Commonwealth Games England (CGE) have announced they have appointed Alex Danson and Dawn Newbery to its Board to help the team prepare for Gold Coast 2018. 

Danson, a member of the England teams that won a Commonwealth Games silver medal at Glasgow 2014 and bronze at Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010, will represent the views and interests of athletes.

Newbery, meanwhile, will represent Para-sports.

She will draw on over 20 years of experience supporting athletes in six Paralympic Games as coach, performance director and team leader.

Her place on the Board, in this new role, highlights the importance of para-sport within the Commonwealth Games, CGE claimed.

Newbery will help develop Team England integrate able-bodied and Para-sport athletes.

The appointments further strengthen the refreshed CGE Board, following the recent announcement of Paul Blanchard as its new chief executive, it is claimed.

Blanchard is due to take up his new position on August 3 and will replace Adam Paker,, who left the CGE last October to become chief executive of the Amateur Swimming Association. 

Newbery recently shared her knowledge with potential first time Paralympic team leaders heading to Rio 2016 and led Britain's wheelchair tennis team to historic first time gold medal winning performances in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

Newbery was also the team leader for Britain's goalball teams at London 2012. 

“Team England is a unique mix of able-bodied athletes and athletes with disabilities," she said.

"I hope to bring considerable experience and knowledge of Paralympic sport to Commonwealth Games England’s first-class operation.”

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Alex Danson was part of the hockey squad that won silver medals at Glasgow 2014, helping Team England finish top for the first time since Edinburgh 1986 ©Getty Images

Danson has been a member of the England and Britain's hockey teams since her England debut in 2001, when she was 16.

Widely regarded as one of England’s leading female hockey players, she is Britain's second-highest goalscorer and was a member of the team that won Olympic bronze medals at London 2012. 

“I’m delighted to have been appointed as an athlete representative on the Commonwealth Games England Board," said Danson. 

“Multi-sport events are fantastic, but they can be tough.

"As both a medallist and an athlete returning home empty handed, I’ve a wealth of experience that I believe can have a positive impact in terms of experience, passion and an understanding of the commitment and determination required for an athlete to have the best possible opportunity to compete, and win medals, at a multi-sport event.”

England finished top of the medals table at last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow for the first time since Edinburgh 1986 with a total of 58 golds.

They face a tough task to retain that position at Gold Coast 2018, however.

England have not finished top of the medals table at a Commonwealth Games held outside the United Kingdom since Kingston 1966.  

“Alex and Dawn bring tremendous insight and experience to Commonwealth Games England," said Ian Metcalfe, the chairman of CGE. 

"Their opinion on the way the organisation supports its athletes will be hugely beneficial to us from an able-bodied and para-sport perspective.

“Glasgow 2014 was Team England’s most successful Commonwealth Games in 28 years, with 426 athletes winning 176 medals to top the medal table.

"The challenge of repeating this level of success in Australia will be extremely difficult, but we are determined to do everything we can to deliver the best prepared team for Gold Coast 2018.”

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