Commonwealth Games England has announced that Louise Bell has been appointed as Chef de Mission for Samoa 2015.
Louise joined Commonwealth Games England in 2013 as Project Manager before becoming the Operations Director in October 2014. Louise was heavily involved in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games which saw Team England top the medal table for the first time since 1986.
She has extensive experience in operations, logistics and venue management in the international sports industry and has been involved in a number of major events, including the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the 2007 World Swimming Championships and the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Ian Metcalfe, Chairman of Commonwealth Games England said, “I am delighted that Louise has been appointed to the role of Chef de Mission. We ran an open and competitive recruitment process and felt that Louise was the most suitable candidate.”
Louise Bell said, “I am extremely excited to take on this role, especially having just returned from Samoa where I was on a recce with our Sports Director, Don Parker.
"I have been heavily involved in Team England’s logistics and team operations for a few years now, and thoroughly enjoyed Glasgow 2014. My focus for the last six months has been the Commonwealth Youth Games and I am excited about the opportunity to work with our Sports and our HQ team to create an environment that will give our young athletes the best chance of performing at their highest level, and to the best of their ability.”
Team England’s travelling delegation to Samoa will include approximately 90 team members, across eight sports (Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby 7s, Squash, Swimming, Weightlifting), plus an HQ team of seven staff.
Between the HQ and Sport Team Leaders, the management team travelling to Samoa has attended 35 Commonwealth Games, representing Team England in a number of capacities.
Each of the sports has been assigned a Team Leader, who have a vast array of experience and include former Team England athletes and Team Leaders from previous Commonwealth Games.
Details of the Team Leaders can be found online.
They include three-time Commonwealth winner Ellen Falkner (England Bowls) and Louise Pickford, who was Team Leader of the Glasgow 2014 Squash team that won nine medals across all the squash events.
The HQ Team consists of Dr Mike Loosemore, Head Doctor and Head Physio, Laura Hanna, who were both part of the successful Glasgow 2014 set-up in the same roles.
The team also includes Ben Hutchinson as Operations Executive and Don Parker as Sports Director. Samoa represents Don’s tenth Commonwealth Games with Team England.
The fifth instalment of the Commonwealth Youth Games will take place in the Samoan capital city of Apia and will feature nine sports: Athletics, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby 7s, Swimming, Squash, Tennis and Weightlifting.
England has attended all four of the previous Commonwealth Youth Games, ranking within the top three nations in all of the Games.
This year, England’s young stars will take to the stage as they aim to develop as athletes and learn how to compete at an international level.
Louise said, “We are ready to support the young athletes selected to compete in Samoa in what, for some of them, may be their first opportunity to represent England. This opportunity will help them understand the unique nature of a multi-sport environment and assist them to grow and develop as athletes.
Some of England’s highest profile sports stars have appeared at the Commonwealth Youth Games including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Beth Tweddle, Danny Cipriani, Zoe Smith and James DeGale. The Youth Games provides a number of our emerging talent with their first exposure to an international