Darren Campbell to help deliver Welsh medal success

Olympic gold and silver medallist Darren Campbell has been appointed to help achieve medal success at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Sport Wales will today unveil at its Annual Stakeholder Conference.

News-Latest-DarrenCampbellThe Newport-based sprint legend will be part of a Focus 2014 board which has been established to support, challenge and scrutinise sports in their pursuit of excellence.

The board will add expert knowledge to aid the thinking and planning of the sports, to ensure the sports leave no stone unturned in helping them achieve the ambitions of winning up to 35 medals at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

An additional £3 million National Lottery investment will be targeted to those that can demonstrate they have the potential to deliver Welsh medals in Glasgow. This will complement the work already being undertaken in Wales to support Team GB at London 2012 and beyond.

The funding will increase:

• the time identified athletes can dedicate to training
• the access to high level competitions
• the number of employed, high performance coaches

The board members are:

• (Chair) Paul Thorburn, Sport Wales board member and former Wales rugby captain
• Darren Campbell MBE, world class sprinter
• Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games Council for Wales
• Andy Morgan, Sport Wales board member and Chair of Golf Development Wales
• Sarah Powell, Head of Performance & Excellence, Sport Wales
• Graham Taylor, Head of Coaching, UK Sport & Motorsport management expert

The board will be supported by Sport Wales Institute managers Brian Davies and Mark Nicholls.

Darren Campbell explains that he is eager to help raise Wales' sporting performances:

"Having lived in Wales for 17 years, everybody's been really supportive and - having three children who are half Welsh - I believe it's important to give something back.I'm passionate about success and the buzz of winning so I'm delighted if I can help make a difference. I bring an athlete perspective to the role which is absolutely critical.

Prof Laura McAllister, Chair of Sport Wales, explained:

News-Latest-Focus2014"We have seen some significant progress in the last twelve months since our first Stakeholder Conference and, with our partners, we are beginning to change the way in which we deliver sport in Wales. Our shared Vision provides us with the priorities and the challenges that we need to address. We want to ensure that we are supporting our partners to deliver while not shying away from asking the challenging questions. The Focus 2014 Board will allow us to provide increased scrutiny of our elite performance and give our athletes the best possible chance of success in 2014."

Sports Minister Huw Lewis has welcomed today's announcement. He said: "I'm pleased to hear of the steps that Sport Wales are introducing to help Team Wales achieve their ambitious medal targets at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The appointment of the Focus 2014 Board will offer our sportspeople the expertise and support to help them reach their potential. I also welcome the additional investment to help our sportspeople prepare for the forthcoming major championships."

Focus 2014 is the latest in a series of development at the National Centre which include a dedicated training base for Welsh Boxing, a brand new Sports Science & Medicine area as well as a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool.


Biographies:

Darren Campbell MBE
• Former English Sprint athlete - 100m & 200m, 4 x 100m
• European record holder in the relay event with 37.73 seconds.
• Won number of medals at World and European Junior Championships.
• Spent two years away from athletics, playing professional football but returned in 1995, attending first Olympics shortly afterwards.
• Competed as part of British 4 × 100 m relay team and between 1997-2000  won two World Championship medals, a gold medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and set European record in the event.
• Success also came in the individual events: he became 1998 European Champion in 100 m and won his first Olympic medal, a silver in the 200 m at the 2000 Sydney Games.
• In the 100 m he won silver at the 2002 European Championships and was the 2003 World Championships bronze medallist.
• Campbell formed part of perhaps Britain's most successful relay team - they won in the European Cup in 1999 and 2000, at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and took the gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics (the first time a British team had done so since 1912).
• He won his last medal in 2006, taking the relay gold at the European Championships, and he retired shortly afterwards. His personal bests of 10.04 s in the 100 m and 20.13 s in the 200 m place him among the top six fastest British sprinters.
• Now works with various Premier League football clubs, working with the players to improve their sprinting ability. He also regularly visits schools to promote sport among children, on behalf of the Youth Sport Trust

