root causes, and formulating plans to mitigate these challenges. By doing so, I aim to ignite a powerful flame that not only addresses the current issues but also lays the groundwork for a legacy by making sustainable changes in the sport.”

email: tbennettwilliams@englandathletics.org
Instagram: @torbennettwilliams
LinkedIn: Tor Bennett Williams CMOISH

Zac Shaw

Zac Shaw

Year of birth: 1995
Home town/city: Grimsby

Zac has represented both England and Great Britain in the T12 and T13 classes for a number of years, claiming medals at world and European level, as well as winning silver in front of a home crowd at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

In Zac’s own words: “I’m really passionate to be part of the panel and help England Athletics’ vision of inclusion, specifically around disability sport. In the group we have some incredible people from various backgrounds and experiences; together, I hope we can collaborate to give the athletes a voice in this sport.”

email: zshaw@englandathletics.org
Twitter (X): @shawzac
Instagram: @shawzac