By Gary Anderson

Former Team GB hockey captain Ben Hawes is the new chairman of the BOA Athletes' Commission ©Getty ImagesThree-time Olympian and former Team GB hockey captain Ben Hawes is the new chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA) Athletes' Commission, it has been announced. 

Hawes, part of the Commission since 2010, is set to replace current chairman Sarah Winckless in January 2015 for a four-year term.

The 34-year-old retired from international competition last year after amassing 99 Team GB caps and representing England on 128 occasions.

In that time, Hawes appeared at three Olympic Games, at Athens 2004 and London 2012, while captaining the side to a fifth place finish at Beijing 2008.

He has also appeared at two World Cups and three European Championships, winning European gold with England in 2009 in Amstelveen, The Netherlands, as well as bronze in 2003 in Barcelona.

"Competing for Team GB across three Games were the highlights of my sporting career, and continuing to be a part of this by chairing the Athletes' Commission is a fantastic opportunity," said Hawes.

"It's a great time to be part of the Team GB, following the success of Sochi [2014] and now the build up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and I can't wait to get started and offer support to all those involved.

"Having already seen first-hand the important role the Athletes' Commission plays within the BOA, I'm delighted to have been chosen for the role."

The BOA told insidethegames that it had drawn up a shortlist and interviewed individuals to replace Winckless before selecting Hawes, but would not reveal the identity of the other candidates.

Hawes captained Britain to fifth place at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games ©AFP/Getty ImagesHawes captained Britain to fifth place at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games ©AFP/Getty Images

Set up in 2010, the Athletes' Commission is made up of a mixture of 12 past and present male and female athletes from summer, winter, team and individual sports.

Former Athens 2004 bronze medal winning rower Winckless has served two terms as the Commission's chair.

"It has been a pleasure to serve as the Athletes' Commission's first chair and the past four years have been a hugely enjoyable experience," said Winckless, Britain's Chef de Mission at last month's Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.

"My knowledge and understanding of the Olympic environment has been transformed, and the skills and friendships I've gained will be invaluable in the years to come.

"I've worked with Ben on the Commission throughout my time as chair and he's an excellent candidate to take the group forward. I'm really pleased he's taking on the position."

The Athletes' Commission is an advisory group set up to ensure the viewpoint and interests of all Team GB competitors are central to the decision making process at the BOA.

It looks to represent the interests of past, present and future Olympians by helping the BOA provide better services and support both during competition and after retirement.

Commenting on the appointment of Hawes, BOA chief executive Bill Sweeney said:  "The athletes that compete for Team GB are the core purpose of the British Olympic Association and the work that the Commission does is crucial for our ability to support them before, during and after an Olympic Games.

"It's great to have Ben on board and we're excited about the future contribution this Athletes' Commission will make in the run up to Rio and also Pyeongchang in 2018.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely than Sarah for the outstanding work that she has done during her term."

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