Chris Boardman has been appointed chair of Sport England, succeeding Nick Bitel, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed.
The cyclist, who won gold in the individual pursuit at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, will serve a four-year term starting on 22nd July. Following his sporting career, which also saw him win three individual stages of the Tour de France, Boardman worked as head of research and development for the Great Britain Cycling Team between 2004-2012, helping the team win eight gold medals in Beijing in 2008.
Over the past four years, he’s been working with the Mayor of Greater Manchester on a plan to create the largest cycling and walking network in the country and is currently the transport commissioner for Greater Manchester.
“Sport and activity are central to my own life and it’s clear they have a heightened importance for all of us right now,” said Boardman. “I am looking forward to helping the team bring opportunities to be active to more people than ever before.”
Bitel added: “It has been a privilege to serve as chair of Sport England for the last eight years and I am immensely proud of the organisation as it stands today.
“The resilience it has shown and the way in which it has supported sport through the pandemic has been outstanding in particular and I am so grateful to everyone who works so hard to help people live active and healthier lives.
“I know that Chris will be an outstanding leader and take Sport England to new heights and I wish him every success over the coming years.”
Chief executive Tim Hollingsworth 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 chief executive 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.”