5th April 2012

UKA Board Appointments


05 April 2012

UKA have today announced the appointment of two new Directors to the board of UK Athletics from 1 May 2012.

Dr Sarah Rowell and Sarah Smart will join the Board of UKA following an open recruitment process as Non-Executive Directors. Smart will also chair the Board’s Audit Committee.

Rowell, a former UK marathon record holder and Olympian has more recently worked with the governing body as chair of the UKA Mountain Running Advisory Group, as well as sitting on the European Athletics Mountain Running Commission.

Smart is currently Chair of The Pensions Trust, a board member of the London Pensions Fund Authority and a Director of Social Investment Scotland. A keen recreational runner, she has previously competed in ultra marathons including the Himalayan 100.

Rowell, a consultant to sporting bodies who has overseen strategic reviews and a number of world class performance programmes across Olympic and Paralympic sports, said:

“I was delighted to receive the call for the position. Although I felt I had the expertise and experience, you never quite know what elements are required.

“I’ve been fortunate to go to an Olympics in my time, and although my competitive career was cut short I have spent the whole of my working life in high performance sport and if I can help in any way to ensure an athlete or athletes achieve their potential, then that’s a brilliant opportunity.

“UKA has seen a lot of change in the last 10 years and it is an exciting time to come aboard. I am keen to take on a debate and I have strong views, but likewise am willing to have my views changed so I look forward to bringing that dynamic to the board as a Non-Executive Director.”

Smart said:

“I am delighted to be appointed to the Board of UKA. 2012 is clearly a pivotal year for the sport and I am looking forward to helping to ensure a lasting legacy for athletics at every level.

“My own experience shows that you do not have to be a fast runner to enjoy athletics, and the enormous breadth of the sport means that there are always avenues for achievement, whatever your individual strength.”

Ed Warner, Chairman of UKA said:

“Athletics has an exciting future from this summer’s Games through to London 2017 and beyond. However, it also faces many challenges and I am delighted that both Sarah Rowell and Sarah Smart have joined the Board of UKA to assist us as we strive to ensure the best possible future for our sport.

“I was very pleased with the calibre of applications that we received for these roles and delighted with the two appointments that we have been able to announce as a result. Both Sarah and Sarah have an enormous contribution to make over the coming years” 

The appointees will replace Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson and Ian Fox – both of whom will be stepping down from their board duties after the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.