John Steele appointed to lead English Institute of Sport on road to Rio

Published 8 October 2013


UK Sport has appointed John Steele to chair its science, medicine and technology arm, the English Institute of Sport (EIS).

Steele, CEO of the Youth Sport Trust and former CEO of UK Sport and the Rugby Football Union, has been appointed to chair the EIS at a time when delivering performance impacting science, medicine and technological solutions to British athletes is more crucial than ever before, if the ambition to win more medals at Rio 2016 is to be achieved.

Established in 2002, the Institute now has more than 250 staff providing approximately 4,000 hours of sport science and medical support to over 1,700 athletes across the country and at camps and competitions overseas every week. It worked with 86% of the athletes and 27 of the 29 sports that won a medal at the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.

Steele said: “I am delighted to take on this new role at the EIS a critical time for British sport as it looks to build on its tremendous successes in recent years. As a nation we are now amongst the best in the world at preparing our athletes for success on the global stage and I am proud to be involved in this process going forward.

“In my role as CEO of the Youth Sport Trust and now chair at the EIS I hope to influence sport from the very start of potential athletes’ careers right through to those currently performing at international level.”

UK Sport Chair, Rod Carr, said: “John is the ideal person to provide strong, dynamic leadership for the Institute as it continues to grow and evolve to embrace and pioneer advances in sports science, medicine and technology, and meet the needs of our Olympic and Paralympic sports.

We have ambitions for British athletes, supported by the National Lottery funded World Class Programme, to do what no host nation has done before and win even more medals at the next Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the work of the Institute’s world leading experts will be key in keeping us ahead of our rivals.

“John is well known and respected within Olympic and Paralympic sport, and as we look to create a stronger, more sustainable UK high performance system I look forward to working in partnership with him and his team to lead British sport to achieve even greater success.”

Nigel Walker, National Director of the EIS, said: “I’ve worked with John before and we share the same values and philosophy. In addition to the unique insight and expertise he will bring, he has a great understanding of the high performance system and the needs of sports and their athletes. I look forward to working with John in ensuring the Institute builds on the success to date and provides and even greater contribution to medal winning success in the future.”

Steele’s background as a professional rugby player and European Cup winning coach gives him valuable insight into the world of sports science and medicine. Described by Lord Coe as “an exceptional sports leader” he has also been a CEO in private, public and not for profit sports organisations.

Steele succeeds Steve Cram as chair of the EIS. Cram stepped down from the role in June 2013 after 10 years in post.

Find out more about the English Institute of Sport on their website and keep up-to-date with all the latest news by following them on Twitter @EIS2Win

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