4th May 2011
Alex Newton is to be the next Performance Manager of British Fencing making her the first person to take on the role full time. Her sports performance background is extensive and impressive and dates back over three Olympic cycles.
Newton headed up the World Class Programme for Sport England in the build up to the Sydney Olympics before assisting in establishing the English Institute of Sport network. She then took on the role of ensuring that the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games provided a legacy to the North West through its Regional Institute. During the latter part of the Athens Olympic/Paralympic cycle Newton worked alongside both cycling and disability swimming ensuring world class science and medicine support before moving to UK Sport as Performance Manager. Here she was in charge of the team of national governing body advisers in the lead up to, and during the highly successful Beijing Games. Most recently Newton has acted as a consultant to professional sports such as cricket and rugby league.
Newton was selected following an extensive process by a panel which included Chief Executive, Piers Martin. Commenting on the appointment Martin said, “I am very pleased that Alex is joining British Fencing, where her experience and knowledge will undoubtedly help our World Class Programme to achieve our full potential and win a medal in 2012.”
The appointment has been made in time for the start of Olympic qualification for London 2012 and ahead of the biggest international tournament to be held in Great Britain, the senior European Championships, which will take place in Sheffield, 14th to 19th July 2011.
Newton took up the post on 3rd May and described her appointment as “an opportunity to lead and turn around a sport that has a group of talented athletes but who are not consistently performing on a world stage”.
Newton’s immediate focus will be ensuring that everything that needs to be in place to deliver medals in 2012 is there, adding, “I will be reviewing the whole programme including science and medicine, competitions and training programmes to ensure the focus is on the right things and importantly the right athletes.”
Newton is also looking beyond 2012 and said, “My long term goals are to move the sport to a position where it can consistently win medals on the world stage. This will be done by putting in place a comprehensive performance structure to support both the current cohort and future generations of world class fencers.”