Commonwealth Games England (CGE) has appointed former Olympic, European and Commonwealth heptathlete champion Denise Lewis, OBE, as its new President.

Lewis, 43, won two Commonwealth gold medals at the 1994 Victoria and 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games. She went on to win gold at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and in 2011, was inducted into the England Athletics Hall Of Fame. Regarded as one of England’s greatest-ever sportswomen, she is now hoping to use her vast and influential experience at the highest level to inspire the next generation of athletes. 

Denise succeeds Dame Kelly Holmes, who retires from the position she held since 2009.

Denise will bring extensive experience to the organisationand act as a key ambassador for CGE. As part of her role as CGE President, she will offer leadership and guidance to the organisation from her broad sporting background.

She will also focus heavily on developing the next generation of athletes following on from Team England’s recent success at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, playing a pivotal role in leading Team England into the next Commonwealth Games to be held at Australia’s Gold Coast, in 2018.

Following a refreshing of the board, CGE is now targeting a new title partner to support the next phase of its development, working with Team England through to Gold Coast 2018. It’s been an encouraging year for Commonwealth Games England, who have started working with four new commercial partners and the addition of a title partner will help CGE ensure they are able to send the best possible group of athletes to Australia.

Ian Metcalfe, Chairman at Commonwealth Games England (CGE) said:

“We’re delighted that Denise has agreed to become the new President of Commonwealth Games England, she has so much insight to offer. We’re certain that her experience as an elite athlete will inspire the next generation of Team England athletes and assist CGE in supporting them.

“Team England topped the medals table at last year’s Commonwealth Games and we understand the scale of the challenge to repeat the feat in Australia in 2018. Denise will bring valuable experience to our senior leadership team and will provide vital guidance to Team England athletes as we look to match that remarkable medal-winning performance on the Gold Coast. ”

Newly appointed Commonwealth Games England President Denise Lewis said:

“The Commonwealth Games is a very special event that every athlete wants to experience. Winning in 1994 and 1998 were some of the highlights of my career. I particularly enjoyed the unique feel of the Games and the experience of being part of Team England.

“I am thrilled that I have the chance to work with, and support, England’s athletes and help them work towards becoming a Commonwealth medalist.

“I have devoted my life to track and field athletics and while that particular sport will always be my passion, it is great to have the opportunity to pass on some of my experience to athletes from a wider range of sports.

“Irrespective of age, background or discipline, Team England’s sports men and women are dedicated, train hard and are focused on success. Whatever their sport, they share the same joy in competition and have to cope with the same disappointments of injury or loss of form.

“Having been involved in numerous multi-sport events, I understand what support is needed in order to allow athletes to prepare and compete to the best of their potential. It is an exciting time to be involved with Commonwealth Games England, following the recent success at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa and as we build towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.”