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Army Sports Awards

Guest of Honour- Chris Boardman MBE

About Chris Boardman MBE 

A true family man, Chris is married to Sally-Anne Boardman with who he has six children, two dogs and a cat, residing on the Wirral peninsula for nearly 30 years. 

Trained as a carpenter, nobody outside of the sport of cycling would have known who he was until 1992, when he took Great Britain’s opening Gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics astride the infamous Lotus bike. It was Britain’s first cycling Gold medal in 72 years. The iconic image of the Lotus machine and pointy helmet made his name synonymous with cutting edge technology.  

Professional Cycling 

Chris started his Professional cycling career in late 1993. Over the following 8yrs Chris held the Yellow Jersey in the Tour de France on three separate occasions, took three World titles on track and road and broke several world records.  

Link to key stats to be included:  

Whilst a Professional athlete Chris also served as a Board Member of the then UK Sports Council and was part of the launch of Lottery Funding for Sport. A moment that changed the Nation’s sporting status to this day. 

Secret Squirrel Club 

Chris helped set up and lead the R&D branch of the Great Britain Olympic Cycling team. Over the next few years, the squad dominated the international scene, becoming the most successful British sporting team of all time. This small R&D group came to be known as the “Secret Squirrel Club” and played a significant part in creating that unprecedented sporting prosperity. 

Cycling Advocacy 

Chris has been involved in Cycling Advocacy, largely through his role as Policy Advisor to British Cycling for more than a decade, an activity that led to him becoming Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester. 

During his 4 years in post, Chris helped the Regions Leaders create a 1,800 mile cycling and walking network plan, a 1.5 billion pound project that will take ten-year to deliver. The methods and guidance they created have since been mirrored nationally. 

In his final year working for the regional Mayor Andy Burnham, Chris became Transport Commissioner, responsible for the delivery of a fully integrated, London-Style transport network. Known as the Bee Network, the plan is now well into delivery and when complete it will ensure the people who live, work and play in the region, will have a viable and attractive alternative to using cars. 

Sport England 

As Chair of Sport England, Chris oversaw an organisation that administers approximately 200 million pounds of funding to enable everyone in the country to access sport and be physically active. The innovative strategy involves working in and with communities to empower them to make the changes needed in their neighbourhoods. 

Active Travel England 

Perhaps the biggest challenge Chris has ever faced though, is to lead a whole new organisation, Active Travel England. As Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris is charged with setting up this organisation and overseeing the administration of a 2 billion Pound budget. It will raise the standards of active travel infrastructure and ensure that every large development in the country enables people to live without cars if they choose. 

So far, it’s been quite a ride for Chris and his unwavering companion throughout has been the bicycle, a wonderful and simple device that reduces carbon, improves safety and gives health. It has the power to change the world if we create an environment where people feel able to trundle to shops, schools and workplaces under their own steam. The enduring mission for Chris is to help make that happen.