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UK Athletics
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UK Athletics Board

 Role and Responsibilities of the Board of UKA

The Board of UKA has the same legal responsibilities and duties as the Board of any other limited company.  It decides the strategy of the company, approves long and short term plans and budgets, and monitors activity and financial outcomes.  It also oversees the controls over financial and legal probity, health and safety and the proper treatment of the employees.

The Chairman of the Board runs the meetings and has an oversight over the corporate governance processes.  He also acts as a senior level public face of the company and as a mentor for the Chief Executive.

The Chief Executive is also a director of the company, and has responsibility for implementing the strategy and decisions of the Board and managing the company and the employees.

The Finance Director also fulfils the role of Company Secretary.  As an executive he reports to the Chief Executive; he also has responsibilities to the Chairman and the Board as a whole.

The other directors are known as Non-Executive Directors, as they do not have direct executive roles.  They do, however, have the same responsibilities as the other directors for the actions and probity of the company.  They are chosen for a mix of athletics and business expertise and involvement, and each works with one of the strategic business units within the company to review their activities and to add expertise and knowledge to the activity.

The UK Athletics Board code of conduct document can be found here. 

Chris Clark
Chris Clark

CHRIS CLARK

Chair 

Qualifications:

University of Southampton, BSc Chemistry and Physics (1979 – 1982)

Role at UK Athletics:

Non-Executive Director

Other Commitments:

Directorships of The Royal Marsden NHS Trust

Independent Non-Executive Director of Aviva’s UKD legal entity -also chair of Conduct Committee.

Career summary:

In his corporate career Chris was CMO for HSBC and spent 16 years in a number of leadership roles in the marketing function of the HSBC Group. For the final 7 years he was overall CMO and a member of the HSBC Group Management Board.

Prior to HSBC Chris was in advertising with the bulk of his career at Saatchi and Saatchi looking after clients such as Mars, Toyota, P&G and Mirror Group Newspapers amongst others.

When at leisure he can be found running, playing chess, fishing, painting and drawing or gardening.

He is married with two children and lives in London.


Sarah Rowell
Sarah Rowell

SARAH ROWELL

Qualifications:

BSc (hons) in sports science from University of Brighton

PhD from University of Brighton

Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Role at UK Athletics:

Non-Executive Director

Other Commitments:

Partner at Wharton Consulting

Board member at London Marathon

IAAF Road Running Commission member 

Career summary:

Represented GB/England on the road, cross country and mountains between 1983 -1996, including finishing 13th in the 1984 Olympic Marathon and 2nd in the 1985 London Marathon. 

After starting her career at the National Coaching Foundation, Sarah was Technical Consultant to the English Institute of Sport during its early years.  She  is now a Partner at Wharton Consulting where she specialises in systems and people development, particularly in high performance sport, working with numerous national governing bodies and national sporting agencies.


Nigel Holl
Nigel Holl

NIGEL HOLL

Interim Chief Executive

Qualifications: 

M.Sc. Recreation Management, Loughborough University 

BSc Mathematics and Physical Education, Bangor University 

Career Summary:

Nigel has been working at UK Athletics since 2016 when he joined the organisation as the Director of Strategy and Partnerships. He had previously been CEO at scottishathletics for six years. During his time there, he joined the first cohort undertaking the UK Sport ‘Leading Edge’ programme which focused on CEO development. 

Prior to his time in athletics, Nigel worked in a variety of sports, building up a wealth of experience. He was Performance Director at England Netball between 2004-2010 following spells as the Programme Manager at the Scottish Institute of Sport, and Director of Development at England Hockey. His first role in sport was at the National Coaching Foundation, a precursor to the now ‘UK Coaching’ organisation.

Nigel is married with two children. His daughter is an elite cyclist on the British Cycling programme, while his son is a keen duathlete, and active member of Central Athletics Club. 

Based in Scotland, Nigel enjoys cycling, sailing and curling in his spare time. His latter interest sees him sit on the Board of British Curling as a Senior Independent Director.  


Jonathan Orr
Jonathan Orr

JONATHAN ORR

Chief Financial Officer

Qualifications: 

BA (hons) in Business Studies, Oxford Brookes University.

Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

Role at UK Athletics: 

Responsible for finance and operations.

