Skip to content

Written Statement - Sport Wales Board appointments

Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health

I would like to inform members of appointments I have made to the Board of Sport Wales, following an open recruitment process which attracted over 80 candidates.

I have appointed Pippa Britton as Vice Chair of Sport Wales. Pippa Britton is the current Chair of Disability Sport Wales and a former international athlete.

I have made 4 further appointments to the board, as several members have come to the end of their terms. I am grateful to those out-going members for their service. The new members are Ashok Ahir, Ian Bancroft, Christian Malcolm and Alison Thorne. In addition, I have reappointed Richard Parks and Samar Wafa to serve a further term as board members. 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. The new members will commence their term of office on 1 October for a 3 year period.

I am confident that 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.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.

Mrs Britton 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.

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.

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.

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 4 time Olympian.

Ms Thorne has held executive board and 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. Alison spent 2 years as a partner in an executive search firm before founding atconnect, 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.

Mr Richard 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 Attaché to Team Wales at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and is about to start is second term as Board Member to Sport Wales.

Ms Samar Wafa has worked extensively 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.