GB Climbing hires new Head of Performance

Posted by Peter Burnside on 21/04/2021
Lorraine Brown on the right with Shauna Coxsey and her team in Hachioji, Japan. Photo: Band of Birds

The BMC is excited to announce Lorraine Brown has been hired as the new Head of Performance for GB Climbing.

With more than 20 years of experience working in the UK High Performance system for sports, hiring Lorraine Brown as the Head of Performance for GB Climbing is an exciting coup for the BMC at such a pivotal time in the world of competition climbing. Lorraine brings her experience and knowledge from working in pioneering leadership roles at high profile organisations such as Sport England, Paralympic GB and the English Institute of Sport, amongst others.

GB Climbing is part of the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and its mission is to raise performance across all competition climbing disciplines, and developing a successful and sustainable pathway of home-grown athletes. Further funding for GB Climbing, and the new Head of Performance role, was secured in December 2020 from UK Sport, its third commitment of funding to GB Climbing. This builds on the existing investments already made by the BMC and Sport England. The new Head of Performance will continue the journey of successes and exceptional work already undertaken by the existing staff to steer GB Climbing to further triumph.

Currently, Lorraine is the Head of Managed Sports at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) and manages the UK Sport and National Lottery funded GB Climbing Medal Support Plan, working with Shauna Coxsey and her team to ensure they are best prepared to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Lorraine has a considerable background in Olympic and Paralympic sport, having previously been a Performance Director for GB Handball in London 2012 and Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby at Rio 2016; Tokyo 2020 is the sixth Games that Lorraine has had an interest in.

Lorraine Brown, new Head of Performance at GB Climbing, says: “I am thrilled and delighted to be joining the British Mountaineering Council in this new role at such a pivotal moment as competition climbing is about to be introduced to a wider audience on its debuts at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“I am excited by the opportunity to work collaboratively and in partnership with the whole competition climbing community, listening and learning from all disciplines, athletes, coaches, staff, stakeholders and partners, to shape the future of GB Climbing. I look forward to sharing my experiences of working as a performance director within the successful UK High Performance system in order to help create an environment where athletes, coaches and staff can thrive. Ultimately, our goal is to achieve sustained success on the world stage and, over time, across all competition climbing disciplines.”

Paul Davies, BMC interim CEO, says: “We are positively thrilled that Lorraine has accepted the new position as GB Climbing’s Head of Performance. We’re excited to see Lorraine inspire and connect with the UK’s competition climbing community at all levels, and drive forward the vision and ambitions of GB Climbing, in turn supporting the BMC and its members more broadly.

“With her wealth of experience and expert knowledge of the workings of elite sports we know that GB Climbing is now set up for success and we’re really pleased that Lorraine will take GB Climbing forward to Paris 2024.”

Sport Climbing is due to make its long-awaited debut at the rescheduled 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and Shauna Coxsey is poised to be the first ever GB Climbing athlete selected to compete at an Olympic Games.

Lorraine has been overseeing the Medal Support Plan for Shauna and will continue to do so up to the Games after which she will move more fully into GB Climbing to support the transition of all GB Climbing related activity from EIS into the BMC. Lorraine also worked closely with the Aspiration fund which supported GB Climbing athletes Molly Thompson-Smith, Will Bosi and Emily Phillips and played a key role in the successful Progression bid that went to UK Sport.

Shauna Coxsey says: “Myself and my team have worked closely with Lorraine since late 2018 and she has brought a wealth of experience in planning and preparing for the Olympic Games. I wish Lorraine all the best as she takes on the new challenges in her role as Head of Performance at GB Climbing.”

The BMC looks forward to Lorraine helping to develop GB Climbing and this fledgling Olympic Sport from its current status into a world-leading competition climbing nation by 2032, and achieve our ambitions at Paris 2024, Los Angeles 2028 and beyond.



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