Hugh Robertson kicks off the recruitment process for new leaders.
We are looking to recruit two high-calibre individuals to replace UK Sport chair Baroness Sue Campbell and Sport England chair Richard Lewis, who will both step down from their posts in the first quarter of this year.
The new chairs of UK Sport and Sport England will be tasked to help keep up the momentum for sport at the elite end and at the grassroots respectively, following the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
UK Sport - leading elite sport
UK Sport helped Team GB and Paralympics GB land a record medal haul at the Games with the UK finishing third in the medal tables at both the Olympics and Paralympics. The elite sport funding body announced in December that it will not rest on its laurels and has already made clear that the target is for both Olympic and Paralympic teams to win more medals in Rio 2016 than in London 2012. The chair of UK Sport will help the body create a stronger, more sustainable elite sport system that will support world-class British athletes.
Sport England - increasing sports participation
Sport England has played a pivotal role in increasing sports participation since London won the bid to host the Games. A record 15.5 million people are playing sport once a week, up by 1.6 million on 2005. In the last 12 months alone 750,000 more people are playing sport once a week. The chair of Sport England will help deliver the body’s £1 billion youth and community sport strategy to increase participation further and encourage a culture where people have a sporting habit for life.
Robertson thanked Sue Campbell and Richard Lewis for their dedicated service. Campbell has “led the transformation of elite sport in this country… and deserves great credit”, while Lewis has been an “excellent chair” who has laid “the foundations for an extremely strong sports legacy from London 2012.” He added that, thanks to the pair, “from the grassroots to the elite, sport is in the best possible health.”
Developing a shared approach - but no full merger
Robertson also announced that UK Sport and Sport England will be tasked to build on their work in 2012 - to develop a shared strategic approach on issues such as sports governance and talent management - but added there would not be a full merger of the two organisations. However, he wants to drive further synergies between both bodies with UK Sport and Sport England co-located by 2014, sharing some back office services. This will help reduce administrative costs over this Spending Review period.