BMC Appoints Paul Ratcliffe as New CEO


The British Mountaineering Council has confirmed the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer. Paul Ratcliffe, a former performance director at British Canoeing, Olympic silver medallist and keen climber, will step into his new role on 5 February 2024 to 'lead the BMC into an exciting new era,' the national governing body announced today.

New BMC CEO Paul Ratcliffe.

Manchester-born Ratcliffe has over 30 years of experience in the world of elite sport. He is a two-time Olympian and was a silver medallist in Canoe Slalom at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Following his career as an athlete, Ratcliffe has held various leadership and consultancy roles in national governing bodies, ranging from a period as Performance Director at British Canoeing to a Non-Executive Board Director role at Surfing England and a current position as the Chair of the GB Climbing Competition Climbing Performance Group (CCPG). He also held a recent position as Performance Director at Onyx Commodities, a London-based energy-trading firm.

Paul Ratcliffe succeeds Paul Davies, who left the BMC in September following a four-year tenure.

In the BMC Members Open Forum last week, it was reported that over 40 applications for the position had been received.

Ratcliffe commented in a BMC press release:

"I feel honoured and privileged to be appointed CEO of the BMC and I would like to thank Roger Murray (Chair) and the Board for giving me this exciting opportunity".

"45 years ago, I left a muddy campsite in Buttermere, and my dad guided me through the mist to climb my first mountain, Fleetwith Pike. That day inspired in me a lifelong love of adventure and instilled strong values of dedication, determination and perseverance. I now intend to lead this wonderful organisation with those same core values and with my philosophy of putting members right at the heart of the BMC."

"As we move into our 80th year, I'm excited to begin working with the staff, partners, volunteers, and all stakeholders, to gain a deeper appreciation of the current challenges and opportunities and to understand what better looks like for each of you."

Roger Murray, BMC Chair, said: 

"On behalf of the BMC Board, I'd like to extend a big welcome to Paul, who already knows the BMC through his lifelong love of the mountains and his work chairing the Competition Climbing Performance Group (CCPG).

He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from both his personal journey in elite sport and the expertise and skills that he has developed within the world of finance and trading. In addition to ensuring we move through 2024 on a secure and sustainable financial footing, one of the priorities for Paul will be to build the roadmap to develop and then implement the strategy for the period through to 2030 - I know this will be a significant consultative process with Board, staff, volunteers, members, partners and participants - and all of his past experience will be invaluable in that important programme of work.

Paul is joining an organisation with Directors, Staff and Volunteers with a wealth of experience who are passionate about our activities and sports, I am sure I speak for everyone when I say that we look forward to working with and supporting Paul and his team over the next few, important years and beyond."

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22 Dec, 2023

The last thing the BMC needs is another comp-climbing oriented sod. Focus should be on crag ownership and not building motorways up mountains like we now see on the Ben.

22 Dec, 2023

The same British Canoeing that is only interested in competition kayaking and OC1.

That's done very little for grass roots and seen open canoesist leave in droves.... With most o those that remain only for the cheap British Waterways license

22 Dec, 2023

Is no one concerned that he is a performance director at Onyx Commodities, the number one liquidity provider for oil derivatives in the world. So much for green credentials

22 Dec, 2023

All the best to Paul Ratcliffe in his new role. Great CV. I hope that new CEO's olympic past will not draw focus away from core mission of making sure that we can access our climbs. Personally, I think that it would be best if BMC spun-off Climb Britain in the same way as UIAA let go IFSC. I am big fun of olympic sport climbing, but it is very different activity from what BMC has been doing for our community for so many years.

22 Dec, 2023

It would be appropriate if he gave his first press conference on top of a seldom-visited hill that can only be reached after several hours trudging through peat, in the sort of weather that inspires older climbers and walkers to spend the day in the pub.

I might then be inclined to believe that he's committed. The first mention of 'athletes' though and I'll think he's someone who's more interested in climbing the greasy pole of success in public sporting bodies than what the average climber, walker or hill-goer wants.


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