We are delighted that Chris is part of our BRIT Ambassador family and championing the annual BRIT Challenge to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK.
Chris represented Great Britain and England in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m. He competed at the World Student Games, European Junior Championships, European U23 Championships and European Indoor Championships.
Selected to represent Team GB at the Olympics, World Championships and European Athletics Championships, and England at the Commonwealth Games, Chris had to surrender his place on the teams due to an injury-plagued career. Chris retired as an elite athlete in 2008, due to complications resulting from suffering several stress fractures to the right tibia.
“As a former elite athlete who experienced the highs and lows of competition and injury, I have first-hand knowledge of the importance of maintaining good physical and mental health and wellbeing. It is worrying that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacting on both existing mental health difficulties and the mental and emotional health of many new and returning students.
The pandemic has also had a disproportionate impact on particular groups in society, particularly those on a low income, people with an existing mental health condition; children and young adults and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. One in four young people were unable to access the mental health support they needed during the 2020 lockdown and it is vital that they receive support now to look after their wellbeing in order to avoid long-term effects on their mental health.
The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) Vision is to support young adult and student mental health throughout the UK. The annual BRIT Challenge is an UK-wide feel-good February fundraiser that is enabling students and young adults of all abilities to take part wherever they are (at home or on campus) and feel connected and part of a team. BRIT have designed the challenge so that it is inclusive and therefore enables students and staff of all abilities to take part; by hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding).
I am delighted to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family to support and improve young adult mental health and will do all I can to encourage fellow current and retired Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities to join me as BRIT Ambassadors and champion the BRIT Challenge. I would be thrilled support students and staff at the University of Reading, Buckinghamshire New University and Berkshire College of Agriculture as they take on the BRIT Challenge.”
Former Great Britain Sprinter
Chris was educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College before attending Harvard University between 1999 and 2003, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government.
While at Harvard, Chris was a member of The Phoenix SK Club and Varsity Track Team. He broke 5 college and 3 Ivy League records (for the 60m, 100m and 200m), winning 6 Ivy League titles and finishing 4th in the 2003 NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship, becoming an NCAA All-American.
As a junior athlete in 1999, Chris finished 3rd at the European Junior Championships and ran the fastest time in the world over 200m for an U20 athlete.
Named captain of the Great British Junior team in 2000, Chris unable to compete for the majority of the season due to a hamstring injury but left the age group ranked 3rd on the national all-time list.
In 2001, Chris came third in the 100m at the World Students Games and won gold in the 100m at the 2003 World Student Games.
On graduating and beginning a professional career, Chris won gold in the 200m, in a championship record time, and gold in the 4x100m at the 2003 European Athletics U23 Championships. He then became an Olympian, securing selection to Team GB for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, but due to injury he surrendered his place on the 4x100m relay team that went on to win the gold medal.
Chris claimed a silver medal at the 2005 European Athletics Indoor Championships, then in an injury-plagued career, he was also selected for, but had to withdraw from, the 2002 European Athletics Championships, 2005 IAAF World Championships and 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Chris finally retired in 2008, due to complications resulting from suffering several stress fractures to the right tibia. His personal bests for the 100m and 200m were 10.24 (1999), 10.19w (2002) and 20.34 (2003).
Since retirement as an elite athlete, Chris initially worked in recruitment and then forged a highly successful career in Digital Marketing as a Principal Consultant, Senior Manager and Associate Director with numerous global brands. He is now the Go To Market Lead at Adobe.