Two-way shootout for UK Athletics chairman position between Ian Beattie and Chris Grant


Two-way shootout emerges for UK Athletics chairman position as Scotland’s Ian Beattie and Sport England’s Chris Grant compete for role

  • UK Athletics chairman Nic Coward is leaving his role in October of this year 
  • A two-way shootout is emerging between Ian Beattie and Chris Grant
  • Beattie is the Scottish Athletics chair while Grant is on the Sport England board 


A two-way shootout has developed for the chairman’s position at crisis-hit UK Athletics.

Sportsmail understands it is between former Scottish Athletics chair Ian Beattie and Sport England board member Chris Grant to land the post.

The final round of interviews has been held this week, with the urgency around the new appointment escalating at a time of chaos for the organisation. The current chair, Nic Coward, is leaving next month.

Sport England's Chris Grant is one of two frontrunners for the UK Athletics chairman role with Scottish Athletics' Ian Beattie

Sport England’s Chris Grant is one of two frontrunners for the UK Athletics chairman role with Scottish Athletics’ Ian Beattie

There had been calls for the funding body UK Sport to intervene by making an approach to Sir Brendan Foster, as revealed by Sportsmail, but while that move had strong support from major figures on the global track and field scene it has evidently not developed to an SOS call.

Beattie and Grant are both well respected within sport, though Beattie will possibly hold the advantage because of his background in athletics. 

Indeed, the lack of an athletics background among the governing body’s hierarchy, which is led by CEO Joanna Coates, has become a fevered talking point among their many critics.

The mood within the sport reached a new low earlier this month when a number of Britain’s best known athletes made a direct plea for help to World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, citing their disillusionment with the way the sport in this country is run.

Current UK Athletics chairman Nic Coward (above) is leaving his role next month

Current UK Athletics chairman Nic Coward (above) is leaving his role next month

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