9 December 2021
By Göran R Buckhorn
British Rowing announced earlier today that Louise Kingsley has been appointed as the new Director of Performance at British Rowing. She will begin the new role immediately.
Kingsley was the Deputy Director of Performance Pathways and Paralympic Programme leading the Para GB Rowing Team to two gold medals in the PR2 Mixed Double Sculls and PR3 Mixed Coxed Four at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. She was appointed the Interim Director of Performance at British Rowing when Brendan Purcell stepped down as British Rowing Director of Performance in the beginning of October.
Kingsley brings more than 20 years of experience from the sport of rowing, initially as a successful coach. She is the first female to lead British Rowing’s Performance programme since the sport started to be funded by the National Lottery in 1997.
“I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead this programme. I’ve gained invaluable experience through leading our successful Paralympic programme and more recently as Interim Director of Performance, building solid relationships with our staff, athletes and stakeholders, which will help in my step up to Director of Performance,” Louise Kingsley said in a statement published on British Rowing’s website.
“Looking ahead, it’s an exciting time for the GB Rowing Team, with funding for the next cycle secured plus all the learnings and positive experiences from the last few cycles will help us evolve into a contemporary and world-leading programme. This starts with the recruitment of new Olympic Head Coaches, so my immediate priority will be on this as we look ahead to Paris.”
Mark Davies, chair of British Rowing, who led the recruitment process, said: “Louise is a highly-experienced and talented leader, and we are delighted to have her as our new Director of Performance. She beat a field of 12 high-quality applications from a host of sports and from across the world, and a shortlist of five, in a robust, two-stage process.”
Besides Mark Davies, the interview panel comprised of Kate Baker, director of Performance at UK Sport, Robin Williams, double Olympic gold-medal winning coach, Anna Watkins, Olympic Champion, James Cracknell, double Olympic Champion, and Alastair Marks, British Rowing Interim CEO.
It was on 2 December The Times reported the stunning news that Sir Steve Redgrave’s application to be the new Director of Performance at British Rowing had been rejected by the organisation.
As has been reported previously by HTBS, Sir Steve is also in discussions with USRowing about becoming the High-Performance Director for the Paris Games. Whoever will become the new High-Performance Director for USRowing, be it Sir Steve or not, it will be announced at the end of the year.
Update 9 Dec.: In a letter published on USRowing’s website, USRowing CEO Amanda Kraus writes that “Steve Redgrave is not a finalist for the role [as new High-Performance Director].”