As we pause for breath in August, there’s lots of positive work to reflect on since our last update in February. Neil has:
- On behalf of The Football Association, conducted a review of competition structures in women’s and girls’ football, at all levels from Mini-Soccer to the Women’s Super League, and with a focus on youth football, the transition into adult football, and the league pyramid within the adult game. Following an extensive consultation exercise, recommendations were submitted at the beginning of June, and were subsequently approved in principle by The FA’s Women’s Football Board. A further phase of consultation and implementation will begin in September
- Delivered the annual audit of the RFU’s 14 England Rugby Academies for a fifth successive year, assessing their structures and processes in respect of leadership and governance, staffing, coaching, player development, lifestyle and education development, and financial management. Reports were filed in April, and action plans agreed with each Academy in May
- Devised and delivered an audit process for the ten teams who contest the Vitality Netball Superleague, assessing their fulfilment of the minimum operating standards which apply within the competition, as well as their adherence to the salary cap
- Supported the Irish Rugby Football Union in reviewing progress in the delivery of its national development strategy, through a series of workshop meetings with development staff in each of the four Irish provinces
- Continued to work with the Welsh Rugby Union to implement the recommendations of the review of the School Hub programme, through the redrafting of documentation to reflect a new vision, objectives and desired outcomes
For her part, Sarah has:
- Continued to support a number of UK Sport coach development initiatives focused on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond, both strategically and as part of the delivery team working with coaches – and to act as a mentor to a number of national coaches and performance administrators
- Supported the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences with their accreditation process and, on their behalf, has been working to enhance applied professional standards in elite sport with other organisations
- On behalf of England Hockey, conducted an analysis of the gap between the domestic game and international hockey both in England and in the principal international (European and non-European) competitors, to generate high-quality empirical evidence as the basis for change at domestic level
- Sarah has also recently been elected on to the Council of the World Mountain Running Association and, combining that with her role on the IAAF Road Running Commission, is part of a small working group looking to develop that branch of the sport at a world level
Simon has continued his work around the governance structure of the County Sports Partnership in Derbyshire, and has also been engaged with the National Ice Skating Association of UK to review and revise its constitution in response to the new national code for sports governance. Proposals for change have been prepared and submitted to NISA’s AGM later in August.
We have a busy autumn in prospect, as we embark on new projects with the International Netball Federation, England Netball, and the England and Wales Cricket Board, to name but three. A further update will appear when we next come up for air!