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16 Jan 2020

UK Sport performance director steps down just months before Tokyo 2020
BY Tom Walker

Warr first joined UK sport in 2005 and was made director of performance in 2016

Warr first joined UK sport in 2005 and was made director of performance in 2016
photo: UK Sport

Chelsea Warr, the UK Sport performance director, has stepped down from her role to join the Queensland Academy of Sport as chief executive later this year.

Warr, who is Australian, has been seen as one of the key figures behind Great Britain's successes at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

She joined UK sport in 2005 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. The programme has fast-tracked hundreds of athletes into world-class programmes – and discovered Olympic champions Helen Glover and Lizzy Yarnold.

She was promoted to deputy director of performance in 2013, playing a pivotal role in building the high-performance strategy for Tokyo 2020, and was named director of performance in 2016.

During her time at UK Sport, Great Britain has climbed the medal standings at each Games – finishing second in the table in 2016 with 67 medals.

Last month (December 2019), Warr said that Team GB could surpass their record medal haul from Rio at this summer's Tokyo Games.

"We would like to thank Chelsea Warr for the significant contribution she has made to British Olympic and Paralympic sport over the past 18 years; both at UK Sport and prior to that at British Swimming," said UK Sport in a statement.

"We wish her every success in her new role in her home country."

Her role will be filled in the interim by deputy director of performance Michael Bourne.

UK Sport added that it had begun a search for a permanent replacement for Warr.



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