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Annual Conference 2021


Phil Smith, Sport England

Phil Smith opens up proceedings, welcoming attendees with his observations on current issues affecting the sector.

Rob Morini, UK Sport & Lynsey Tweddle, Sport England

The Code for Sports Governance was a game-changing initiative when it was published by Sport England and UK Sport in October 2016. The governance of funded organisations has undergone enormous progress under the Code, which has set a new standard for the sector. In July 2020, a review and public consultation was announced in order to ensure that it continues to lead the way in governance practice by considering the sector’s experiences, assessing the Code against best practice and identifying areas for development. The review contained a substantive focus on equality, diversity and inclusion. Lynsey and Rob present an update on the review, outline the major changes to the Code and the roadmap which will be followed. They discuss what the changes will mean for the sector and how Sport England and UK Sport will support and work with their partners to implement the requirements.

Lucy Simpson, Perrett Laver
Shivani Smith, Perrett Laver

Significant strides have been taken by sports bodies in recent years to improve their board composition and make them more reflective of society – but there remains much work to be done. In this session, Lucy and Shivani will outline the benefits to organisations of more diverse perspectives and will look at some of the challenges which the sector faces when addressing diversity. Our speakers will provide details of Perrett Laver’s work with Sport England to create and support a wider pool of board-ready candidates.

Dr Alan Watkins, Complete Coherence

The demands placed on boards are always high. Recent events have tested their resilience and decision making to a new degree. This session looks at how the board individually and collectively can use emotional literacy and develop resilience to put themselves in a position to be able respond to testing circumstances and make optimal decisions. Alan also looks at the evolution over time of governance processes.

Joanna Leigh, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games & former Team GB/England hockey player
Toby Robins, British Association for Sustainable Sport (BASIS)

As organisations look to build back following the trials of the past year, this session considers whether now is an opportunity to do things differently and to place environmental sustainability at the centre of strategic planning and decision making. The effects of environmental change are already being felt across sport, and the sector has the chance to leverage its unique reach and influence to take the lead in a new approach.

Kirsten Fasey, British Triathlon

The past year has thrown unprecedented challenges at bodies across the sector, forcing them to adapt and make difficult decisions. Drawing on Kirsten’s research and work with elite organisations, including her more recent facilitation of interventions, this session explores the characteristics of organisational resilience, looking at its five pillars before offering practical advice on how organisations can prepare, adapt and learn.

Viveen Taylor, Sue Anstiss MBE, Pippa Britton & Dr Karl George MBE

Chaired by Sport England’s Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, this panel discussion brings together speakers with a huge store of experience to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the sector as it continues to improve diversity in the leadership of organisations, making them representative of society and achieving better outcomes in decision making, engagement and social equity.

Catch up

If you weren't able to join us on the day, or just wanted to experience the sessions again, we have made available all of the recordings of the day's proceedings.

Watch the recordings here.


Meet our speakers

  • Sue Anstiss MBE, CEO, Fearless Women Ltd
  • Craig Beeston, SGA Programme Manager, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland
  • Pippa Britton, Double Paralympian, Speaker, Consultant & Mentor
  • Kirsten Fasey, Governance and Organisational Development Coordinator, British Triathlon
  • Dr Karl George MBE, Managing Director, The Governance Forum Ltd
  • Joanna Leigh, Sustainability Coordinator, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games & former Team GB/England hockey player
  • Robert Morini, Head of Governance and International Relations, UK Sport
  • Toby Robins, Executive Director for Partnerships, British Association for Sustainable Sport (BASIS)
  • Lucy Simpson, Head of UK Board Practice, Perrett Laver
  • Phil Smith, Director of Sport, Sport England
  • Shivani Smith, Senior Consultant, Global Non-Profit & Social Impact and Co-Chair, Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Perrett Laver
  • Viveen Taylor, Director of Equality Diversity and Inclusion, Sport England
  • Lynsey Tweddle, Head of Governance, Sport England
  • Dr Alan Watkins, Founder and CEO, Complete Coherence

Learn more about our expert speakers here.


Meet our partners

Sport England

Sport England is a non-departmental public body, established in 1996 by Royal Charter, to foster support and encourage the development of sport and sporting excellence. Its vision is that everyone in England feels able to take part in sport or physical activity, regardless of age, background or ability.

As the body responsible for grassroots sport in England, Sport England distributes lottery funding for the sector and supports National Governing Bodies, local authorities and active partnerships.

The SGA is a partnership between Sport England and The Chartered Governance Institute.

Find out more about Sport England


The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland

The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland is the qualifying and membership body for governance professionals. We provide professional development, guidance and thought leadership for individuals and their employers, and work with regulators and policymakers to champion high standards of governance across all sectors.

The Institute was founded in 1891 to represent the interests of the emerging profession of corporate secretaries. Our Royal Charter was granted in 1902 and its purpose of leading ‘effective and efficient governance and administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’ continues to guide our activities.

Today we support governance professionals across a wide range of sectors, including sports. We work with individual clubs, national governing bodies, umbrella organisations, consultants and academic institutions in the field. In 2016, we launched the first accredited qualification in Sports Governance. We deliver training and events for those in the sports governance community and in 2019 published 'The Future of Governance – Beyond Autonomy', an assessment of the impact of traditional attitudes to sports governance in the current landscape. The creation of the SGA in 2020 brings together our knowledge and experience for the sector in a new and accessible way.

Find out more about The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland


UK Sport

UK Sport provides strategic investment to enable Great Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes to achieve their full medal winning potential.

Since UK Sport was founded by Royal Charter in 1997 we have taken GB from 36th in the Olympic medal table at Atlanta to second in the Olympic and Paralympic medal table at Rio 2016.

We have a very clear remit at the ‘top end’ of Britain’s sporting pathway supporting athletes and sports to compete and win medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. UK Sport has no direct involvement in community or school sport.

Our investment and support services cover:

  • Performance (Investment, Evaluation, Solutions)
  • Events (Investment, Bidding, Support)
  • International (Influence, Development)
  • Governance, Leadership, Financial Accounting
  • Science, Medicine and Technology (via the Home Nation Institutes)

Find out more about UK Sport



CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector, committed to supporting, developing and enabling professionals and organisations to succeed and, as a result, inspire our nation to become more active.

Together we're developing a vibrant, UK-wide sport and physical activity sector, with the highest standards of service delivery.

Find out more about CIMSPA