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Dawn Bowden MS, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism

First published:
29 August 2023
Last updated:

I would like to inform Members of appointments I have made to the Board of Sport Wales, following an open recruitment process. 

I have appointed Ian Bancroft as Vice Chair of Sport Wales. Ian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the post, having served as a Board Member of Sport Wales since October 2017 and also through his role as Chief Executive of Wrexham County Borough Council.

I have made three further appointments to the Board, as several members have come to the end of their terms. The new Board members are Nuria Zolle, Rhian Gibson and Chris Jenkins. Together, they bring a wealth of experience from the sporting arena and other important sectors.

I am grateful to the new members for accepting the invitation to serve on the Board. The Vice Chair and new members will commence their term of office on 1 October for a three-year period.

I am confident that the Board has the expertise and experience required to support me and the staff of Sport Wales in taking forward our Programme for Government ambitions.  I look forward to working with them.

In welcoming these new members I am also grateful to the out-going members Pippa Britton, Ashok Ahir and Alison Thorne for their service.

This statement is being issued during recess to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.

Nuria Zolle:

Nuria is an experienced leader with a passion for social justice and community development. She brings experience in the non-profit and public sector, and is a well-respected advocate for tackling poverty and promoting inclusion. She has shaped national and local strategies, coalitions and partnerships. Her pioneering strategic and partnership work has been replicated across the UK and overseas, and has helped drive real change and progress in the fight against poverty and inequality. 

Nuria also brings a wealth of expertise in strategic planning, risk management, governance and leadership. She has held executive roles and is a trustee on a number of charities including Ospreys in the Community. Currently, she is a Non -Executive Director of Swansea Bay University Health Board where she chairs the Audit Committee and Charitable Funds Committee. 


Rhian Gibson:

Currently Director of Communications, Engagement and Partnerships for The National Library of Wales, Rhian has a background in media, communications, sport, and culture.

She has worked as a senior leader in BBC Wales News and Current Affairs and as Director of Commissioning for S4C. She is also a former CEO of Welsh Gymnastics and of The Pony Club UK, and has also served as a Charity Director for Velindre University NHS Trust and as a Deputy Director in the Welsh Government. 

She is currently a Trustee of Diverse Cymru and a Director of Pontypridd Rugby Football Club. Rhian has worked to increase participation, diversity, and opportunity in her various roles in sport. Rhian is a Welsh speaker and lives in Aberystwyth.


Chris Jenkins:

Chris was CEO of Commonwealth Games Wales until just after Birmingham 2022, having been involved with Team Wales since Melbourne 2006. He then joined Commonwealth Games Wales full time in 2006 and was Chef de Mission for Wales at the Delhi Games 2010, and as CEO of Commonwealth Games Wales, had 3 of Wales’s most successful Games.

In 2011 he was elected to the Board of Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) as European Regional Vice President, serving two terms before being elected as Vice President of the CGF in 2019, chairing the Development Committee, supporting members, and leading on the CGF inclusion initiatives around disabled sport-GAPs, as the Commonwealth Games is an integrated event. He also chairs the Commonwealth Sport Foundation.

Before his roles with sport, Chris worked in asset management in London for 24 years, specialising in global markets, and was a director of Rothschild. He also competed for Wales in rowing for eight years, including at the Commonwealth Games in 1986. He has a degree from Oxford University, an MBA from Warwick Business School and currently in the last year of his PhD on the sustainability of Multi-Sport events.