New Sport Wales board members appointed

The Welsh Government has appointed a new vice chair and four new members to the board of Sport Wales.

Public Health Minister, Rebecca Evans has appointed Pippa Britton as Vice Chair of Sport Wales. She is the current Chair of Disability Sport Wales and a former international athlete.

The Minister has also appointed four new members to the board - Ashok Ahir, Ian Bancroft, Christian Malcolm and Alison Thorne. They will commence their term of office on 1 October 2017 for a three year period.

In addition, the Minister has re-appointed Richard Parks and Samar Wafa as members of the Board. Their three year term of office will begin on 1 September 2017.

The appointments have been made in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Sport Wales is the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and physical activity in Wales, and is the main adviser on sporting matters to the Welsh Government. It is also responsible for distributing National Lottery funds to both elite and grassroots sport in Wales.

Public Health Minister, Rebecca Evans said:

"I'm very pleased to appoint Pippa Britton as the new Vice Chair of Sport Wales, and Ashok Ahir, Ian Bancroft, Christian Malcolm and Alison Thorne as members of the board. I'm also pleased to re-appoint Richard Parks and Samar Wafa as members of the board.

"Together, they bring a wealth of experience of working with under-engaged communities to inspire and increase participation levels, as well as an understanding of the needs of elite athletes.  I am grateful to the new members for accepting the invitation to serve on the board. I am also grateful to those out-going members for their service.

"I am confident the board has the expertise and experience required to support me and the staff of Sport Wales in taking forward our ambitions for a more active and successful nation.  I look forward to working with them."

Lawrence Conway, Chair of Sport Wales added:

"I am delighted to welcome our five new Board members. They join Sport Wales at an important time as we take forward the development of our new corporate strategy. The members will strengthen the Board with their wealth of knowledge and experience and provide invaluable insight and perspective to the Board's deliberations. I would like to thank the outgoing Board members for their commitment and valued contributions in ensuring the success of sport in Wales."

Biographies of the new Vice Chair and Members:

  • Pippa Britton

Mrs Britton is the current Chair of Disability Sport Wales and a former international athlete. She is also a member of the Sports Honours Committee; UK Anti-Doping Board; British Paralympic Classification Advisory Committee and the Archery GB Board.  She is also an alumnus of the UK Sport International Leadership Programme and a member of the Sport Wales Elite Sport Sub Group and the World Archery Para Archery Committee.

  • Ashok Ahir

Mr Ahir has a communications and media background.  He is the co-owner of a bilingual communications agency working across the private, public and third sector. He is also the Chair of the organising committee for the National Eisteddfod 2018 and a member of their management board.  He has previously been involved in a Welsh for Adults Review Group and was Executive Editor, Politics at BBC Cymru Wales for many years.

  • Ian Bancroft

Mr Bancroft is the Chief Officer for Organisational Change at Flintshire County Council and is responsible for all leisure and cultural services in Flintshire as well as leading work to build community resilience. He has previously been a Director of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust and Business and Strategy Manager for Nottingham City Council's Leisure Services. He has a background in sports performance and coaching having completed a sports science degree at Loughborough University and working as a Coach Tutor.

  • Christian Malcolm

Mr Malcolm is the Technical Lead Coach to Team GB Men and Women's 4 x 100 relay team and sprint coach to GB Paralympic and Welsh athletes.  He is also a Welsh Athletics Board Member and director of his own community sports academy. He is best known for his achievements as a former elite athlete, and is a European, Commonwealth and World Championship medalist and four time Olympian. 

  • Alison Thorne

Ms Thorne has held executive board & commercial leadership positions within Retail Blue Chip companies and non exec roles in consultancy and a startup fashion brand. With a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching, she has helped develop new talent at the London College of Fashion. She spent two years as a partner in an executive search firm before founding at connect, a business and people development company. She is currently a trustee with Chwarae Teg - Wales lead for Women on Boards and is a mentor with Business Wales.

Biographies of reappointed members:

  • Richard Parks

Mr Parks is a former Wales international Rugby Player turned extreme environment athlete and explorer.  He has completed many extreme challenges, works with schools and colleges across the UK and is an honorary lecturer at the University of South Wales.  Richard served as Team Attache to Team Wales at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and is about to start is second term as Board Member to Sport Wales.

  • Samar Wafa

Ms Wafa has workedextensively at grassroots and community level, and through her work with minority charities and numerous Welsh and English-medium schools. Samar has worked with the London 2012 Olympics and the Rugby World Cup, as well as, UEFA, Sport Cardiff and the Cardiff Half Marathon.  Samar is about to start her second term as Board Member to Sport Wales.