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Strategic leadership and sport inclusion expert Dr Paul Thomas has been appointed as chair of Sport Wales by the Welsh government.

Thomas will take up the position for three years from the beginning of April 2016, taking the reins from Professor Laura McAllister who served as chair for six years.

He said that upon his appointment he wanted to deliver the organisation’s vision of “uniting a proud sporting nation,” in which everyone in Wales was “fit and enjoying life through the benefits of sport.”

“Over the past decade I have worked in regions all over the world, making a difference to the health and wellbeing of people, leaders and organisations,” he added. “It’s such a privilege to be able to use that experience to play a part in the future of Welsh sport.”

Thomas had previously led major projects for both Sport England and UK Sport, and was named on the shortlist for Sir Alex Ferguson’s Most Influential Leader of the year award in 2015. Closer to home, he established a community fitness gym in Ebbw Vale to improve the physical fitness of local people.

One of Thomas’ priorities will be driving and facilitating a new approach to community sport that “creates a clear line of sight” between Welsh government goals and investment decisions, and the needs and challenges of clubs, communities, coaches, athletes and volunteers.

Welsh deputy minister for culture, sport and tourism, Ken Skates, said Thomas was elected for his “vision, passion and commitment, along with his knowledge and experience in leadership and management.”

“We want to break down the barriers to participation in sport and physical activity and create opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to become hooked on sport for life,” added Skates.

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Strategic leadership and sport inclusion expert Dr Paul Thomas has been appointed as chair of Sport Wales by the Welsh government.
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Dr Paul Thomas will replace Professor Laura McAllister on 1 April 2016 for a three-year term / DNA Definitive
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