Former badminton professional and Commonwealth gold medal winner, Stephen Baddeley, has been appointed as the new Director of Sport at the University of Bath.
Stephen, aged 48, who has ten years of experience at Board and Chief Executive level in sport, will take up his new post in February 2010.
His appointment follows a global search for this pivotal role which will see him head up one of the leading university sports departments in the UK.
Stephen has a very impressive sporting background, both on and off the field of play.
As a professional badminton player he won numerous Commonwealth, European and national titles in a career than spanned between 1982 and 1990.
He then became Britain’s team manager for badminton’s first appearance as a full Olympic sport in Barcelona in 1992 before taking up similar coaching roles in Scotland and then Switzerland.
In 1996 Stephen became performance director for the Badminton Association of England before moving to the role of Chief Executive, aged just 36, two years later.
In 2004 he took the role of Director of National Sport for Sport England – the body that distributes Lottery and Government funding to national and local associations.
His four years there included holding the position of interim Chief Executive during which time he developed, agreed and communicated a new vision and strategy for Sport England.
Stephen said: ” The University of Bath has an outstanding sports development system underpinned by world class facilities and it is an immense privilege to be taking on this exciting role, especially during the run up to 2012. The challenge is to build on what is already a great set-up by taking it one step further.”
Professor Kevin Edge, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath, said: “We are delighted to have appointed someone with such a wealth of sporting experience – both as a professional sportsman and coach, and as a Director and Chief Executive with Sport England.
“Stephen’s passion for sport will help to harness the energy and dynamism within the Department of Sports Development and Recreation to ensure our students and other University-based athletes continue to deliver outstanding results in the sporting arena and beyond.
“He will also lead the department’s efforts to continue providing first-class recreational facilities for all our students and staff, and the local community.”
Stephen can expect to be very busy in what is a particularly exciting time for sport at the University.
The University’s sporting success, under its TeamBath brand, has been based on the expertise and dedication of staff and its world class facilities which are used by students, staff, the community and Olympic medal winners alike.
Together this has created a truly inspirational environment in which students can fulfil their sporting potential alongside some of the nation’s sporting elite.
Bath has already been chosen as the venue to host the ParalympicsGB team’s preparations in the run up to London 2012, and discussions are still ongoing about hosting an Olympic team.
A number of sports have their national or other high performance bases at the University including modern pentathlon, bob skeleton, badminton, beach volleyball and judo as well as the University being one of only five Intensive Training Centres for British swimming.
Stephen added: “I look forward to working with colleagues and stakeholders to maintain the University as one of the most important sporting hubs in the UK. I can’t wait to get started.”