Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association, announced his first major appointment when he revealed on Thursday (22 September) Craig Hunter as the Chef de Mission for the ParalympicsGB team at the London 2012 Games.
“I have spent my first 10 weeks determining the very best structure for a home Games, both to ensure maximum success for the ParalympicsGB team and extract maximum value for the organization that sits behind it, the British Paralympic Association,” Hollingsworth told ParalympicsGB.
“In Craig we have a hugely experienced, inspirational Chef de Mission whose operational knowledge, eye for detail and leadership qualities will ensure that everything is done to support lifetime best performances by British athletes.”
Hunter has been involved in high-performance sport for 13 years, covering a wide range of positions, including technical officials, team managers and Chef de Missions.
As Chef de Mission for Team England at the Delhi Commonwealth Games he delivered the team’s most successful overseas results in a challenging environment, invaluable experience on which he can draw during a high-pressure home games.
“I am enormously proud and honoured to take on this role,” Hunter told ParalympicsGB. “It is a great opportunity to work with what is already an outstanding team and aim for even greater success in London. Whilst everything that we do will be focussed on winning medals, I’m also hugely excited that ParalympicsGB’s performance can go beyond that and inspire many young people to get involved in sport and help shift attitudes towards disability."
His appointment was well received by Team Leaders and athletes alike with Stephen Park, Team Leader for the Sailing, saying:
“These are exciting and important times for the Paralympic Movement, and I approve of the decision to focus the Chef de Mission role on maximizing the success of the team at the Games, whilst separately allowing the CEO to represent the BPA and the sports more widely.
Sarah Storey, a Para-Cyclist and multi-medallist at five Paralympic Games, commented:
“I know how important this role is at Games time. Knowing that there is someone you can call on for advice, who understands the complexities and the elite nature of the competitive environment, gives you confidence. Craig has been both my Team Manager at the Manchester Commonwealth Games and my Chef de Mission in Delhi and he did a superb job at both. It’s a great appointment”.
Hunter will take up his post in a part-time capacity in October and will move to a full-time role at the beginning of 2012.