Two-time Olympian Lizzie Simmonds has been selected to be the new Chair of the British Olympic Association’s (BOA) Athletes’ Commission.
Simmonds, 30, was elected to the role by Olympians sitting on the BOA’s Athletes’ Commission following a highly competitive process.
She will also become a full Board member of the BOA as an athletes’ representative, replacing the outgoing Ben Hawes, who steps down after completing his final term having Chaired the Athletes’ Commission since 2015.
Currently Vice-Chair of the BOA Athletes’ Commission, Simmonds will shadow Hawes through the remainder of 2021 before starting her term as Chair in 2022.
She made her Olympic debut as a 17-year old in Beijing in 2008, finishing 10th in the 100m backstroke as well as reaching the final before finishing sixth in the 200m backstroke.
Four years later at London 2012 she finished fourth in the 200m backstroke.
BOA Chairman, Sir Hugh Robertson, welcomed Simmonds's appointment, saying: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Lizzie as our athletes’ representative on the BOA Board. It is a reflection of the changing face of both Team GB and sports governance more generally that she joins a majority female Board as the fourth Board member, after Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, Lord Coe and Annamarie Phelps, to have represented Team GB at the Olympic Games.”
Hawes said: “Lizzie did an exceptional job in the interview against some strong candidates, and really proved what an asset she will be in this role and to the organisation. I am delighted she will have the opportunity to step up and work closely with the Board and the organisation to continue the important role of keeping athletes at the heart of everything the BOA does.”
Simmonds added: “I am hugely honoured to have been elected as the next Chair of the BOA’s Athletes’ Commission, taking over from Ben’s outstanding leadership at the end of this year. With the Tokyo and Beijing Games taking place in quick succession, and Paris 2024 on the horizon too, it’s an incredibly exciting time to be involved with British Olympic sport, and I am thrilled to be continuing my journey with Team GB. I look forward to working closely with the Athletes’ Commission, BOA Board and Leadership Teams to ensure that athlete perspective remains at the heart of decision-making across the organisation.”
The British Olympic Association (BOA) Athletes’ Commission is a Committee of the BOA Board created to bring the perspective and expertise of athletes to the many initiatives and programmes operated by the BOA. It was formed in 2010 and meets every two months.
The Commission has 13 members in total, made up of a mixture of past and present athletes from team and individual, summer and winter sports. The Chair is responsible for feeding the views of the Commission back to the BOA Board. The Chair and Vice-Chair are also athlete representatives on the BOA’s National Olympic Committee (NOC).