Boccia UK announce new Chair to lead organisation through to Tokyo 2020 and beyond

David Richmond CBE was today announced as the new Chair of Boccia UK, taking over from John Dowson who was in post for six years.

Boccia UK is the National Governing Body for the Paralympic sport of Boccia in the UK. Their primary role is running the World Class Programme and, using funding from UK Sport, they send players to sanctioned international competitions to qualify athletes to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the Paralympic Games.

David has a background in the military and charity sector and most recently as an independent consultant. He served as an Army officer for 26 years and was seriously wounded in 2008 whilst on operations in Afghanistan. After being medically discharged in 2012, he joined Help for Heroes as their first Director of Recovery and was responsible for developing the vision for their Recovery Services and turning it into an operational reality. He was also Team Director of the UK Invictus Games Team for the first three Invictus Games.

Outgoing Chair, John Dowson commented: “It has been a privilege to have worked with everyone at Boccia UK over the last six years where there have been so many highs and very few lows. This is a sport which has the power to inspire and engage people widely. More can and will be done over the next few years to develop the sport and its profile further and I’m delighted that someone of David’s calibre and experience has been recruited. Alongside his fellow Directors, I am leaving the board in very good hands.”

David Richmond said: “My personal experience has shown me the power of sport to transform lives and I know that this is also true for the athletes who play the unique Paralympic sport of Boccia. I’m excited to be appointed Chair of Boccia UK and look forward to working with colleagues across the home nations to drive the sport forward in the UK and to continue to challenge for medals at the Paralympic Games.”

In addition to the Chair, the Boccia UK Board is made up of representatives of organisations responsible for Boccia in the four home nations and two Independent Directors. The full list is

·       David Richmond CBE (Chair) - Independent

·       Abby Laybourne - Independent (Senior Independent Director and Finance Committee Chair)

·       Jane Jones - Independent

·       Chris Ratcliffe - Boccia England

·       Gavin Macleod – Scottish Disability Sport (Performance Development Committee Chair)

·       Fiona Reid – Disability Sport Wales (Equity & Safeguarding Lead)

Kevin O'Neill – Disability Sport Northern Ireland