UK Athletics

UK Athletics today confirmed the two new non-executive directors who will join the board from February 1, 2022.

Following an open process launched last Autumn by UKA Chair Ian Beattie, Marilyn Okoro and Wendy Sly have been appointed to the UKA board.

Marilyn Okoro is a double Olympian, having competed in Beijing 2008 and London 2012, and has won medals at Olympic, World, and European levels. As an 800m athlete, she is ranked 10th all-time in the UK and was a key part of the women’s 4x400m team.

Outside of competition she is highly regarded in championing mental health, social mobility, and athlete welfare, and is a graduate of an accredited programme in corporate governance.

Wendy Sly MBE, is an Olympic and Commonwealth Silver medallist over 3000m, having competed for Great Britain in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. She also won gold over 10km in the World Road race championships in 1983 and still ranks 6th in the UK all-time for the distance.

n addition to her track credentials, she has also enjoyed a successful career in publishing and continues to serve the sport in roles including team management, athlete mentoring and has previously served a term on the board of England Athletics.

Chair of UK Athletics, Ian Beattie, said: “On behalf of the board I would like to welcome Marilyn and Wendy into these crucial non-executive roles and look forward to us benefitting from the experience they will bring to UKA.

“The quality of applications for these roles was very impressive and I would like to thank all the shortlisted candidates for their interest and engagement in this process as without exception all were of an incredibly high standard.

“The composition of the board is essential for the success of the organisation and I am delighted with the mix of expertise around the table. I have no doubt they will provide excellent support and guidance for the leadership team in what is an exciting year for athletics.”

Marilyn Okoro said, “I am elated to have been appointed to the board of UKA. As an athlete you want to be involved and help the sport and I am thrilled with this opportunity. The sport is in my blood, and I hope that I can help bridge the gap between the board and the sport and provide an athlete’s voice.

“I am excited by the joined-up approach outlined by Athletics Unified as I know when the sport collaborates and works together great things can happen. It’s an exciting time to be involved and I look forward to working with Ian and the rest of the board of UKA.”

Wendy Sly said:

“I’m thrilled to be involved in a new era, not just for UKA but for the whole sport in the UK. I’ve spent 50 years of my life in the sport that I love and I am honoured to have this opportunity to join the board at this exciting time.

“I’ve been privileged to have been involved with team management, and mentoring athletes over the years, so I hope that I can continue to be a familiar face to everyone in the sport and be an approachable figure on the board.

“There have been quite a few changes in the last couple of years and it is great to be part of the new look UKA board that really reflects and has a connection with the sport.”