UK Athletics re-engage their former event director Cherry Alexander in surprising U-turn

UK Athletics reappoint their former events director Cherry Alexander in a surprising turnaround from the crisis-stricken organisation’s new regime, following her resignation under previous CEO Joanna Coates after 30 years of service

  • Cherry Alexander has been reappointed by the new British athletics regime
  • She left under former CEO Joanna Coates last November, after 30 years at UKA
  • The move has been privately interpreted as an attempt to correct the error
  • UKA in crisis after Coates and Sara Symington both resigned


The new regime at UK Athletics has seen a turnaround by rehiring one of the key staff who left under previous CEO Joanna Coates.

In a move that has been privately interpreted as an attempt to correct a mistake, events director Cherry Alexander has been reappointed just a year after her departure by interim CEO Mark Munro and chairman Ian Beattie.

Her departure last November after 30 years at UKA was held up as a blunder by Coates, who himself left the organization in October.

The new regime at UK Athletics has made a U-turn by renaming Cherry Alexander (above)

Coates had removed UKA from hosting events and Alexander’s return will signal UKA’s efforts under new leadership to get back into the business of hosting championships.

Katie Brazier, who was brought in by Coates after Alexander’s departure, will leave UKA before Christmas.

UKA plunged to new lows following the dramatic resignation of Coates and performance director Sara Symington.

Alexander's departure after 30 years from UKA was held up as a blunder by Joanna Coates

Alexander’s departure after 30 years from UKA was held up as a blunder by Joanna Coates

UKA plunged to new low after performance director Sara Symington resigned

UKA plunged to new low after performance director Sara Symington resigned

sports post understands that Coates left the crisis-stricken organization after participating in a fiery board meeting.

Coates, the former England Netball chief, left the post after less than two tumultuous years.

Following her appointment in March 2020, her government was plagued by infighting and unpopular decisions.

The hiring of Symington, who will now take on the role of Head of the Olympic and Paralympic Program for British Cycling, has been widely criticized for occupying such an important position despite having no background in athletics.

The decision to bring in the inexperienced Christian Malcolm as head coach was criticized

The decision to bring in the inexperienced Christian Malcolm as head coach was criticized

A number of leading British athletes told Sebastian Coe that the setup was not fit for purpose

A number of leading British athletes told Sebastian Coe that the setup was not fit for purpose

That was followed by the decision to bring in the inexperienced Christian Malcolm as head coach for strong favorite Stephen Maguire.

The boiling point came at the Diamond League final in Zurich, when some of Britain’s leading athletes at the Crowne Plaza hotel told World Athletics president Sebastian Coe that the current set-up was not fit for purpose.

As revealed by sports post, they expressed deep doubts about the set-up of the performance after Britain’s worst Olympics since 1996, and shared concerns about the wider governance of the Coates era.

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