Mail on Sunday claims first for women in journalism as it makes Alison Kervin sports editor

Alison Kervin has been appointed as sports editor of the Mail on Sunday.

According to the MoS she is the first woman to become sports editor of a UK national newspapers. She is a former chief sports feature writer for The Times and most recently was editor of the official London 2012 Olympic programme.

Malcolm Vallerius is understood to have left his job as MoS sports editor last week after 12 years in the job. He had been with the paper for more than 20 years and was one of the longest serving sports editors in the UK national press.

Here is the announcement in full:

Alison Kervin has been appointed by Mail on Sunday Editor Geordie Greig as the title’s new Sports Editor. 

Alison, formerly chief sports feature writer for The Times, chief sports interviewer for the Daily Telegraph and editor of the official London 2012 Olympic programme, becomes the first woman to be sports editor of a national newspaper title.

She has a hugely varied sporting CV. A sports science graduate, she was in the England gymnastics squad before qualifying as a coach for no fewer than 10 sports. In 1991, she became the first woman to referee a rugby match at Twickenham.

In 1994 she was appointed editor of Rugby World magazine. In 1997 she became publisher of IPC sports publications, overseeing Rugby World, Shoot, 90 minutes and Golf Monthly.

In 1999 she became rugby editor of The Times, before becoming the paper’s chief sports feature writer in 2003.

She left, as a young mother, in 2006 to embark on a series of book projects: she wrote World Cup winning Rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward’s biography, and co-wrote autobiographies with Olympic athlete Denise Lewis and England rugby stars Jason Leonard and Phil Vickery. She has also written a History of the Rugby World Cup and five novels.

From 2008-9, Alison was also chief sports interviewer for the Daily Telegraph.

In 2012, she was editor of the London 2012 Official Olympic Souvenir Programme.

From April 8, Alison will edit The Mail on Sunday’s weekly 24-page pull-out sports section, plus its news section on the back pages of the main newspaper.

Alison said today: ‘This is an unmissable opportunity and I cannot wait to start work with such a talented sports team. The Mail on Sunday has some of the best journalists, columnists and photographers in the business.

‘I have no doubt we can take a very strong sports section to even greater heights, with the very best news exclusives, interviews, features and results service.’

Geordie Greig said: ‘Alison is a hugely impressive figure in the sports world with a sporting pedigree few sports editors can rival. Of course, it really doesn’t matter whether The Mail on Sunday’s sports editor is a man or a woman – but I can think of no better candidate to break the mould than Alison.

‘I am delighted she is joining our brilliant sports team and its stable of award-winning sports writers and photographers. There really is no more authoritative or entertaining sports section in the business.’

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