Rod Carr Becomes UK Sport Chairman & Nick Bitel Chosen as Chairman of Sport England

April 22, 2013

UK Sport have appointed Rod Carr CBE, vialis 40mg the former Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Performance Director and Chief Executive, as their new Chairman, whilst Nick Bitel, the former CEO of London Marathon has been appointed as Chairman of Sport England.

The appointment comes as UK Sport embarks on the new Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic cycle, investing a record £355 million of National Lottery and Government funding into Britain’s athletes, with the aim to win even more medals in Rio than were won at London 2012.

Carr brings a wealth of experience to the role, having worked in high performance sailing, largely at the RYA leading one of Great Britain’s most successful Olympic programmes, for over 30 years. His experience spans various roles including coach, Performance Director and Deputy Chef de Mission at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Rod Carr said: “Having worked in the British sporting system and with UK Sport for many years, I feel honoured to be entrusted with leading this high performing organisation into the Rio cycle.

“Our job is to ensure our Olympic and Paralympic athletes are best placed to keep delivering those magical moments that we all enjoyed last summer, to inspire the next generation for many years to come. The ambitious goal to win more medals in Rio will be our toughest challenge yet, but I’m confident that we can deliver.

“I look forward to working with our partners, particularly the four home country sports councils, to ensure we are better aligned than ever before, to continue to develop British sport and the system supporting our athletes, which is already highly regarded around the world.”

Over the past 10 years, Carr has been a valued member of the UK Sport Board, and also acted as a Panel member for UK Sport’s Mission 2012 performance monitoring process, offering guidance and expertise across all sports, which helped produce the incredible medal hauls by Team GB and ParalympicsGB at last summer’s Games. Over the past year Carr also contributed to evaluation panels for ‘project Rio’, which helped inform UK Sport’s investment allocations for Olympic and Paralympic sports in the Rio cycle.

Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said: “The appointment of Rod Carr as Chair of UK Sport is fantastic news for the high performance community.

“Rod has excellent credentials; having led one of our most successful world class programmes he knows exactly what it takes for sports and athletes to reach and remain at the top of their game for a prolonged period of time. Rod is respected by our Board members and staff for his contribution and commitment over the last 10 years as a UK Sport Board member. He will be a fantastic leader for the organisation as we look to use the platform created by London 2012 to develop a stronger more sustainable high performance system.

“I’d like to take this opportunity, on behalf of UK Sport, our partners and the athletes we’ve supported, to publicly thank our outgoing Chair Baroness Sue Campbell for her outstanding leadership over the past 10 years. Sue played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of our athletes last summer and securing the fantastic position we are now in, with the support of Government and The National Lottery, to aim for an even better performance in Rio.”

Lord Sebastian Coe, British Olympic Association Chairman, said: “I look forward to working with Rod and Nick Bitel, as Chair of Sport England, as we seek to build upon last year’s remarkable summer of sport and inspire people of every age to take up sport and benefit from its life-changing values. London 2012 should represent the beginning of a new era for sport in our country, and our partners at UK Sport and Sport England can count on the full support of the British Olympic Association in building upon the momentum from those remarkable Games.”

Nick Bitel appointed Chairman of Sport England

Nick Bitel has also become the new chairman of Sport England, the government agency in charge of grassroots sports.

Bitel takes over from Richard Lewis, but the way in which he was appointed has been questioned by some.

Bitel, tasked with strengthening grassroots sport across the country, said: “I am delighted to be joining Sport England at what is a very exciting time for the organisation.

“London 2012 has given us a huge opportunity to deliver a real boost for community sport and Sport England is central to achieving this.”

An interview panel lead by Sir Keith Mills originally recommended Grey Thompson as chairman of UK Sport with Bitel proposed as the new chair of Sport England.

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson overruled the panel, but Monday’s appointments showed another change in opinion and Shadow Sports Minister Clive Efford demanded answers.

Efford said: “The government must come clean about a process where a significant about-turn was made at the last minute.

“The sources that I have tell me that the government had decided on Nick Bitel as vice-chairman and then for some strange reason changed that decision.

“I think both Nick and Tanni are excellent candidates but what is wrong here is the shabby and shambolic way the government has made this appointment.

“This is unfortunate for Nick Bitel, who is an excellent candidate and who has done an excellent job for the London Marathon, but his appointment has been tarnished.”

Robertson responded: “We had a very strong field of applicants for these positions and it was important we got the very best people in place.

“Rod Carr has a wealth of experience in elite sport, and Nick Bitel has run the most successful mass participation sports event [London Marathon] in this country for almost twenty years.”

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