Media Release: Advisors added to Gymnastics Independent Review

Anna RobertsonMedia Release

Independent Reviewer David Howman has added two advisors to assist him with his review into Gymnastics New Zealand (Gymnastics NZ).

Mr Howman will be joined by Dr Lesley Nicol—former Silver Ferns captain—qualified Physiotherapist and now a Sport and Exercise Physician, and Rachel Vickery, a former International gymnast and a qualified Physiotherapist. Rachel Vickery is now a Human Behaviour and High Performance Coach.

Mr Howman says Dr Nicol and Rachel Vickery will not only assist him with his investigations, but will be available for anyone coming forward who would feel more comfortable sharing their experiences and observations with a female.

“I am delighted that Rachel and Lesley are joining me in this review. Both have extensive national and international sport experiences as athletes, and each of them has significant sporting expertise in their professional careers.” said Mr Howman.

Gymnastics NZ CEO Tony Compier says the organisation remains committed to ensuring the sport is safe for all participants and sees the addition of Dr Nicol and Rachel Vickery as another positive step towards making that happen.

“Gymnastics NZ had no hesitation in agreeing to David Howman’s request to add Dr Nicol and Rachel Vickery to the Independent Review. We want everyone to feel safe and comfortable sharing their experiences, stories, comments and suggestions as part of the review. We hope the addition of Lesley and Rachel will ensure that is possible, and will build further trust in the review process”, said Mr Compier.

Mr Compier said he would also like to acknowledge the role that the Athletes Federation and the group of athletes they represent have played, and thank them for their valued input into this very important process.

The Independent Review was set up following concerning and distressing allegations of physical and mental abuse from both former and current athletes. 

The scope of the terms of reference for the review ensure that Mr Howman can add resource where necessary, including expert input into the well-being of children and young people should that be required.

Gymnastics NZ continues to encourage everyone currently or previously involved in the sport, who feels they have something to add to the review, to contact the Independent Reviewer, or if they have a specific complaint, they can also access the Independent Complaints Mechanism.  

These contact details can also be found on the Gymnastics NZ website.

ENDS

See also the review website.