Line reports of Finance and Governance, Commercial, HR and Welfare, IT and digital, Facilities, Health and Safety and Clean Athletics.

Career Summary:

Jonathan was previously Chief Financial Officer of the European Tour, a commercial global membership body promoting and managing the affairs of professional tournament golfers. The Tour comprises 48 tournaments played in 28 different countries. The Tour operates through a number of subsidiaries and joint ventures including TV and digital content production and distribution, staging of Ryder Cup and other tournaments, branded golf courses and real estate and golf course design.

Qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Grant Thornton in their London offices.  Seconded to Swedish Bank as Financial Controller for two years prior to joining the European Tour Group. 


Penny Avis 1
Penny Avis

Penny Avis 

Non-Executive Director & Senior Independent Director

Qualifications

LLB (hons) Law degree, University of Sheffield

Chartered Accountant (ACA), ICAEW

Role at UKA:

Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee 

Other Commitments:

Non-Executive Director at Howard Kennedy, Cifas, Equitable Life, Envestors

Regional chair of the Deloitte Former Partners Association 

Career summary

Penny Avis is a former corporate finance partner and board member of Deloitte UK LLP, where she specialised in due diligence for corporate and private equity acquirers, public to private transactions, hostile takeovers, bid defence, equity and debt listings. She has been the lead partner on over fifty transactions and has sector experience across consumer business, retail, healthcare and manufacturing.

She is a qualified accountant (ACA, ICAEW) and a member of the Deloitte Academy. Penny remains involved with Deloitte as Chair of the Former Partners Association for London and the South Region.


Anne Wafula-Strike Portrait
Anne Wafula-Strike

ANNE WAFULA-STRIKE

Non-Executive Director

Qualifications: 

B.Ed (Hons). Moi University, Kenya.

Role at UKA:

Non-Executive Director

Other Commitments:

Ambassador to the British Polio Fellowship.
Patron – Centre for Sport, Spirituality and Religion, York University.
Sporting Ambassador – Right to Play.

Career Summary:

Anne was a college lecturer and Student Counsellor at Machakos Technical Training College before she came to the UK.

She is a former GB & NI Paralympic wheelchair racer, who previously competed for Kenya at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. In recent years Wafula-Strike has concentrated on charity work, fundraising and motivational speaking.

She was awarded an MBE in 2014 for her services to disability sport and charity, and last December the UK Kenyan Achievers Award for most inspirational figure of the year. She has also founded her own charity, The Olympia-Wafula Foundation, which supports disabled people around the world.


David Bedford
David Bedford

DAVID BEDFORD

Non-Executive Director

Qualifications:

Diploma of Education (Teacher Training) from St Mary’s College

Role at UKA:

Non-Executive Director

Other Commitments:

President of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers

Director Hendon Football Club

Career Summary:

David is a former GB & NI international long-distance athlete; in 1972 he made the Olympic final in Munich over both 5,000m and 10,000m, placing 12th and 6th respectively. The following year he broke the world record over 10,000m by some seven and a half seconds.

Aside from competing, David has held a consistent link to athletics throughout his life; since 1989 he has worked with The London Marathon Limited, starting out with a primary focus on Marketing and Sponsorship. In 2000 he was appointed Race Director, a position he held for 12 years before taking the decision to become a part time consultant, a position in which he focusses on the assembly of the elite field.

In 2014 he was awarded an OBE for his services to athletics and charity fund-raising.


Gordon Arthur
Gordon Arthur

GORDON ARTHUR

Non-Executive Director
Role at UKA:

Non-Executive Director and Chair of HR & Remuneration Committee

Other Commitments:

Non-Executive Director on the board for Glasgow Prestwick Airport

Member of Unicef UK Scottish Advisory Board

Roundtable Consultant to a number of organisations

Career Summary:

Gordon is an experienced business executive who has gained a wealth of experience due to undertaking a number of key roles of importance in his career.

In short, this includes working as a Director of Group Corporate Affairs at Standard Life for seven years, whilst more recently he held the role of Chief Communications Officer for Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games. Within the latter, Gordon - whilst working as one of six team Directors - was instrumental in developing the strategy, values and governance around what was a hugely successful Games.