The New Year has seen Wharton’s consultants continue to deliver long-running projects while at the same time beginning new ones:
- The Football Association has commissioned us to conduct a review of women referees, with a view to the formulation of a new strategy for the recruitment of women and girls into refereeing, their retention and ongoing development, and their progression to the level to which they aspire – whether within the men’s or women’s game. Consultation has begun through an online survey of the 900 currently registered women referees, one-to-one interviews with key individuals, and a “look over the fence” at what other team sports do in this regard
- Work has continued with the Rugby Football Union on a Sevens strategy for the game at all levels in England – and we have also supported a review of the County Championship at senior and Under-20 levels through a telephone survey of club Directors of Rugby, to gather their views on the future direction of the competitions
- Neil has completed his review of water polo and presented his findings to a meeting of the ASA Sport Governing Board and around 30 water polo representatives in Loughborough. After the 13 key recommendations were unanimously adopted, there was a surprise development in that Prince William, in his capacity as Patron of the English Schools Swimming Association and a keen water polo player, asked for a copy of the review!
- Neil and Simon have supported Ice Hockey UK in the successful recruitment of two Independent Non-Executive Directors as the first step towards reshaping their Board. Preparations have also been made for a workshop in York in February, when representatives from all sectors of the sport will come together with nominees from stakeholder organisations such as the Sports Councils and BOA to debate the principles of a new strategic plan for the sport
- Sarah has commenced a review of the talent and high performance pathway on behalf of Welsh Rowing, which is funded by Sport Wales to produce emerging elite rowers for the highly successful British Rowing World Class Performance Programme. She also continues to work with British Ski and Snowboard on their new eight-year strategy; with UK Sport on their ParaCoach 2 Rio programme, including detailed planning for the next two workshops in February; and as a mentor to a number of Performance Directors and coaches within the high performance system
- David has supported the British Water Ski and Wakeboard Federation in managing the delivery of proposals for change to their governance structure, and has been asked to continue working with the new Board on additional change. David has also been working with two organising committees advising them on the co-ordination of three international equestrian competitions which will take place in Italy in April
- We are also working with a commercial company providing technical and strategic advice as they look to expand their business into the running and cycling markets