Brian Davies
• Former professional rugby player - Saracens & Newport
• Saracens captain for four seasons
• General Team Manager, Team Wales 2006 & 2010 Commonwealth Games
• 2001 - 2008 - Director of Development, Golf Union Wales
• 2008 - 2010 - High Performance Manager, Sport Wales
• 2011 - present Sport Wales Institute Manager, Sport Wales

Chris Jenkins
1985 - 1993 - Competed for Wales rowing - cox
1985 - Competed at Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh
1980-1993 Fund Manager, London
1993 - 2003 Director of Rothschilds
2006 - Head of HQ, Team Wales at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games
2006 -present CEO of Commonwealth Games Council for Wales
2009-2011 - Director of British Rowing
2010 - Chef de Mission at the Delhi Commonwealth Games

Andrew Bennett Morgan
• Retired Dental Surgeon
• Chairman of Selectors and Coaching, Wales Golf 1984 - 1993
• President Welsh Golfing Union in 1994/5, the Centenary of the Union.
• President, European Golf Association 2005-2007
• European & African Representative on International Golf Federation
• (World Golf Council) 2006- 2008
• Director & Audit Committee Member of Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Ltd
• Chairman, Golf Development Wales
• Non playing Captain, European Amateur Golf team - Bonallack Trophy
• Member of the Fundraising and Marketing Committee of Tenovus, the cancer charity.
• Board Member Sport Wales

Sarah Powell
• Ex-international hockey player, gaining more than 70 Welsh caps
• Former coach to South Wales and Wales Under 18 teams
• Represented Wales at 1998 Commonwealth Games
• Until 2010 - Director of Ryder Cup Wales
• Advisory member of Commonwealth Games Council for Wales
• Head of Performance and Excellence, Sport Wales
• Chair of Sports Coach UK task & finish group into Coaching Excellence

Graham Taylor
• 22 Years experience in high level Motor Sport. Competed all across the globe and recognised as a talented trackside Race Engineer and Team Leader
• 6 years experience in F1
• 5 years experience in World and British Touring Cars
• Engineered cars at Le Mans 24H race
• Engineered cars at Daytona 24H race
• 1990 - 1995 Team Manager - Formula Vauxhall
• 1996 - Audi British Touring Car Championship
• 1997 - 1999 Senior Race Engineer - Volvo British Touring Car Championship
• 2000 - 2002 Chief Race Engineer - Arrows F1 Team
• 2003 Champcar (USA)
• 2004 Race Engineer Audi Le Mans 24H
• 2005 Consultant Race Engineer SEAT, Audi & A1GP
• 2006 - 2008 Sporting Director: Super Aguri F1 Team
• 2009 Team Principal: A1GP Team Monaco
• March 2010 - Head of Coaching for UK Sport. Working partnership with national governing bodies to design, implement and monitor the delivery Coach development initiatives across Olympic and Paralympic Sports

Paul Thorburn
• Welsh & British Universities XV - 1983
• Neath RFC - 1984 - 1995, Captain for 2 seasons
• Wales - 37 Caps, 10 as Captain between 1985-1991
• 3rd Rugby World Cup - 1987
• Triple Crown with Wales in 1988
• Barbarians
• President South Gower RFC (Community Club in Swansea)
• Tournament Director Rugby World Cup 1999 - 1996-2000 (Event Management)
• Special Projects Manager Welsh Rugby Union - 2004-2006 (Commercial & Rugby World Cup 2007 role)
• Ospreys Rugby - Strategic Development Manager - 2006-2010 (Commercial focus)
• Heineken Cup - Commercial Committee 2007-2010
• Paul Thorburn Limited - Business Consultancy 2010 - Present

Mark Nicholls
• the Welsh Junior Squads in Mirror and Optimist Dinghies
• full time athlete on the World Class Performance Programme
• Since finishing Olympic Class sailing career, coach to Skandia Team GBR Sailing, delivering gold medals in Athens and Beijing
• won two World Sailing Championships in brutal discipline of match racing