Alex Balacki will attend company board meetings after being elected by Sports Direct staff nationwide

The Barnstaple store manager will attend Sports Direct board meetings over the next 12 months. Picture: Alan Walter.The Barnstaple store manager will attend Sports Direct board meetings over the next 12 months. Picture: Alan Walter.

A store manager for Barnstaple's Sports Direct has been elected as the company's first ever workers' representative.

Alex Balacki will now attend meetings of the company's board of directors following an announcement by Sports Direct International plc today (Wednesday).

The 30-year-old started with the company 13 years ago, working as a casual sales assistant on Saturdays and was chosen from three candidates by Sports Direct staff.

Alex said: "I'm very proud to be chosen by my fellow members of staff to fulfil this important responsibility.

Alex Balacki is the new workers' representative for Sports Direct. Picture: Alan WalterAlex Balacki is the new workers' representative for Sports Direct. Picture: Alan Walter

"It's now my role to ensure the people of Sports Direct are heard."

The company has come under fire in recent years over its handling of staff.

In an open letter, Sports Direct chief executive Mike Ashley said: "I'd like to be the first to congratulate Alex, who will help us to continue to make a positive difference by ensuring that your voice is heard in the boardroom.

"I have said many times that this is a company that was built by the great people who work here.

"I am therefore delighted that the people at Sports Direct have voted to choose the company's first UK elected workers' representative."

Alex is now due to attend all scheduled meetings of the Board over the next 12 months, the first of which is due to take place later in the Spring.