Furlong and Warburton to head media team at UKA

UK Athletics has announced two key appointments to their communications team. Claire Furlong will lead the department as head of communications and Richard Warburton takes up the newly created post of communications manager – performance.

Furlong joins UKA from Vero Communications, the company established by Mike Lee, who ran the PR campaign for the London 2012 Olympic bid and which has been operating on a consultancy basis for UKA this year.

In its press release, UKA said that Furlong “will work closely with recently appointed chief executive Niels de Vos and the UKA board to oversee the development of the organisation’s strategic communications.”

Furlong, pictured, is the former head of media at the English Institute of Sport and she has also had responsibility for editorial and live sport output as deputy programme director at TalkSport, having started her career as a sports reporter and producer at Meridian television, and news and sports editor on Isle of Wight Radio, which she joined straight from college in 1996.

Warburton is a former senior government press officer at the Home Office and Department of Culture, Media and Sport. He will act as the team press officer at major events, such as the World Championships in Osaka later this summer.

The appointments mark a shift in emphasis for UKA under the new management team of de Vos, the former chief executive at Sale Sharks, and chairman Ed Warner, with more press work being taken in-house at their Birmingham headquarters, much of which has in the past been handled by the sport’s long-term sponsorship agency, Fast Track.

This was reflected in de Vos’s comments in UKA’s announcement, where he said, “Claire brings with her a wealth of experience and combined with her energy will transform the way we communicate to the wider sport and beyond.

“Richard will play a key role in supporting our Performance Team as they focus on the exciting challenges that lie ahead of us in the lead up to London 2012.”

To contact Richard Warburton, phone: 0870 998 6709 or e-mail