Dame Katherine Grainger Named As The New Chair Of UK Sport


Katherine Grainger

Former Olympic champion and Champions Olympic Speaker, Dame Katherine Grainger has been named as the new chair of UK Sport. Britain’s most decorated female Olympians, Katherine is fondly remembered by fans for winning a rowing gold at the 2012 Olympics in London 12 years after making her games debut.

Four Olympic silvers and six World Championship golds complete her collection and she has now been appointed to one of the most senior positions in sport. As chair of UK Sport, she will be in charge of all major funding decisions in British sport.

Succeeding Rod Carr, Katherine will take over in July and she said “I am absolutely thrilled to be appointed as the next UK Sport chair. I am also very honoured to be joining the team at UK Sport and building on the success and commitment to excellence that I have witnessed and enjoyed as an athlete. I’m also acutely aware of the many challenging issues currently within sport and I hope to play a role in addressing them.”

Certainly, one of the biggest issues Katherine will need to tackle is the ongoing discussion regarding athlete welfare. With claims of bullying and a ‘culture of fear’ recently aimed at British cycling, Paralympic legend Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson last week published her independent report.

The report has produced a number of recommendations in to ways athlete’s welfare can be improved and these include:

  • a Sports Ombudsman created by the government that has the power to hold national governing bodies to account for the duty of care they provide
  • an independent benchmark survey to measure duty of care
  • a board member at every national governing body responsible for duty of care
  • exit survey for elite athletes as they leave performance programmes
  • a duty of care charter
  • a government-funded British Athletes Commission
  • mandatory reporting of any suspected abuse

With plenty of experience to think about, Katherine will undoubtedly come in handy, and Sports Minister Tracey Crouch has backed her to be a success.

She said “Dame Katherine is a peerless leader both on the water and off it. As one of our greatest ever Olympians, she has an outstanding understanding of high performance sport, and through her educational and charity work has a proven commitment to inclusion. I know she will be an inspiring chair of UK Sport. I would also like to thank outgoing chair Rod Carr for his superb work at the helm of UK Sport over the past four years.”

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