Jack Buckner, featured in Athletics Weekly magazine in the 1980s, when Jack Buckner, 1987 World Champs 5000m bronze medalist,
1986 European gold, Commonwealth Games silver at 5000m, covers courtesy of Athletics Weekly
It was announced yesterday that Jack Buckner has become the new CEO of UK Athletics. Athletics Weekly did a wonderful piece on Jack Buckner and why he would be a fine CEO candidate for UK Athletics.
RunBlogRun is familiar with Mr. Buckner. He was a tremendous athlete and handled the media with aplomb. As a sports executive, Jack Buckner has built a reputation as a thoughtful leader. It is great to see him return to athletics. We congratulate him on his new position. We also give a tip of the hat to Ian Beattie, UK Athletics Chair, who has righted the ship of one of the most historic and important athletic federations in our world.
The feature below is from Stuart Weir.
New Chief Executive for UK Athletics
UK Athletics has announced the appointment of Jack Buckner as its new Chief Executive. A former athlete, Buckner is a 1987 World Athletics Championships Bronze medallist and 1986 European Gold and Commonwealth Silver medallist over 5000m.
Jack Buckner, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
He is currently the Chief Executive of British Swimming and previously of the British Triathlon Federation, as well as having worked for Adidas in the UK, Germany, and the United States.
Buckner said of his appointment: “I’m incredibly excited to continue my sporting journey at UK Athletics, where I know there are so many great people doing amazing things in Olympic and Paralympic sport. Many thanks to Ian Beattie and the Board at UKA for giving me this opportunity. Athletics has been a huge part of my life since I was a teenager, and I can’t wait to be trackside later in the year. Taking on the CEO role will be an exciting challenge and one I feel privileged to have been offered.
I am looking forward to getting started”.
In another new development, Mark Munro UKA’s permanent director of development, who has been interim CEO, will become Chief Operating Officer, working alongside the new CEO.
UK Athletics Chair Ian Beattie said: “I am delighted to announce Jack as our new CEO. We were impressed with the range and quality of applicants for the role at this exciting time for athletics, but Jack was the standout candidate with his feel for the sport and knowledge as an athlete. Both the Board and I look forward to working with Jack, starting with this very busy and exciting summer and looking ahead to the fast-approaching Paris Olympics and Paralympics. I’ve no doubt we’ve got some great talent in the senior leadership team and organization and I’m looking forward to working with them in the coming years.”
Athletics Weekly described Buckner as “the perfect choice to lead UK Athletics,” adding, in an article by Jason Henderson, “Buckner is a lifelong athletics man – a two-time Olympian who, despite his elite achievements on the global stage, never lost his connection with the grassroots clubs’ scene. Likable and popular, there are unlikely to be many critics of his appointment. If the decision had been made by a nationwide vote among athletics clubs, he would surely have been the overwhelming No.1 selection. The people’s choice, in fact, in a sport crying out for astute and strong leadership”.
It has been a turbulent few years for British Athletics with chairs, interim chairs, a CEO and interim CEOs since Ed Warner (Chair) and Niels de Vos (CEO) left in 2017. While Jo Coates did good things as CEO in terms of structure and safeguarding for example, she never really gained the confidence of the sport and it was often said that neither she nor her performance director, Sara Symington, actually “got” the sport.
Chair Ian Beattie and CEO Jack Buckner are very much men of the sport. Many people myself included, felt that Mark Munro had done an excellent job as interim CEO and was sorry that (for personal reasons) he felt unable to seek the job on a permanent basis. I am therefore delighted the he will retain a significant executive role. (See Socialing the distance with Mark Munro at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktEhWnuOz8c
The big issue for British Athletics is now to appoint a permanent performance director (or technical director as it is being called).
See previous posts of UK Athletics Governance