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Unravelling the challenges and opportunities in UK sports governance

How might we address all of these challenges?

18 April 2024

Establish a national sports governance hub

This is an opportunity to create a centralised online platform serving as a hub for sharing best practice, resources and governance guidelines. This platform would facilitate collaboration between well funded and less well funded sports, promoting transparencies and knowledge exchange.

“The sharing of information is key to trying to get to that point of much more consistency across NGBs and therefore much more reassurance for people who participate.”
“Parental education is so important alongside the coach education, the committee education.”

Education of players and their parents

So they know what they can expect from their sports clubs, what and where the governance policies are, how they might be affected by them, and how those policies can provide the psychological safety to enable participants to enjoy their chosen sport, and if they chose to do so, excel

“It’s been instrumental to me being able to stay in the position and not have some sort of mental health breakdown to put mentors and support people around me who are more senior or in similar roles across different sports to feel supported in that.”

Mentorship programs

This challenge presents an opportunity to institute mentorship programs enabling well established sports organisations to share insights on financial management, stakeholder engagement and effective leadership. The aim would be to bridge the gap and create a supportive network within the sports community providing the psychological safety for those organisations that need to change.

Incentivised cross-sport collaborations

Those responsible for good governance should encourage collaborative initiatives through financial incentives. Funding bodies could allocate additional resources to sports organisations that actively engage in partnerships, knowledge sharing and joint initiatives with less well funded sports. In this way, those supporting the sports sector through funding can promote a culture of mutual support.

“Often the lone voice on a board or decision-making panel unit is the person who’s in charge of governance because it’s not the sort of glamorous side of the work. I think it’s a really good idea (for them) to have that support network.”



Sarah Erwin-Jones


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