Denise Lewis appointed President of Commonwealth Games England

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Denise Lewis has replaced fellow Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes as President of Commonwealth Games England (CGE), it has been announced.

Lewis won two Commonwealth Games gold medals in the heptathlon at Kuala Lumpur in 1994 and Victoria 1998 before taking the Olympic title at Sydney 2000.

“The Commonwealth Games is a very special event that every athlete wants to experience," said Lewis, who is now 43.

"Winning in 1994 and 1998 were some of the highlights of my career. I particularly enjoyed the unique feel of the Games and the experience of being part of Team England."

Lewis' role will include helping develop England's young athletes in the build-up to Gold Coast 2018, as well as providing leadership and guidance to CGE.

“I am thrilled that I have the chance to work with, and support, England’s athletes and help them work towards becoming a Commonwealth medalist.

“I have devoted my life to track and field athletics and while that particular sport will always be my passion, it is great to have the opportunity to pass on some of my experience to athletes from a wider range of sports.

“Irrespective of age, background or discipline, Team England’s sports men and women are dedicated, train hard and are focused on success.

"Whatever their sport, they share the same joy in competition and have to cope with the same disappointments of injury or loss of form.

“Having been involved in numerous multi-sport events, I understand what support is needed in order to allow athletes to prepare and compete to the best of their potential.

"It is an exciting time to be involved with Commonwealth Games England, following the recent success at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa and as we build towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.”

Dame Kelly, the Olympic 800 and 1500 metres gold medallist at Athens 2004, is standing down having held the position since 2009 and overseen a period when England finished top of the overall medals table at Glasgow 2014, the first time they had held that position since Edinburgh 1986.

“We’re delighted that Denise has agreed to become the new President of Commonwealth Games England, she has so much insight to offer," said Ian Metcalfe, chairman of CGE.

"We’re certain that her experience as an elite athlete will inspire the next generation of Team England athletes and assist CGE in supporting them.

“Team England topped the medals table at last year’s Commonwealth Games and we understand the scale of the challenge to repeat the feat in Australia in 2018.

"Denise will bring valuable experience to our senior leadership team and will provide vital guidance to Team England athletes as we look to match that remarkable medal-winning performance on the Gold Coast. ”

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