World Sailing has appointed sustainability expert and Paralympic medalist Alexandra Rickham as Head of Sustainability.
During her sailing career with Niki Birrell, an Olympic class sailor with cerebral palsy, Rickham won two Paralympic Bronze medals, five consecutive World Titles and three World Cups in the SKUD18.
Following the removal of sailing from the Paralympics after Rio 2016, Rickham has focused on her passion for environmental and social change.
She joins World Sailing directly from specialist sports sustainability consultancy Earth to Ocean, where she set up SailGP’s sustainability programme and later transitioned into being their Diversity & Impact Manager.
Rickham has also advised a host of other sporting property clients over the course of her time at Earth to Ocean.
She is well known in the global sustainability community as a public speaker, appearing regularly on The Sport Ecology Group’s Climate Champions and GreenSports podcasts, as panelist for COPtimism and Sport Positive Summit, working with global sports stakeholders to accelerate climate action.
Rickham also serves as Advisory Board Member and Ambassador for EcoAthletes, which brings together athletes, academics, climate scientists, ecopreneurs, green business leaders and journalists.
“We are all extremely excited to have Alexandra on board to spearhead our Sustainability Agenda 2030,” said David Graham, CEO of World Sailing.
Alexandra Rickham takes up her role as Head of Sustainability in March 2022.
2022 will also be a crucial year for Para Sailing as World Sailing pursues its ambition to see sailing reinstated for the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.
A swimming accident transformed Alexandra Rickham’s life aged 13, when she broke her neck which resulted in her becoming a tetraplegic/quadriplegia and full time wheelchair user.
Following treatment at the UK’s Stoke Mandeville National Spinal Injuries Centre, she gained a degree in Natural Sciences and then a Masters in Environmental Technology at Imperial College.
After an approach by the Royal Yachting Association, Rickham partnered with Niki Birrell in the new SKUD18 skiff class, winning the trials for Beijing 2008 . . . and the rest is history!