I Am Looking For

Former CEO of Sport England and the LTA Returns

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Returning to Bolton School for the first time in over 30 years, Roger Draper, spoke to A level PE and Business Studies students in the Boys’ Division and inspected the School’s tennis and badminton provision. Roger is the former CEO of Sport England and the Lawn Tennis Association. 

Whilst joining in with the badminton session, Roger took a moment to reflect on his visit: ‘It’s actually been quite emotional. It has been 36 years since I was last here. I was a pupil from 8 to 16 years of age and I have a lot of happy memories from that time - of playing football in the Cloisters and the Quad. I also have happy memories of the tuck shop and the Undercroft. I enjoyed lots of participation in sports, particularly tennis, football, cricket and swimming, playing for the School team and also for Greater Manchester. 

After Bolton School, Roger graduated from Loughborough University with a BSc (Hons) in PE, Sports Science and Recreation Management and was their first ever student to graduate with international honours in two sports – rugby league and tennis. 

During his career, he has been involved in the global business of sport and became one of the youngest CEOs in the UK business world when he took over as Chief Executive of the English Sports Council (Sport England) in 2002, aged 32. As CEO of the government’s agency for sport, he oversaw the half a billion pounds annual investment into sport and was Accounting Officer for major projects such as the London 2012 Olympic bid and the turnaround of Wembley National Stadium. Roger was the architect of the transformation of English sport, driving major mass participation and bringing a host of international events to the UK and also leading the completion of the £120 million English Institute of Sports Network of high-performance facilities, including major new provision at Bath and Loughborough Universities. 

Roger then became Chief Executive of British Tennis and Wimbledon, where he grew the turnover of the business by 45% as a result of major new global TV and commercial deals. When he started the job in 2006, the GB’s men’s tennis team were ranked 53rd in the world and when he left the role, 8 years later, GB was ranked number 1 in the world, had become Davis Cup champions and Andy Murray had become the first men’s British Wimbledon champion for 77 years. 

After a recent spell acting as Super League Executive Director, he is now working as a Global Business Adviser for Boston Consulting Group, advising governments around the world on transformational change. 

Roger will be the Boys’ Division’s Prizegiving speaker in the summer of 2023.

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