Directors' declaration of interests
Liz Nicholl CBE
Having joined UK Sport in 1999, Liz Nicholl has played a pioneering role in the development of the elite sport system in the UK. For ten years, Liz led the work of UK Sport’s Performance Directorate through the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympic and Paralympic cycles as the Director of Elite Sport. Liz became the Chief Operating Officer in 2009 and was then appointed to the CEO role in September 2010. During her tenure as CEO, GB achieved record performances at London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016. Liz is also a former international netball player and was CEO of England Netball for 16 years, including a period as Championship Director of a World Netball Championship. Liz received an MBE for services to netball in 2000, an OBE for services to sport in 2005 and a CBE for services to sport in 2015.
Chief Operating Officer
Simon Morton joined UK Sport in 2005, and was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2015 to support the Chief Executive and lead UK Sport’s Major Events, Governance and International Relations responsibilities. UK Sport is the government agency responsible for co-ordinating and supporting the hosting of major international sporting events across the UK, and works with its partners to provide strategic, financial and technical support so that events are delivered to a world-leading standard. Simon has sat on the Organising Committees of many World and European Championships, and is currently a Board Member of London 2017 Ltd. Through its Governance Team, UK Sport drives and supports world-leading standards of professional, organisational and ethical conduct in the National Governing Bodies of Sport. Simon co-chairs the project board that is responsible for developing and implementing a new Governance Code for Sport in the UK. Simon also leads UK Sport’s International Relations Team, which ensures that the UK has a strong, respected and supportive voice in international sport, and supports National Governing Bodies to develop their International Relations strategies. Prior to joining UK Sport, Simon worked for the International Badminton Federation (IBF) for six years, fulfilling a number of roles including Head of Marketing, where he was responsible for overseeing the sport’s event bidding processes, and its global television and sponsorship operations and rights distribution.
Director of Performance
Chelsea has spent over 20 years working in High Performance Sport. The early days of her career were focused with the Australian Institute of Sport, and the Queensland Academy of sport pioneering Australia’s inaugural National Talent Identification and Development programmes. Chelsea has spent the last fifteen years in the United Kingdom in key leadership roles supporting the transformation of the Great Britain High Performance system from delivering 1 gold medal in Atlanta to an unprecedented 67 Olympic and 147 Paralympic medals in Rio 2016. She also oversaw GB’s record medal haul at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in Korea. Chelsea joined UK Sport in 2005 and was responsible for developing Great Britain's national blueprint for driving more systematic talent identification and development efforts in partnership with 50+ elite sport programmes. This led to the discovery of many Olympic and Paralympic medalists including Helen Glover (two time Rowing Olympic champion and triple World Champion) and Lizzy Yarnold (two-time Olympic Gold medalist and the most successful Olympic skeleton athlete of all time). Chelsea was promoted to Deputy Director of Performance in 2013 playing a pivotal leadership role in Great Britain’s historic results in Rio 2016 where GB became the first nation in the modern Olympics and Paralympics to improve their performance post hosting a home games (London 2012). Chelsea is currently the Director of Performance in UK Sport and is responsible for the strategic development of the GB High Performance system. She oversees several performance portfolios such as performance investment and specialist performance functions to support sports drive sustained medal winning success and ultimately, inspire the nation. Chelsea co-authored a book about her privileged experiences of working in the Great Britain High Performance system in 2016 titled ‘The Talent Lab: How to Turn Potential into World-Beating Success’.
Director of Commercial and Communications
Vanessa joined UK Sport in 2011 from central government, where she held roles including Head of Strategic Communications, Campaigns and Marketing at DEFRA and Head of the Strategic Communications Unit at the Department of Education. She now leads the Commercial, Communications, Public Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement Teams at UK Sport, with responsibility for leveraging commercial opportunities and managing UK Sport’s relationship with staff, stakeholders, the media and the public.
Sophie du Sautoy
Director of Finance, Investment and Business Services
Sophie is the strategic financial lead for UK Sport, responsible for the financial review and control of funding. Working closely with the Performance directorate, the Investment function of her team direct the funding, and carry out the financial monitoring, of the grants to the World Class Programme and some 1400 elite athletes. She also leads the teams in charge of key areas of the business including Information Technology, Facilities, Legal, Risk and Operational Planning. Sophie is a qualified chartered accountant (FCA). Prior to joining UK Sport in 2011 she spent ten years working with a wide variety of bodies in public sector audit.