Tag Archive: chief executive

Sir Gary Verity awarded French national order of merit

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Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire and Director of the Tour de Yorkshire has been given a top honour by the French government.

The Ordre National du Mérite (National Order of Merit) is the second national Order after the Légion d'Honneur, and is awarded by the President of the French Republic in recognition of distinguished military or civilian achievements.

Her Excellency, Sylvie Bermann, French Ambassador to the UK, presented Sir Gary with the Chevalier medal at the Eve of Tour celebration at the National Railway Museum on Thursday 27th April, which marks the start of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire.

The honour recognises Sir Gary’s strong connections with France, his commitment to bringing the Grand Depart to Yorkshire in 2014 and the legacy he has created since with the annual Tour de Yorkshire, encouraging thousands of people to get into cycling.

Sir Gary was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2015, the year after he showcased Yorkshire’s stunning scenery to the world in the Tour de France.

In the wake of the Tour’s huge success, Sir Gary was determined to create a legacy and as Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, devised the annual Tour de Yorkshire event.

The medal he received is a six-armed Maltese asterick in silver, enamelled blue and with laurel leaves between the arms. The central disc features the head of Marianna – a national symbol of the French Republic and on the reverse is a pair of crossed tricolores surrounded by the name of the order and its foundation date.

Sir Gary Verity said: “I’m honoured to have received the Ordre National du Merite and would like to sincerely thank the French Government for this recognition.

“France holds a special place in my heart and Yorkshire’s connection with the country has strengthened over the last four years since we hosted the Grand Depart.

“When I accepted my knighthood I said I would be doing so on behalf of the People of Yorkshire and I accept this honour in the same spirit, as it marks the start of an exciting weekend for the county.”

Her Excellency, Sylvie Bermann, French Ambassador to the UK, said: “I was very pleased to award Sir Gary Verity the insignia of Chevalier in the Ordre national du Mérite on behalf of the French President.

“Sir Gary was instrumental in organizing the Grand Départ for the Tour de France in Leeds in 2014 and Sir Gary’s commitment helped boost Franco-British relations.  

“By making this sporting occasion an international event, which involved France and the UK working closely together, he helped boost economic and political cooperation between our two countries.

“The Grand Départ in Leeds was a huge success, with four million spectators travelling around Yorkshire to see it.”

‘We must engage more with South Asian Community’

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Leicestershire CCC chief exec sets targets ahead of action packed 2015

TARGETS: Wasim Khan MBE has been the chief executive of Leicestershire CCC for just over a month and hopes to bring more South Asian players out of the youth systems and into the senior game.

TARGETS: Wasim Khan MBE has been the chief executive of Leicestershire CCC for just over a month and hopes to bring more South Asian players out of the youth systems and into the senior game.

County cricket may be at the back of many people’s minds at this time of year yet for Leicestershire’s new head, plans are already well underway for the 2015 campaign.

Wasim Khan MBE was appointed as the Midlands’ club’s chief executive at the end of October, laying out his plans for the New Year and his aims for the team.

With vast experience in community projects, through his work with the Professional Cricketers Association and the Cricket Foundation, Khan has put community engagement at the forefront of his objectives.

He stressed that although working with the South Asian community is something that is extremely important, it is vital that the Club looks to engage with the whole community in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

He said: “I don’t believe that the issue of engaging with the South Asian community is a problem that lies with Leicestershire alone.

“In highly South Asian demographic areas, I think that everybody would hold their hands up in cricket and say that based on participation levels and the number of young South Asians in county age group squads around the country, the conversion rate is still very low.

“There is clearly a blockage in the system somewhere and I would like to think that Leicestershire can place itself at the forefront of addressing this.

“It would be great for us to be the pioneers of a pathway that sees more young cricketers from South Asian backgrounds transitioning into the professional game.”

Acknowledging that it may be a tough task to achieve all his targets, Khan added that he is certainly up for the challenge and hopes Leicestershire CCC can become a leader for community engagement in the league.

He said: “We are fortunate that we have a very active and very successful Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket board here. They do a huge amount of good work in the community and there’s a real opportunity for us to work very closely together.

“There is a great platform to look at everything that we do. We want to be become family-centred and engage more with the South Asian community. We want to create more of an emotional connection with people so that they feel that this is their community Club.”