Tom Paulson has been appointed as the Head of Paralympic Performance at UK Athletics following the completion of an open recruitment process which included a para athlete representative.
Paulson, who will take his post in mid-August, will join UK Athletics from the English Institute of Sport (EIS) where he has held the post of Head of Paralympic Performance Support since 2017, working at the British Paralympic Association as Head of Performance for Tokyo 2020, and Deputy Chef de Mission for Beijing 2022.
With a career in elite Paralympic sport including the role of Performance Lead for Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby throughout the Rio cycle, Paulson has extensive experience in the key areas of support required for athletes to excel at the highest level.
After working closely with several Paralympic sports Head Coaches and Performance Directors across the summer and winter programmes over the last few years, Paulson will join UK Athletics at a key time for the Programme with the Paralympic Games Paris 2024 just over two years away, and a World Para Athletics Championships scheduled in the same city in the summer of 2023.
Paulson will be responsible for leading the UK Athletics Paralympic World Class Programme (WCP), and driving the performance strategic development, planning and leadership within the High-Performance System for UK Athletics.
In the role, he will support athletes to medal at global integrated and para specific athletics championships and Paralympic Games for each cycle. This includes supporting para athletes and coaches to optimise their training and performance environments and ensure the WCP is impactful and delivers value towards their progress and success at Paralympic Games.
His role will provide the strategic leadership to support the development of the WCP, and underpinning para pathways and talent identification processes that ensure a sustainable pipeline of athletes and coaches who can deliver consistent medal success on a world stage within the next four years and beyond.
Upon his appointment, Paulson said; “I am delighted to be joining UK Athletics as the Head of Paralympic Performance. After working in elite Paralympic sport for over 12 years, this is a fantastic opportunity to be involved in the biggest Paralympic sport and lead the para athletics strategy and programmes in the High-Performance System. I look forward to working closely with all the highly talented athletes, coaches, staff, and support personnel.”
“I am incredibly grateful to the English Institute of Sport for the opportunity to work alongside world-leading experts in talent-identification, athlete preparation and performance planning over the last six years. I am also very fortunate to have been part of ParalympicsGB’s exceptional leadership team for the recent Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games. These experiences, combined with the wealth of expertise in the para-athletics world class programme, will ensure we can best support athletes and coaches to repeatedly deliver world-leading performances at next year’s World Championships and future Paralympic Games”.
Tommy Yule, Head of Performance at UK Athletics, commented on the appointment by saying,
“We are thrilled that Tom has accepted this highly important role in the High-Performance system at UK Athletics. The Para Athletics programme has produced incredible results over the last decade or so and is world-leading in several areas. Therefore, to have someone of Tom’s experience join in that role to provide the leadership to para athletics at UKA is crucial to continue to support our athletes, coaches and support personnel to perform at their highest level on the international stage, and to ensure the WCP is impactful and delivers value for all parties.”