Sport England makes six new board appointments

Swimming World Champion Karen Pickering, Sported chief executive Chris Grant and Leicestershire County Cricket Club CEO Wasim Khan are among the six new appointments to Sport England’s board. 

Culture secretary John Whittingdale has also appointed Everton Football Club executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Health Education England chief executive Ian Cumming and Pentland Brands chief executive Andy Long. 

All six have been added to the quango’s board on three-year terms. They join Debbie Jevans, Charles Reed, Ian Drake, Kate Bosomworth and David Goldstone who are existing board members, as well as chair Nick Bitel. 

Pickering won 35 major championships and 38 national tiles despite breaking her back in a car accident in 1996. She also competed at four consecutive Olympic Games. 

Grant became Sported chief executive in 2014 and has facilitated a number of elite coach development programmes for UK Sport. He had an early career in parliament and higher education. Khan was the first British Pakistani to become a professional cricket player in England and developed the £50m (US$66.4m, €59.6m) Chance to Shine programme which has delivered cricket to 2.5m state school children. 

Both Grant and Khan increase the BAME representation on Sport England’s board. Sport England, along with UK Sport, has been given the responsibility by the government to develop the UK Sports Governance Code which has board diversity as one of its key pillars. 

Barrett-Baxendale is one of the most respected women in British football, transforming the football club’s Everton in the Community scheme into one of the best in the country. 

Ian Cumming – who was recently appointed to chair the Amateur Swimming Association’s Health Commission for Swimming – has been in the health sector since 1995, while Long’s Pentland Brands company owns a number of sports brands including Speedo and Canterbury. 

Every new member of the board will take their position in September or October. They replace Clare Connor, Hanif Malik, Peter Rowley, Sally Gunnell and Mark Spelman.