World sailing

Alexandra Rickham joins World Sailing – Sailweb

World Sailing has appointed sustainability expert and Paralympic medalist Alexandra Rickham as its sustainability manager.

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 SKUD18.

After sailing retired from the Paralympic Games after Rio 2016, Rickham focused on her passion for environmental and social change.

GB Paralympic Team 2012 – Alexandra Rickham, left front row

She joins World Sailing directly from sports sustainability consultancy Earth to Ocean, where she set up SailGP’s sustainability program and later became their Head of Diversity and Impact.

Rickham has also advised a host of other sports property clients during his time with Earth to Ocean.

She is well known in the global sustainability community as a public speaker, appearing regularly on Sport Ecology Group’s Climate Champions and GreenSports podcasts, as a panelist for COPtimism and Sport Positive Summit, working with global sports stakeholders to accelerate climate action.

Paralympic 2016 - GBR Scud18
Paralympic 2016 – GBR Scud18

Rickham is also an 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 lead our 2030 sustainability agenda,” said David Graham, CEO of World Sailing.

Alexandra Rickham takes up her role as Head of Sustainable Development in March 2022.

2022 will also be a pivotal year for Para Sailing as World Sailing pursues its ambition to see sailing re-established for the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.

Paralympic Medals - GB Team 2012
Paralympic medals – GB Team 2012 – Niki Birrell, Alexandra Rickham (Scud18 bronze) and Helena Lucas (gold 2.4mR)

A swimming accident transformed the life of Alexandra Rickham at the age of 13, when she broke her neck, which led to her becoming a quadriplegic/quadriplegic and a full-time wheelchair user.

After treatment at the Stoke Mandeville National Spinal Injuries Center in the UK, she obtained a degree in natural sciences and then a master’s degree in environmental technology at Imperial College.

After an approach from the Royal Yachting Association, Rickham teamed up with Niki Birrell in the new skiff class SKUD18, winning the 2008 Beijing Trials. . . And the rest is history!

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