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Walker leaps into top role in athletics.

FORMER Olympic hurdler and Wales rugby star Nigel Walker has been named as the new director of the English Institute of Sport - the key sports science and medical organisation for Britain's top athletes.

Since hanging up his spikes in 1992 Walker, who competed in the 110m hurdles at the 1984 Olympics, became a rugby union player with Cardiff RFC and won seven international caps.

He also forged a media career and is leaving his job as BBC Wales' Head of Change & International Communications to work at the EIS, which gets funding from UK Sport.

Walker, 47, said: "I'm really looking forward to getting started at the EIS. It's a unique role that enables me to bring together all my skills, experience and interests.

"Having been a UK Sport board member I have seen not only the challenges faced by the institute but also the opportunities available to it.

"The EIS has a significant role in the high performance system and I can't wait to get started and to play my part in ensuring the organisation delivers against its promise to the sports it supports for years to come." EIS chair Steve Cram said: "Nigel's experience as an international athlete along with his understanding of the high performance system and commercial acumen was obviously important for the EIS, but the leadership qualities he brings will be central to his work at the EIS.

"We are delighted to have attracted someone of Nigel's calibre to this role and his skills and experience will be vital in taking the EIS forward to 2012 and beyond."

UK Sport chief executive John Steele said: "I am delighted that Nigel is joining the EIS team. The institute plays an essential role in supporting Britain's Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

"Nigel has a breadth of experience and I have no doubt he will have a significant impact on driving the EIS towards its vision."

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 6, 2010
Words:321
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