Cram to step down as chairman of English Institute of Sport

Friday, 21 June 2013
By Duncan Mackay

Steve Cram in front of EIS bannerJune 21 - Steve Cram is to step down as chairman of the English Institute of Sport (EIS) after more than ten years as head of the organisation which provides sport science and sport medicine to more than 30 Olympic and Paralympic sports.

UK Sport, the Government agency which oversees the EIS, will lead the process to recruit a new chair and expect to make an appointment in the autumn when Cram will handover to his replacement.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as the chair of the EIS and am extremely proud of the way that we have grown it from two people to a world-renowned provider of sport science and sport medicine to elite athletes, employing more than 200 practitioners," said Cram, the former world record holder for the mile and the 1984 Olympic 1500 metres silver medallist. 

"The services provided by the EIS are now widely recognised as having a significant impact on the performance of the athletes it works with and it has played an important role in Great Britain's march up the medal table at successive Olympic Games.

"So many athletes win an Olympic medal by the tiniest of margins and they do so because someone, somewhere, a week, a month or even a year before has done something, which possibly didn't seem significant at the time, but which made that tiny difference.

"That's the role the EIS has played - and will continue to play - and whilst it is right that the athletes should get the glory, the EIS can be very proud of its contribution to those successes."

EIS facilitiesBritain has leapt from tenth to third on the Olympics medal table since the English Institute of Sport was established in 2002

Since the EIS was established in 2002 Britain has risen from 10th in the Olympics medal table at Sydney in 2000, where they won a total of 28 medals, 11 of them gold, to third at London 2012, claiming a total of 65 medals, including 29 gold, their best performance for 112 years.

"After the superb achievements of London 2012, the high performance system is going through a period of evolution to help ensure that Great Britain can maintain its success and I think that now is the right time to move-on and pass-the-baton to someone else to guide the EIS in the next stage of its development," said the 52-year-old Cram. 

"I would like to personally thank the members of the EIS board who have provided invaluable support in the past 10 years and to the staff at all levels whose commitment to the athletes and their coaches has been, and continues to be, immense.

"I will continue to fully support the hugely successful UK high performance system in whichever way I can and am looking forward to further Team GB success in Sochi, Rio and beyond."

Britain's Sports Minister Hugh Robertson led the tributes for the part Cram had played in helping establish the EIS - whose headquarters are in Sheffield but whose services are delivered from 15 satellite centres across the country, as well as at a number of additional partner sites - as the leading organisation of its kind in the world. 

"Steve Cram has shown great leadership and vision as the Chairman of the EIS and helped grow it into an organisation recognised internationally for its expertise in sport science and medicine," said Robertson.

"As a former athlete who competed and excelled at the very highest level, Steve brought vast experience to the position.

"He can be extremely proud of his achievements with the EIS, including the successful role it played in supporting our athletes in the build up to and during last summer's Games."

The EIS now employs more than 200 practitioners delivering an average of 4,000 hours a week of sport science and medical support to athletes and worked with 86 per cent of those that won a medal for Team GB at London 2012.

Steve Cram commenting for BBC at London 2012 croppedSteve Cram is one of the BBC's leading athletics commentators

Cram is now set to concentrate on his career as a commentator with BBC TV.

He is also the Chancellor of Sunderland University, having suceeded in 2008 David Puttnam, producer of Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire

"I would like to thank Steve on behalf of everyone at UK Sport for all he has done over the past decade for high performance sport in this country," said Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport.

"Under Steve's leadership the EIS has gone from strength to strength on its journey to becoming a world leading provider of sport science and medicine in support of sports and athletes striving for medal success on the world stage.

"We will now begin the process of appointing a replacement and will be seeking someone who can build on Steve's good work."

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