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British Cycling creates new 'People Director' role for athlete and staff welfare

British Cycling pursuit team 2007
Josh Cunningham
7 Apr 2017

New position filled by Michael Chivers, previously of Maersk Line

British Cycling has announced that it has created a new role, People Director, in an effort to refresh the leadership structure which has come under such heavy fire in recent months, and 'put the welfare of athletes and staff at its core.'

The position has been filled by Michael Chivers, who joins the governing body after career periods with the AA, Hampshire County Council, Sony, Sony Ericsson and Maersk Line. 

'There is no doubt that British Cycling’s major success story in terms of both elite glory and participation has been down to the exceptional work of its people. But for too long we’ve been a purely results driven organisation and it is clear that this has sometimes been at the expense of ensuring that our athletes and staff are looked after,' said Chivers when commenting on his appointment.

Indeed, in a leaked version of an independent report carried out into the culture at British Cycling after accusations of sexism and bullying, the body was accused of harbouring a 'culture of fear' and 'dysfunctional leadership structure'.

The report also said that certain actions taken by British Cycling's board 'call into serious question whether the composition of the British Cycling board is fit to govern a national sporting body.’ 

Continuing on his role, Chivers added: 'There are only six roles on the executive leadership team at British Cycling and the fact that one of them is solely dedicated to athlete and staff welfare and performance is a sign of how seriously the organisation is taking this. I feel privileged to be able to dedicate myself to making sure that we absolutely get this right.' 

British Cycling's new chair, Jonathan Browning, recently announced a 39-point action plan based upon the findings of the leaked report, over half of which - according to British Cycling - 'concerns the culture, values and behaviours of leaders and staff.' 

Commenting on Chiver's appointment, Browning said: 'Michael Chivers’ experience and expertise in change and people management will be invaluable in pushing ahead British Cycling’s plans to ensure the organisation is effective and accountable in its management of athletes and staff so that it fosters a transparent and inclusive culture, following past failings in this area.'

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