What is Great Vegan Athletes (GVA)?
Great Vegan Athletes was formed in 2011 by a small group of vegans interested in sport and fitness.
The aims have always been two-fold: to showcase the range of athletic ability at the higher levels among vegans, and to encourage people of all backgrounds to give veganism a try.
The second of these led us to partner with Veganuary, and every month we encourage people to sign up to their 'Try Vegan this Month' program.
How do we work?
Thanks to the internet and social media in particular we have been able to maintain and establish contact with a number of elite vegan athletes in a variety of sports. Sometimes we hear about them and contact them, sometimes they contact us. We often get told about athletes we may be interested in by fans, friends and family of the athletes or athletes we’re already in touch with. All of these are appreciated, even if they don’t lead to a suitable athlete being identified for a profile on the site. If you have information to send us, please let us know.
We only feature athletes who meet high standards in respect of veganism and athletic achievement, and we have declined or postponed number of athletes on these grounds, which is always a painful decision to make. If we cannot get in touch with an athlete to verify that they’re vegan, we don’t proceed. After we’d been in touch with an athlete, we ask them to approve their profile before we upload it, and some request changes to it. It’s very important to us that we represent athletes fairly. We’re always happy include relevant links on the profile, such as those to their own site or campaigns they’re involved in.
Who is involved?
So far the volunteers have covered everything and we haven't paid wages
Cris is the joint Managing Director (Content) and his main job is to maintain contact with new and existing athletes and keep the site up to date. He’s been vegan since 1990 and has previously trained in distance running, completing two marathons around the 4 hours mark and numerous half marathons, the best in just over 1:30. More recently he’s been weight training and has bench pressed 130kg in the M2 82.5kg division.
Peter is the joint Managing Director (Operations) who deals with much of the technical side of the site and improving the presence of the site globally. Peter has been vegan since 2008 and has degrees in philosophy and applied ethics. Peter looks after the website, technical support and various other digital tools. He's enthusiastic about anything that connects to the internet. In his spare time likes to read/watch sci-fi and repair old computers. Peter went vegetarian in 2006 and vegan in 2008. Away from computers Peter is passionate about strength training.
Linnéa is an avid gym-goer who has tried most types of group training known to mankind, before finding a home in acro yoga. She dabbled in power lifting for a couple of years, her best lift being a 130 kg deadlift at 60 kg bodyweight. Linnéa has been a vegan since 2000. Linnea helps the site by writing content and checking for news.
Tobias helps out with a vairety of technical things; wrestling servers and wrangling code. He's a CrossFit L1 Trainer, BJJ practitioner, and strength aficionado. He likes electronic music, post apocalyptic fiction, and thinks more people should lift heavier things.
Robert manages GVA’s Instagram outreach and aids in analytics work for the site. He went vegetarian in 2013 and vegan in early 2015. He cites GVA’s profiles on strongman, Patrik Baboumian and various vegan bodybuilders as key sources of information that facilitated his switch to a vegan lifestyle. He holds a doctorate in social psychology research and enjoys classical piano, lifting weights, and swimming. His best lift is a 268.2 kg trap bar deadlift at 86.8 kg body weight.
In 2017 we added our 100th athlete. The site gets up to 44,000 visits a month from people from all sorts of people from those with minimal interest in sport right through to those competing at high levels who are considering veganism.