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Multi-medallist takes on new role
Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Dame Kelly Holmes, one of England’s greatest and most inspirational athletes, has been named the new President of Commonwealth Games England (CGE).

Dame Kelly succeeds the Right Honourable Sir Christopher Chataway, who retires from the post he has held since 1994.

During her illustrious athletics career Dame Kelly represented Team England at three Commonwealth Games, winning two gold medals and a silver.

She struck gold in the 1500m at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria and followed that up with silver over the same distance in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. She won her second Commonwealth Games gold at the Manchester Games in 2002.

Dame Kelly, a former Army physical training instructor, then went on to make history at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games by becoming the first British female athlete to win two gold medals at the same Games when she captured both the 800m and 1500m titles.

“I am absolutely thrilled that Commonwealth Games England have asked me to take up this role”, said Dame Kelly. “The Commonwealth Games have a continuing and important role within performance sport. They are unique in their own right and offer athletes the opportunity to experience a big, multi-sport event but they can also play a crucial role as a stepping stone towards Olympic success. That certainly was the case for me”.

Sir Andrew Foster, Chair of Commonwealth Games England, said: “Dame Kelly has been an outstanding athlete both for Team England and Great Britain. She is a truly inspirational and respected figure in the sporting world and will be a wonderful ambassador for Commonwealth Games England.

Dame Kelly’s appointment to the CGE Presidency forms part of a series of exciting new developments for the organisation which is determined to provide the right performance platform for athletes competing in Delhi in 2010 and Glasgow in 2014.

Sir Andrew recently announced that new Board Directors, with relevant skill sets to move the CGE forward in terms of marketing, finance and governance, will be recruited by public advert. The door has also opened on the process to find a high profile Chef de Mission for Team England in Delhi.

You Tube today carries, for the first time, a Team England film designed to bring the Games and all their excitement to a younger audience. This film can be viewed at: http://youtube.com/teamenglandtv

Dame Kelly will play a pivotal role in this whole modernisation process. Ann Hogbin, Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games England, said: “I know Dame Kelly will make a valuable contribution to Team England in the run-up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and beyond.

“I would also like to thank Sir Christopher for his sterling work as our President for the last 15 years – a period spanning three Commonwealth Games.

“During that time Team England athletes have produced some sparkling and memorable performances – not least those by Dame Kelly.”

Dame Kelly’s stunning achievements at the Athens Olympics made her a runaway winner of the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards in 2004.

She became a Dame in the 2005 New Year’s Honours List and won the Laureus Sports Woman of the Year Award the same year.

After her successes in Athens she created On Camp with Kelly, a mentoring programme for talented young British women middle distance runners.

Dame Kelly is also the Chair of her own charity the DKH Legacy Trust www.dkhlegacytrust.org which helps retired elite sports people transition into new careers and by using their wealth of experience and skills to help young people fulfil their own talents.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games take place in Delhi, India from 3 to 14
October 2010. It will feature 17 sports - archery, aquatics (swimming, synchronised swimming & diving), athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby 7s, shooting, squash, table tennis, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

Dame Kelly’s new role as President of the CGE was announced today at the Royal Commonwealth Society in London.

For further information please contact the Commonwealth Games England press office at Matchtight Ltd on  01225 443998 . You can also see the CGE’s website at www.cgce.co.uk

For further information about Dame Kelly Holmes please see her website at www.doublegold.co.uk

Commonwealth Games England is the organisation responsible for selecting and organising England's team at the Commonwealth Games. At the last Games, held in Melbourne in 2006, Team England were second only to hosts Australia on the medal table winning 36 gold, 40 silver and 34 bronze medals.

 

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