Ed Warner will take over from current GBWR chair Kevin Aitchison ©Getty Images

Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR) has today announced that former UK Athletics chair Ed Warner has been appointed to the Board of Trustees with immediate effect and will take over from the current chair, Kevin Aitchison, when he stands down in September 2020.

The appointment follows a comprehensive recruitment process,

Warner was chairman of UK Athletics from 2007 to 2017, and has been chair of World Para Athletics, on behalf of the International Paralympic Committee, since 2011. 

He also ran the successful bid to stage the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London, and was subsequently chair of the event's Organising Committee.

"I've been hugely impressed with the progress wheelchair rugby has made in recent years, most visibly in the growing success of the elite GB team, and have great respect for the work GBWR has done in often challenging circumstances," Warner said.

"I now look forward to working with all the volunteers, athletes and staff across the sport in Britain to help ensure that it thrives at all levels, from grass-roots to the world stage, in the years ahead."

Ed Warner's appointment follows what GBWR says was a comprehensive recruitment process ©GBWR
Ed Warner's appointment follows what GBWR says was a comprehensive recruitment process ©GBWR

Aitchison added: "I am delighted that Ed has agreed to join the Board of Trustees.

"Having decided that 2020 is the right time for me to step down from the Board, the experience that Ed has gained from his time at both UK Athletics and World Para Athletics, as well as his proven leadership skills, will provide GBWR with the best possible opportunity to continue the growth that the sport has experienced since London 2012. 

"For the next nine months, Ed will effectively have the role of chair designate, ensuring that the sport benefits from continuity of leadership throughout."

Warner is currently chairman of accountants Grant Thornton UK, and of financial firm LMAX Exchange. 

In April 2017, GBWR signed a partnership deal with LMAX Exchange.

It was the first company to offer significant backing after UK Sport removed all funding from wheelchair rugby for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games cycle.