“I’m thrilled that I have been given this opportunity to combine my love of athletics with my profession."
Sophia Warner, a T35 Cerebral Palsy athlete who won 200m silver and 100m bronze in Christchurch, New Zealand in January 2011, is a respected Marketing professional and will lead the sports’ commercial future through one of its most exciting periods to date.
The 37-year-old first represented Great Britain in 1998, but London will be her first Paralympic Games after her events were only recently included in the programme.
UKA CEO Niels de Vos said: “Sophia's appointment is the final piece in our jigsaw having taken full responsibility for our commercial programme in house in March. We have exciting plans to develop both our brand and our commercial strategy in order to take maximum advantage of the profile the 2012 Games will bring to Athletics.
“Sophia has 15 years high level experience in consumer marketing, including stints at Nestle, P&H and BT and has worked with major sponsors like Procter and Gamble. That experience, coupled with the insight of a professional elite athlete, makes her the ideal person for this role, and I could not be more delighted that she is joining us."
Warner – a married mother of two young children as well as a full time athlete – earned her way onto UKA’s World Class Performance Programme following her World Championships performances. As a result she took a sabbatical from her Category Marketing Controller position at Palmer & Harvey to focus on success as an athlete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games but will join UKA full time in October. She said:
“I’m thrilled that I have been given this opportunity to combine my love of athletics with my profession. I have a great passion for both and I believe post 2012 offers even more opportunities for our sport than pre-Games.
“We have already secured major international events post London, including the 2013 European Team Championships and the 2017 World Athletics Championships, giving a real opportunity for the story to continue. Then add in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and you have a compelling prospect for any commercial partner.
“I will continue to throw everything into my preparations for the Games, but following that, I can channel my energies into a new and exciting career at a pivotal time for the number one Olympic and Paralympic Sport.”