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Jennifer Nesbitt

Jennifer Nesbitt

Former Welsh Gymnastics Chair Helen Phillips MBE has been announced as the new President of Commonwealth Games Wales (CGW).

Nominated by the CGW Board and elected by the members at yesterday’s AGM, Helen will begin her role immediately, taking over from Anne Ellis OBE who steps down after two Games cycles.

Helen has played an integral role in leading the board over the last nine years, through its modernisation program and the commercialisation of the brand.

She has supported the planning and delivery of Team Wales at five Commonwealth Games including Melbourne 2006, Delhi 2010 and, most recently, as Chair for Glasgow 2014, Gold Coast 2018 and Birmingham 2022. During this time establishing very strategic relationships with significant stakeholders in Wales and across the Commonwealth, both in business and in sport.

Helen was awarded an MBE in 2019 for service to Welsh Gymnastics, formally a judge and administrator and more recently President of British Gymnastics. Whilst judging at the 2002 Commonwealth Games was her first official involvement with Commonwealth Sport, Helen competed internationally as a squash player and later a coach and referee.

‘’I am honoured to accept the role as President, and the opportunity to take the baton from the great Anne Ellis OBE – who has inspired so many in Welsh sport – heightens the honour that goes beyond any of my previous achievements,” said Helen.

“It’s been a pleasure serving our member sports and their athletes and, albeit in a different role, I look forward to the next cycle and enhancing the profile of Team Wales.”

The news came on the same day it was also announced that former Chair of the Welsh Rugby Union, Gareth Davies, will succeed Helen as Chair of CGW.

Outgoing Chair Helen said: “We were overwhelmed with the level of interests in the role of Chair.

“It has been an absolute honour to Chair this great organisation since 2014, supported by a tremendous board. I am delighted to be handing over the board leadership to Gareth.

“He is respected and admired for his contribution across sport for decades; an experienced Chair who will immediately impact on the new strategy being created and further enhance the excellent work in relation to sports governance we have driven.

“I know Gareth’s passion for the Commonwealth Games will further elevate our ambitions and, critically, ensure our athletes have the very best chance to shine when representing our great nation.”

Rebecca Edwards-Symmons, CEO of Commonwealth Games Wales, added: “Helen has been a fantastic Chair to our organisation and is an inspiring leader who is highly regarded, respected, and admired by many.

“Her vast experience coupled with infectious passion for Team Wales is admired across the CGF and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her guidance and exceptional leadership in the first six months of my tenure here at Team Wales.”

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