Culture Secretary appoints Chris Boardman MBE as new Chair of Sport England

  • Chris Boardman MBE appointed for four year term
  • Dame Katherine Grainger DBE also reappointed as Chair of UK Sport
  • Appointments place two sporting greats with vast experience of sports governance at the heart of the two bodies responsible for the development of grassroots and elite sport

The news will see Boardman carry out a four year term from 22 July 2021 to 21 July 2025. He takes over from Nick Bitel who has held the post of Chair since 2013, and will play a critical role in supporting and developing grassroots sport and physical activity and getting more people active across the country as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. He will also play a key role in supporting Sport England to deliver on its ambitious 10-year strategy, Uniting the Movement, published earlier this year.

Meanwhile Dame Katherine’s reappointment, which comes weeks ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, will see her carry out an additional four year term at the public body responsible for elite sport from 1 July 2021. She will continue to provide strategic direction to the organisation as it embarks on delivering its new Strategic Plan to create the greatest decade of extraordinary sporting moments; reaching, inspiring and uniting the nation. As Chair, she will also consider and make decisions on recommendations put forward by UK Sport’s various panels.

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:

As we head into a major summer of sport with fans finally returning, the Euros, the Toyko Games, and the Rugby League World Cups to name a few, I am thrilled that we now have two Olympic heroes in Chris and Dame Katherine steering the growth of grassroots and professional sport in this country.

I will be working closely with them as we place sport and physical activity at the heart of our recovery plan to build back better and fitter from this pandemic.

Chris Boardman MBE said:

I am delighted to take up the position of Chair for Sport England. Sport and activity are central to my own life and it’s clear they have a heightened importance for all of us right now. I am looking forward to helping the team bring opportunities to be active to more people than ever before.

Dame Katherine Grainger DBE, UK Sport Chair, said:

I am absolutely thrilled to be reappointed as Chair of UK Sport. I consider it a huge honour to be in this role, especially at an extremely exciting time for Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK with the Tokyo Summer Games about to start and the Beijing Winter Games just around the corner.

Working with CEO Sally Munday and the team at UK Sport, as well as our wider high-performance community of athletes, coaches and staff, has been a real pleasure. As an athlete I experienced the wonderful influence and impact sport can have, and so I am very motivated to continue playing a role in enabling extraordinary moments that enrich lives.

When I was first appointed Chair back in 2017, I was very aware of challenges we faced as a high-performance community and those are challenges I have relished tackling. Having launched our new strategic plan earlier this year, I am determined to do everything I can to help UK Sport fulfil its ambitious mission.

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England, said:

With his background as a successful athlete and his incredible work in transforming attitudes to cycling and activity in our communities, Chris is a fantastic appointment as Chair of Sport England and we’re really looking forward to working with him. As we begin to deliver on our ambitious 10 year strategy ‘Uniting the Movement’, I have no doubt that Chris will play a significant leadership role and play a crucial part in our work to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity.

Chris is building on the fantastic eight years of his predecessor and I am so grateful to Nick for his counsel, support, experience and wisdom during my three years as CEO and for everything he has done to ensure Sport England is in the best possible shape to thrive in the years to come. He has been a brilliant Chair and we have been lucky to have him.

Sally Munday, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said:

Katherine has had a hugely positive impact on the UK high performance community during her first term as UK Sport Chair.

She has been instrumental in shaping our new 10 year Strategic Plan and I’m delighted she will be Chairing the organisation as we set about implementing that new strategy. She is an outstanding leader, an inclusive chair-person and drawing on her experiences as one of Britain’s most successful Olympic athletes, her ability to navigate and lead through significant change and challenge is without question.

I’ve seen first-hand her passion, energy and determination for continuous improvement and that’s why I’m so excited about what UK Sport and the wider Olympic and Paralympic high performance community can achieve over the coming decade. Our mission to create the greatest decade of extraordinary sporting moments; reaching, inspiring and uniting the nation is something I know is very close to Katherine’s heart and a big driver for her wanting to undertake a second term.

I’d also like to thank Katherine for the support she’s offered me over my 18 months as CEO and look forward to what we can achieve as an organisation during what I’m certain will be an extremely exciting period for Olympic and Paralympic sport in this country.

The Chair of Sport England is remunerated at a rate of £40,000 per annum and the UK Sport Chair is remunerated at £60,000 per annum. This appointment and reappointment have been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments.

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