UK Sport appoints new Director of Performance to maintain momentum after Rio 2016

Published 28 July 2016

UK Sport has appointed Chelsea Warr to the crucial role of Director of Performance to drive the progress of Great Britain’s high performance system after Rio 2016.

Chelsea, who has worked at UK Sport since 2005, will be the strategic high performance lead for UK Sport. One of her first tasks will be to oversee the implementation of the critical strategic investments to be made by the UK Sport Board in December when around £350M of National Lottery and Government funding is expected to be invested in Olympic and Paralympic sports for Tokyo 2020 and beyond. 

Chelsea Warr, current Deputy Director of Performance at UK Sport, said: “I am incredibly honoured, privileged and excited to have the opportunity to lead the high performance system into the next stage of its evolution.

“In order to maintain success at the highest level you need to learn faster than the opposition and make less mistakes by drawing on the collective might. My ambition is to ensure we fully harness the huge wealth of brilliant ideas and expertise we have inside and also outside our World Class system to help us achieve even more in the future.

“With just over a week to go until the start of Rio 2016, I am confident our highly talented athletes, coaches and expert support staff, working in partnership with the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association, can once again deliver inspirational medal winning moments to make the nation proud.”

Chelsea will take up her new role in October 2016 succeeding Simon Timson who has been appointed Performance Director at the Lawn Tennis Association. Her appointment follows an extensive open recruitment process designed to find an outstanding candidate from the world of high performance sport and maintain momentum after Rio 2016.

Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: “Chelsea’s wealth of experience in elite sport, her in-depth knowledge of the World Class system and her unique blend of front-line and strategic achievements made her the panel’s unanimous choice.

“She is perfectly placed to take up the challenge as she has already made a significant contribution to the transformation of the British high performance system in the past decade and more recently, the creation of the UK’s ambitious high performance strategy through to Tokyo 2020.

“Chelsea is an exceptional talent and I am confident that she has the experience, drive and commitment to work in partnership to lead the UK high performance system to even greater success.”

Chelsea worked at the renowned Australian Institute of Sport before moving to the UK when she was appointed World Class Development Manager at British Diving and Swimming.

In 2005, she joined UK Sport as a Performance Programme Consultant and was later promoted to the Head of Performance Pathways where she pioneered Great Britain’s talent identification and development programme which have fast-tracked hundreds of athletes in to sport’s world class programmes and discovered Olympic champions Helen Glover and Lizzy Yarnold.

Since 2013, she has been Deputy Director of Performance playing a pivotal role, with the Director of Performance in building the high performance strategy for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

UK Sport Chair, Rod Carr, was part of the recruitment panel, along with Liz Nicholl, Professor Sarah Springman, UK Sport board member and 1st vice president of the International Triathlon Union and Sir David Tanner, Performance Director of British Rowing.

Sir David Tanner said: “Chelsea has the experience and skills to make an excellent successor to Simon Timson. She is a great choice to build on UK Sport’s successful Olympic and Paralympic programmes for the Pyeongchang and Tokyo Games.”

Chelsea will be the recognised strategic high performance lead for UK Sport, driving the evolution of the high performance system to deliver British medal success on the World, Olympic and Paralympic stage. 

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