Dame Katherine Grainger has been appointed as the new chair of UK Sport for a term of four years, Sports Minister Tracey Crouch confirmed today.
The former rower is Britain’s most decorated female Olympic athlete and the first British woman to win medals at five successive Games.
Grainger ended her competitive career with Team GB at Rio 2016 winning double sculls silver alongside Vicky Thornley having claimed gold four years earlier at London 2012.
Grainger will take up the role from 1 July 2017 with current chair Rod Carr due to step down at the end of his term on 22 April 2017.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has appointed UK Sport board member Liz Astall as UK Sport interim chair commencing 22 April 2017 until Dame Katherine takes up the role.
Grainger 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.”
Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said: "Everyone at UK Sport is absolutely thrilled with the appointment of our new chair, Dame Katherine Grainger. Katherine brings with her a unique perspective, experience and skillset having been a part of UK Sport's World Class Programme from the outset, a multi medallist over five Olympic Games, an individual with a passion for sport and the impact it can have on changing lives for the better and also an academic.
“Our priority focus for the Tokyo Cycle is sustaining success while helping to create a more positive environment and culture for our athletes and athlete support personnel to perform at their best. Katherine is well placed to help us achieve that and we look forward to working with Katherine as UK Sport's new chair.”
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch 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.”
The appointment of Grainger was made by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, with the approval of the Prime Minister.