By Mike Rowbottom

greatnorthrunFebruary 9 - Ian Stewart, who parted company with UK Athletics in acrimonious circumstances at the beginning of this month, has been appointed as a consultant to Nova International's Great Run series.

The 64-year-old former European champion and Olympic medallist, who had promoted UKA's main domestic meetings and headed the organisation's endurance running until being replaced by his deputy, John Nuttall, will now expand upon the input he has already made in recent years to the company set up by his former British team-mate Brendan Foster.

Stewart, who will take up his new role within the next few weeks, added, "Having collaborated with Brendan Foster on a number of projects in the past, I'm looking forward to this change in career direction and working with the talented and knowledgeable team at Nova."

The timing of Stewart's departure from UKA worked well for Nova, given that their Elite Project Manager, Andy Caine, had announced he was leaving the company in order to take up a position with Puma.

Stewart has built up a huge number of contacts during his 20 years of working within UKA on its flagship indoor and outdoor athletics meetings – including the UK's  two IAAF Diamond League events.

stewartteamIan Stewart, second right, in 2009 ahead of the IAAF Diamond League launch with (from left) UKA Chief Executive Niels de Vos, IAAF President Lamine Diack and Fast Track director Jon Ridgeon

Eric Wilkins, Nova's chief executive, commented: "Nova have created and developed many events which are characterised by huge numbers of participants – the Bupa Great North Run remains our flagship, but iconic events throughout the UK and beyond have followed.

"However, we will never compromise on our commitment to attracting the very best athletes to our leading events. Ian Stewarts reputation as one of Britain's best ever distance runners, his work with the current crop of British endurance athletes and his role organising the best annual track meetings in the country mean that he will be an important addition to our team."

David Hart, Nova International's communications director, added: "Ian is a familiar face.

"He has worked with us in the past on putting together fields for our Edinburgh Cross Country event and also helped create a strong international field for our Great CityGames. It will be great to have someone of his experience on board."

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Related stories
February 2013: Stewart leaves UK Athletics amid angry scenes
December 2012: UK Athletics appoint former Commonwealth bronze medallist Nuttall as endurance coach as Stewart prepares to step aside