Mark Davies appointed Chairman of British Rowing

Davies has a strong rowing pedigree and was part of the team that set up and launched Betfair. He will take up the role as Chairman of British Rowing on 1 April 2018


Mark Davies (c) Nick Middleton

British Rowing is delighted to announce Mark Davies as its new Chairman, taking over from Annamarie Phelps CBE on 1 April 2018.

Davies, 47, has a strong rowing pedigree and has been involved in the sport since learning to row at Christ’s College, Cambridge. He coxed in two reserve Boat Races, represented England at the Home International Regatta and was a finalist at Henley Royal Regatta. Davies served on the executive committee of Cambridge University Boat Club and founded Crabtree Boat Club in 1995.

Davies is Chairman of ArcheryGB, which he joined in 2015, giving him a good insight into sports governance and administration, and the opportunities and challenges faced by a national governing body.

In business, Davies began his career at JP Morgan before moving on to work in the media, spending five years broadcasting and producing for BBC Sport on Radio 5Live and News24. During this time he was also writing about cricket and rowing for the Daily Telegraph.

Davies was part of the team that set up and launched Betfair, the sports betting company, spending ten years as the public face of the business, working with sports bodies and governments around the world.

Since retiring from paid employment, Davies now works with sport and education charities. He is a Trustee of SportsAid, and has had extensive involvement in fundraising for a number of charitable causes including Onside Youth Zones, a project to build a state-of-the-art facility for underprivileged young people in Hammersmith.

Following his appointment, Davies said: “It is an absolute honour and privilege to have been appointed as Chairman of British Rowing. Rowing has been my passion since I picked up my first oar at university and I have seen, first hand, the many positive impacts the sport can have to everyone involved.

“Annamarie, and the late Dame Di Ellis before, have achieved so much for the sport and set British Rowing on a solid course. I am committed to ensuring that we continue to build on their hard work and success, which has served rowing so well. I believe that rowing is a sport for all, and I will work with the Board, staff and the sport’s exceptional volunteers to engage the current community and those new to rowing.”

Photo (c) Nick Middleton
Photo (c) Nick Middleton
Photo (c) Nick Middleton

Commenting on Davies’ appointment, outgoing Chairman Annamarie Phelps CBE said: “I am delighted to be handing over to Mark. I truly believe that rowing will be in safe hands under his tenure. Mark is passionate and committed to rowing and his experience in business, media and sports governance is first rate and will be essential to further developing and growing our sport. I am excited to see how rowing develops under Mark’s and Andy Parkinson’s clear and strong leadership.”

Kate O’Sullivan, Deputy Chairman of British Rowing added: “Mark is bringing a unique blend of skills, knowledge and experience to the Board. I am confident that his leadership will enable the Board to maintain and build upon the momentum set by Annamarie during her chairmanship to modernise the business model, improve access to our sport and to further diversify the opportunities for anyone to get involved in rowing.”

Andy Parkinson, CEO of British Rowing concluded: “I am very much looking forward to working with Mark as he leads the Board of British Rowing. Mark is joining the Board at a really exciting time for the sport, as we look to retain our position as one of the world’s leading rowing nations, develop our membership offer, attract new audiences and, ultimately, get more people involved with this great sport.”

The decision by the Board to appoint Davies follows a robust and open recruitment process that identified a field of highly qualified candidates for the role. Davies will take up the role as Chairman of British Rowing on 1 April 2018. This will be alongside his role as Chairman of ArcheryGB until the end of his term in 2019.

Media opportunities with Davies will be available from 3 April.