Bill James has been appointed as Chair of Triathlon England, taking over from Jem Lawson, who steps down after serving the maximum number of terms in post.
Bill joined the board back in January 2013 as Independent Director of Business with a background in setting up and running businesses, and with a day job as chairman of a successful strategy and change consultancy.
In his two years to date, as a release from Triathlon England notes, he has brought ‘strategic clarity and focus and has put significant energy into how we can support the continued growth of our sport.’
This experience combined with a passion for triathlon and the mind-set of an officially ‘hooked’ triathlete make him ideally prepared for his new role with Triathlon England.
Bill commented upon his appointment by the Council of Triathlon England. “It has been an exciting couple of years since I joined the Triathlon England Management Board and I think the thing that must drive us as an organisation is that we will always need to perform at our best to support and match the outstanding efforts of triathletes at every level.
“In my new role as Chair, I look forward to that challenge and to making sure that as the National Governing Body, we help triathletes of all abilities discover, enjoy and achieve in our sport.
“Of course, I cannot comment on my new appointment, without mentioning the outstanding work that our outgoing Chair, Jem Lawson has done for the sport during the past eight years. He has been instrumental in placing Triathlon England at the heart of the sport, developing an organisation with great people and strong governance procedures that has enabled triathlon to be delivered in a safe and enjoyable manner for all.”
Bill’s predecessor, Jem Lawson successfully led the creation of Triathlon England and ensured the organisation has worked closely with its fellow Home Nations and British Triathlon to develop the sport creating opportunities for all.
A highlight of Jem’s tenure has been the recognition of triathlon’s potential from Sport England, which supported the sport with funding of £7.5 million, an increase of 60% on the previous funding cycle.
Since then, the English Talent Programme has gone from strength to strength and the sport’s new low-cost event and training offer, GO TRI, is helping to attract newcomers to the sport and increasing race starts in England.
Jem Lawson commented on the past eight years and Bill’s appointment. “As journeys go it’s been pretty good and the landscape through which I’ve travelled has been varied and sometimes spectacular. To see Team England deliver five medals at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is one of the highlights and the sight of our English athletes standing on the podium will be one of my fondest memories.
“The appointment of Bill is very exciting for triathlon. Bill exudes competence and brings a wealth of experience to the role. I am sure he will drive Triathlon England forward in the years to come; the development of our membership into a must-have for all participants of the sport in England will be one of his top priorities alongside ensuring the sport grows in line with our governance procedures establishing triathlon as one of the top participation sports in the country.”
Sport England’s Director of Sport, Phil Smith said, “Triathlon has gone from strength to strength under the guidance of Jem Lawson and we are looking forward to working with the new Chair, Bill James. Under Bill’s Chairmanship, we hope the sport continues to grow and Triathlon England carry on delivering its ambitious plans of the current four-year funding cycle.”
Bill’s term of appointment is for four years, starting with effect from 1 January 2015.