For almost 20 years, the English Institute of Sport (EIS) has been the leading provider of science, technology, and medicine support to Olympic and Paralympic sports. It has over 350 employees working with more than 40 sports across the country.
Following an 18 month trial, the EIS was launched in May 2002 with Steve Cram MBE as Chairman, and was originally developed to help centralise and co-ordinate all of the science and medical services that were being provided to Olympic and Paralympic sports at the time following the Sydney Olympics. Originally funded by Sport England following an initiative announced in 1999 to develop a £120million network of English Institute Centres, the EIS became funded and owned by UK Sport in 2006 after the successful bid for the London 2012 Games.
9 (now 8) world class performance centres were developed around the UK to provide support services to athletes on their medal ambitions, and over the years the services the EIS provides have expanded exponentially from more traditional sports support such as medicine, physiotherapy and strength and conditioning, into a wider range of services such as biomechanics, performance innovation, performance lifestyle, and mental health.
In 2013, Steve Cram MBE stepped down as Chair and was replaced by John Steele, a former army officer and professional rugby player who had previously served as a Chief Executive in private, public, and charitable sports organisations including UK Sport, the Rugby Football Union and the Youth Sport Trust.
It has been led since 2010 by National Director Nigel Walker, formerly Head of Change and Internal Communications at BBC Wales, and ex-international athlete and rugby union player.
In July 2021, John Dowson took over as the latest Chair of the EIS. John was previously Senior Independent Director at UK Sport and is also a former Chair of the UK Boccia Federation.