John Steele. Executive Director of Sport
John has a unique blend of experience in creating and leading high performing teams, developed as a professional athlete, sports coach and in Chief Executive roles in the private, public, and not for profit sectors.
He served as an army officer having been trained at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to lead teams in high pressure environments. On leaving the army he qualified as a chartered surveyor and worked in the corporate property world before becoming a professional rugby player.
Johns playing career saw him take on the New Zealand All Blacks, Australian Wallabies and South African Springboks. On finishing playing John turned to coaching and successfully led Northampton Saints to become European Champions. John’s experience in Rugby Union also saw him serve on the England Rugby Board during the successful World Cup campaign of 2003 and be appointed as CEO of the Rugby Football Union.
The winning of the bid for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics saw John take up post as CEO of UK Sport, the organisation tasked with delivering a world class high performance sport system and, delivering in partnership, medal success for Team GB. His tenure through the Beijing Games and lead into the London Games saw unprecedented results for Team GB. He has had leadership roles in ten different Olympic and Paralympic games. With the nation’s sporting focus switching to an Olympic legacy for ‘an inspired generation’, John took up the post of Group Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust. In January 2015 he was recruited to join the team at Loughborough University as the Executive Director of Sport in order to grow its status as a beacon of sport in the UK and worldwide.
John has kept his links with TeamGB at UKSport Board, and as Chair of the English Institute of Sport, the ‘team behind the team’ responsible for providing technical performance support to Olympic and Paralympic athletes.