UK Sports Councils underline commitment to governance with five-year investment into the Sports Governance Academy

Released: 1 December 2022

As part of continued governance support for the organisations in their countries, Sport England has come together with UK Sport, sportscotland, Sport Wales and Sport Northern Ireland to confirm the continuation of the Sports Governance Academy for a further 5-year term via a £1.8m of investment commencing December 2022.

The Sports Governance Academy is delivered by the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland, the international chartered governance body, and is a governance support hub for the sports and physical activity sector, helping everyone leading, working and volunteering in sport organisations to achieve their goals through establishing a framework for effective and fair decision-making. Embracing good governance is key to building a diverse and inclusive sector where those taking part do so in a safe and positive environment.

This renewed investment underlines the Sports Councils’ commitment to helping organisations become more transparent, diverse and inclusive, promoting high standards of accountability and integrity. Today’s announcement follows on from an award in December 2019 in which the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland (CGIUKI) were commissioned to create and deliver the SGA for 3 years.

This next phase of the Sports Governance Academy will continue to deliver across its three core pillars of learning, knowledge and community. New elements will be added to develop these further including new courses, a re-designed website, more integrated professional development opportunities, a peer-to-peer mentoring scheme and a new modular approach towards gaining this valued governance qualification.

Networking events and regular forums will also allow those gaining their qualification with the Sports Governance Academy to connect as a community and support one another within the sector.

Sara Drake, CEO, from The Chartered Governance Institute, UK and Ireland, said:

“We are excited to be extending this unique partnership, and the opportunity it provides to offer the benefits of better governance practice to sports organisations across the United Kingdom and Ireland. The sector has truly embraced the SGA since its launch in February 2020 and has demonstrated a considerable appetite for governance development.

“We believe that effective governance delivers better decision making and incorporates the benefits of diversity and inclusion. Encouraging effective and accountable leadership will help underpin a trusted, vibrant sports sector where talent can flourish at every level. “

Jeanette Bain-Burnett, Director of Policy & Integrity at Sport England, said:

“We are delighted to see all the Sports Councils coming together to support the continued work being delivered by the Sports Governance Academy.

“With all the Sports Councils joining forces for the first time, there is now a unified view from the Sports Councils on where organisations in the sector can go for governance support.

“At a time when there are lots of issues being raised about governance in the sector, our continued investment into the Sports Governance Academy is critical to us helping support the sector to strengthen approaches to governance so that more people have a safe, inclusive and welcoming experience in sport.”

Brian Davies, Sport Wales’ Acting CEO, said:

“We want to ensure that everyone who wishes to participate in sport in Wales can do so in a safe and inclusive environment.

“We are delighted to be working with the other sports councils and the Sports Governance Academy as this collaboration provides an important and exciting opportunity to provide necessary additional governance support for the sport sector in Wales.”

John Lunn, Sport Development Head (Governing Bodies) at sportscotland said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to work in partnership with other Home Country Sports Councils to provide support to governing bodies in such an important area of our work.

“Good governance is the foundation of a sustainable and inclusive sporting system and by working collaboratively it will ensure that we can all play our part. We know that governing bodies of sport are facing significant challenges, and this is a real chance to reflect on how we can make sport more inclusive and resilient, giving governing bodies the tools they need to deliver more opportunities for participation in sport and physical activity at every level .”

Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive at Sport Northern Ireland said:

“Strong governance is the foundation on which successful sports organisations are built, providing a culture of trust, leadership and integrity and helping to ensure a positive experience for participants at all levels. We are delighted to be involved in the Sports Governance Academy, an exciting and innovative collaboration to provide a comprehensive range of resources to the sports sector across the UK and Ireland.

“At Sport NI we support organisations to fully understand the benefits of good governance and how this should be embedded within their sporting culture. The Sports Governance Academy is a welcome sign of further progress in developing a strong sporting culture across the sector and we encourage sports organisations in Northern Ireland to register and utilise the services available.”

Rob Morini, UK Sport Head of Sporting System, said:

“In recent years, there have been great improvements in sport governance across the sector. In the face of constant change and challenge, we must all continue to maintain high standards in this area to strengthen decision-making and build healthier, more inclusive and more resilient organisations.

“This is why we are excited to come together with all the Home Country Sports Councils in partnering with the SGA, with the aim to provide best practice governance support and guidance as well as learning and networking opportunities.

“We look forward to working with our partners to ensure a collective voice on governance matters, whilst supporting the development and health of the sector.”


For further information, please contact David Mortimer, Head of External Affairs
+44 (0)7950 276 648


Notes to editors

About The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland

The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland is the professional body for governance and the qualifying and membership body for governance professionals across all sectors. Its purpose under Royal Charter is to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’ working with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and providing qualifications, training and guidance. As a lifelong learning partner, the Institute helps governance professionals to achieve their professional goals, providing recognition, community and the voice of its membership.

One of nine divisions of the global Chartered Governance Institute, which was established 130 years ago, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland represents members working and studying in the UK and Ireland and in many other countries and regions including the Caribbean, parts of Africa and the Middle East. Website: 


About Sport England

Sport England is an arm’s length body of government established by Royal Charter in 1996. It uses expertise, insight, campaigns and targeted funding from the government and the National Lottery to grow and develop grassroots sport and help more people get active across England.

Uniting the Movement is Sport England’s 10-year strategy (2021-2031) to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity.

Its vision is for there to be a nation of more equal, inclusive, and connected communities. A country where people live happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives.

Its mission is to invest in sport and physical activity to make it a normal part of life for everyone in England, regardless of who they are.

In 2018-19, Sport England invested £260 million of National Lottery and Exchequer funding into projects and programmes that supported people to be physically active, with 1,575 individual awards ranging from £300 to £18 million.