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Richard smiling at the camera wearing a white shirt, sat inside the Hazlerigg Building with stained glass windows behind him

Richard Wheater announced as Loughborough’s Director of Sport

Loughborough University is delighted to announce that Richard Wheater has commenced his new role as Director of Sport for Loughborough University.

He follows predecessor John Steele, who earlier this year stepped down from the role after nine years.  

The Director of Sport role is responsible for leading SDC, which manages the non-academic element of sport at Loughborough, such as the many sporting facilities across campus, engaging a multitude of sports and commercial partners, developing the next generation of the sports workforce, and managing both elite sport and recreational sports offerings, such as performance athletes and the Athletic Union, which has approximately 5,500 members. 

Richard graduated from Cambridge with an MA in History and Philosophy of Science and a master's in business administration (MBA). He is a former British Army Officer, having served with the Royal Engineers.  

He has extensive experience in the sector, having worked in athletics for a number of years holding positions such as Head of Coaching for England Athletics before securing a role as Head of Coaching and Development at British Athletics. Additionally, he has strong relationships with a range of national governing bodies and other major partners such as UK Sport, UKSI, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust.  

Joining Loughborough in 2015, Richard began his journey here as Performance Director and in 2017 this was expanded to Performance and Development Director. Throughout his time at the University, he has been involved in the development of thousands of student-athletes – from those in their early careers to those who have accomplished podium positions at worldwide events including the Olympics and Paralympics.  

On announcing his new appointment, Richard commented: "I’m extremely proud to work at Loughborough. I know I have big shoes to fill, but I’m determined to ensure that students and staff remain a critical focus as I start this new role and we begin to develop the next phase of Loughborough’s sporting history. 

“I look forward to continuing to work with colleagues across the University and broadening our range of contacts within this amazing organisation. I will be working closely with the newly appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor for Sport, Jo Maher, in a joined-up and collaborative way. Loughborough has been in the lead in so many areas of sport for a long time, but we must keep innovating to stay ahead.” 

Chief Operating Officer Richard Taylor added: “I’m delighted Rich has commenced as our new Director of Sport. He brings huge expertise and insight to our sporting offer. I know Rich is looking forward to working with Jo and all colleagues across the University to ensure our leading global position in sport.”