Dame Sarah Storey named as Sheffield City Region's active travel commissioner

She is known as Britain’s most successful female Paralympian after winning a string of medals as a swimmer and racing cyclist.

Dame Sarah Storey

Now Dame Sarah Storey will take on her next challenge after being appointed to a new role to boost the wellbeing of people in South Yorkshire by encouraging them to walk and cycle.

Dame Sarah - who has won 14 gold medals - has been named as the Sheffield City Region’s active travel commissioner.

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The position will see her work with city region mayor Dan Jarvis to improve cycling and pedestrian facilities and help people become less reliant on their cars.

Dame Sarah’s appointment follows a similar move in Greater Manchester, where mayor Andy Burnham announced cycling legend Chris Boardman as the region’s walking and cycling commissioner.

Dame Sarah said: “I believe active travel is a less stressful way of moving about and helps to create the foundation of a happier workforce and a happier population. I’ve been so interested in what Chris Boardman is doing with Andy Burnham over the Pennines.

“It’s brilliant to have the opportunity to work closely with mayor Jarvis and his team to do something similar here.”

Dame Sarah’s appointment was announced at Sheffield Hallam University, where a new Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre will open later this year.

Steve Haake, professor of sports engineering, said: “Active travel is an important issue for the Sheffield City Region and having someone like Dame Sarah Storey support our cause will help to inspire more people to become involved and active in our city and our region.”

The event followed the launch of mayor Dan Jarvis’s Transport Vision for the city region last December.

Mr Jarvis said: “Sarah joins us at an exciting time and will play a crucial role in helping us to make sure that active travel remains an absolute priority as we make our region’s transport network fit for the 21st century.

“To have such an exceptional, inspirational and passionate individual leading our active travel agenda is very exciting.”