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UK Athletics: New Appointed Chief Executive Officer

Category: diversity, UK Athletics, Gender Balance

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UK Athletics has today announced Zara Hyde Peters OBE as the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer for the National Governing Body.

Zara Hyde Peters returns to the sport having previously worked for UK Athletics from 2000 – 2008. Her roles previously included Head of Potential, Technical Director for Endurance before becoming the Director of Athlete Development – an executive director board level role. She also represented Great Britain in endurance events during the 1990s and competed for England in the 1994 Commonwealth Games.

Since leaving UKA she spent a successful period leading British Triathlon as CEO from 2008-2014, overseeing huge growth in participation, and the build up to the hugely successful 2012 Olympic Games for the sport with its first ever Olympic medals for Team GB. Twice during her tenure British Triathlon were awarded National Governing Body of the year by the Sports Industry Group.

An experienced board member she has also worked with UK Sport and Sport Birmingham and currently sits on the board of Birmingham 2022, the local organising committee of the Commonwealth Games.

Outside of sport Zara is hugely experienced in leading transformational change. Following her time with British Triathlon she completed the NHS Executive Fast Track programme and since 2015 has been working in leadership positions within the NHS.  Most recently her role has been with the commissioning arm of the NHS as Managing Director of North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group. During her time there she has led the delivery of a number of change programmes resulting in real benefits to patients as well as building a reputation for the organisation as a respected system leader.

Zara Hyde Peters OBE said: “I’m delighted to be returning to the sport I love and to do so as Chief Executive of UK Athletics is a massive honour. It is an exciting time for the sport. We have a huge opportunity to build on recent successes and I’m excited about being part of the team helping to realise that potential and cement our reputation as a leader in world athletics.”

Chris Clark, Chair of UK Athletics said: “We are thrilled Zara has accepted the offer to be UKA’s next CEO. Our sport has a fantastic heritage and a bright future and with Doha and Dubai 2019 and Tokyo 2020 we have some exciting events to look forward to. The board and executive team recognise that there is much work to do.

“We have a great team and wonderful support through the whole sport from our colleagues in the Home Country governing bodies to the network of volunteers coaching and supporting clubs and competitions; from the IAAF and UK Sport to our sponsors and our partners. I am confident that Zara’s track record of achievements of delivering in sport, coupled with a business background and her recent experiences of the complexities of leadership in the NHS, give us a unique and potent set of skills to set our future direction.

“I am also personally grateful to Nigel Holl who has held the Interim CEO post for the last 10 months and moves on to his next challenge to lead British Curling. He has been a great help to me in my first few months and will be much missed by all at UKA.”

Sarah Rowell, Non-Executive Director and Chair of Performance Oversight Committee said: “Having been closely involved in both the appointment of Chris as Chair and now Zara as CEO, I strongly believe we have the best possible combination to lead UK Athletics into a new and exciting era,  and I look forward to working closely with and supporting them over the next few years.”

Dame Katherine Grainger, chair of UK Sport said: “Zara brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of sport to her new role having been both an athlete and hugely respected sports administrator. In addition, her wider business expertise will be a huge asset leading the national federation of this global sport.

“Most importantly, she clearly loves and cares deeply about the future of athletics and I look forward to working in close partnership with her and all the team at UK Athletics to make sure UK Sport’s support through National Lottery funding continues to enable future generations of British athletes to achieve their dreams and inspire the nation.”

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