UK Athletics (UKA) has today announced that Niels de Vos has been appointed Chief Executive. De Vos, 39, will work closely with UKA Chairman Ed Warner to lead the sport through its next phase of development and drive the implementation of the vision and strategy that will take the sport of athletics to London 2012 and beyond. He will take up his new position in May.
De Vos joins UKA with a wealth of experience in sports administration at the highest level. As Chief Executive of rugby union side Sale Sharks, he has overseen an unprecedented period of success both on and off the field, with the club being crowned Premiership Champions for the first time in their history in 2006. Previously he was the Commercial Director at the successful Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games. He is also a member of the Premier Rugby Ltd board.
UKA Chairman, Ed Warner said: “We are delighted that Niels has agreed to become our new Chief Executive, taking over from David Moorcroft. He has a fantastic track record of delivering success at the highest level in sport, not just at Sale, but also at Manchester 2002. I am sure Niels will provide great vision and leadership for UKA.”
De Vos said: “I am thrilled and honoured to have been entrusted with the role of Chief Executive of UK Athletics. Athletics was my sport as a youngster and has long been a passion of mine. When the opportunity arose to apply my business and sports administration skills within UKA, I did not hesitate. My task will be to create a climate for success across the entire sport and to ensure that everyone in athletics is empowered and supported to fulfil their ambitions and to secure a vibrant future for the sport.
“At the elite end of the sport, the focus will be on getting our top athletes to the start line in optimum condition to maximise their chances of medal success. That means providing them with the best possible environment in which to prepare for major championships, with the best possible support. In sport as in business the smallest of margins separates success and failure. Our focus needs to be on the detail that can make a difference both at the performance level and across our organisation.”
Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee, was a member of the recruitment panel for de Vos’ appointment. He said: "This is a crucial time for UK Athletics in the run-up to London 2012. Clear leadership is needed at the top of the organisation to ensure that the right support structures are put in place for our athletes. Niels has an impressive background in the business of sport and I look forward to hearing his ideas and working with him and Ed Warner in the coming years."
Ed Warner, who was also part of the final selection process added: “I have spent a great deal of time with Niels over the past few weeks and I believe he brings energy and drive to the role of Chief Executive. He has valuable experience managing organisations within elite sport. He knows what it takes to operate in a successful environment and to inspire others. I am looking forward to working closely with Niels to take UKA and our sport to new heights.”