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Tanni to hand over as chair of ukactive in August 2022

By Liz Terry    30 Sep 2021
Tanni Grey-Thompson (centre), with Nigel Huddleston (left) and Team GB’s gold-winning diver Matty Lee (right)launched National Fitness Day at Jubilee Hall Gym on 22 September / ukactive

Tanni Grey-Thompson has announced she will hand over her role as ukactive chair in August 2022, after more than six years driving the success of the organisation from the heart of government.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “It's been an incredible honour to work with Tanni during her time as chair – she's been the greatest champion our members could possibly have had over the past six years, with an unrivalled belief in and enthusiasm for the role physical activity plays in improving people’s lives.

"She's taken this belief and enthusiasm into every meeting and to every event she’s attended on behalf of our members and been unrelenting in her quest to help them grow and develop."

The 11-time gold medallist Paralympian, who's a peer in the House of Lords, will use her last ukactive Conference speech on 13 October to outline the progress made by the sector during her tenure, to set out plans for her final year as chair and to give her vision for the growth of the industry, to set future direction.

ukactive told HCM the hunt is now on for the next chair, with search firm, Starfish having been brought in to oversee the process.

Industry leaders will be asked to throw their hats into the ring to be considered for the role, with an announcement about the appointment expected from the ukactive board in the spring of 2022.

The plan is to ensure an orderly handover and the continuation of the momentum created during Tanni's tenure. The recruitment process will open in October.

Tanni joined ukactive in 2015, taking over from previous chair, Fred Turok, and has steered ukactive to be the sector driving force it is today, working with members and partners to raise the profile of physical activity and the importance of the sector in underpinning the health of the nation.

Edwards said: "Tanni departs following an extended tenure as chair and her leadership has been instrumental in supporting and navigating ukactive through the pandemic, working with the board and the executive team to support the sector through its survival and recovery and plotting the course for its development."

Tanni said: “It's been an honour and a pleasure to be chair of ukactive for the past six years and I still have an important year ahead.

“I'm immensely proud of the progress we've made and the leadership ukactive has shown, from the development of a world-class board to forming a uniquely talented team, developing innovative ways to add value to our members, and uniting the voice of the industry during the pandemic.

“I’d like to give a heartfelt thank you to all our members, partners and colleagues who have made this such a unique part of my life. I will always wear the ukactive badge and pursue its mission with pride.”

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said: “The fitness industry owes Tanni a huge debt of thanks and gratitude that can never be repaid. She has led and inspired the sector over many years, being a guiding force and a fierce champion of physical activity.

“Tanni has always been in our corner – fearless, energetic and articulate in tackling those in power and also skilful in diplomacy.

“When we've needed leadership, she has stepped up and used her incredible oratory, energy and lifeforce to champion the work of our sector. She has helped us to grow up as an industry, to navigate some of the most challenging times in the history of the world and helped us begin the journey of assuming our rightful place at the heart of government policymaking. We will miss her deeply. Thank you Tanni.”

Tanni Grey-Thompson  ukactive  Starfish Search  Huw Edwards  Liz Terry 
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