SPORTSCOTLAND chair Louise Martin has been elected as President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), becoming the organisation’s first female leader in its 85-year history.
Martin., who was elected as a board member to Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) 20 years ago in 1995, saw off competition from incumbent chief Prince Imran of Malaysia.
Imran, 67, took over as CGF boss four years ago, replacing Jamaican Mike Fennell, but courted controversy when he attempted to move the body’s headquarters from London to Kuala Lumpur.
And Martin - celebrating her 69th birthday today - was installed as the organisation’s new president following her leading role in last year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Vice-president of Glasgow 2014, Martin had visited 64 countries in the lead-up to the XX Commonwealth Games, and told The Scotsman in April last year how she had ‘dreamed’ of bringing the Commonwealth Games back to Scotland after its last outing in Edinburgh in 1986.
Martin - a former swimmer who competed for Scotland at the 1963 Commonwealth Games in Perth - has promised to increase financial support for the 71 members of the CGF, as well as setting up a new trust to help more countries take part in the Youth Games.
She said: “I am extremely proud and humbled to be elected as President of the CGF and it is my chance to give something back to the Movement that means so much to me.
“As someone with a proven track record of collaboration and delivery, as well as dedication and passion for the Movement, I am proud to have been elected by the CGAs who have shown they believe I am the right person to guide the CGF through the next stage of its Commonwealth journey and unlock the immense potential of our unique sporting Movement.”
Current CGS chairman Paul Bush said: “Louise has worked tirelessly over many years to support the Commonwealth Games movement from both a Scottish and international perspective, and at the heart of this has always been a commitment to ensuring that everything that is done is in the best interest of the athletes, something which we all witnessed last year in Glasgow.
“Scotland has always played an active role in the CGF and we are delighted that Louise will now have the opportunity to make an even greater impact on the development of the organisation and the Games as it seeks to address a number of key challenges for the future.”
Sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris said: “I have worked closely with Louise for many years and she has been a terrific chair for sportscotland, contributing a great deal to the development of sport in Scotland and across the Commonwealth.
“It seems fitting that Louise was elected just ahead of the Commonwealth Youth Games, an event she was instrumental in creating, and as the first-ever female president of the CGF, Louise continues to be a trailblazer in sport.”