Coaching in the UK

sports coach UK and Coachwise announce new Chief Executive Officer

Thu, 05 May 2016

Mark GannonThe Board of sports coach UK is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Gannon as Chief Executive Officer of sports coach UK and Coachwise. Mark has a very strong marketing and commercial background and deep knowledge of the sport and activity landscape. He was previously Executive Director, Business and Development for British Gymnastics.

During his time at British Gymnastics, the achievements of the sport have become far more widely recognised. This was no more apparent than in the recent BT industry awards, where British Gymnastics won the award for best National Governing Body.  Membership has doubled, the business is more customer centric and generates over 60% of its own income and the profile of the sport is better than ever.

Mark has also managed the relationships with key stakeholders including Sport England, the Home Countries and several commercial partners. He has gained extensive experience in local, regional and national projects and has a proven track record in the development, delivery and improvement of physical education and sports projects and programmes.

After starting his career in Finance and Commerce, Mark has held a number of posts in the Physical Education and Sport sector, including Operations Manager for the Youth Sport Trust, Education Advisor for Physical Education and Mathematics teacher and has coached children, players and athletes for the last 20 years in many sports, but mainly rugby and gymnastics.

Commenting on his new role, Mark said, “I am delighted to have been offered the position of CEO at sports coach UK and Coachwise. We can all remember the impact an inspirational teacher had on us. Those involved in sport can probably recall an equally inspirational coach who had a positive and possibly life changing influence on our lives.

“Inspirational coaches and sports leaders delivering physical activity and sport can, and do, contribute so much more than just delivering specific sports skills; they can have a positive and meaningful impact on individuals’ lives, the community they serve and the health and well-being of the nation. I am looking forward to ensuring that coaching plays a lead role in delivering an active nation.”

sports coach UK Chair Gillian Wilmot commented, “I am delighted that Mark is joining as our new CEO at this crucial time for our sector. The landscape for sport and physical activity is constantly changing and with ever greater frequency.  Sporting Future, the new Strategy for an Active Nation produced by DCMS provides an opportunity for all deliverers of physical activity and sport, including sports coach UK, to consider the contribution they can make.

“In particular it is a chance for sports coach UK to reassess what coaches and coaching organisations can deliver against the changing needs of everyone in society. This includes both participants and potential participants, especially women and under-represented groups. Mark is the ideal person to lead the organisation in addressing these needs.”

Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said: “Congratulations to Mark and sports coach UK on this important appointment. I have no doubt that Mark will bring excellent commercial and sporting experience to this role. We look forward to working in partnership to continue to support the development of the coaching profession, which is fundamental to our athletes’ success and a key ingredient in building a stronger, more sustainable high performance system.”

Sport England’s Director of Sport Phil Smith said: “The Government's new strategy for sport Sporting Future is very clear about the importance of coaches at all levels, whether motivating people to take part in informal activities or creating champions who will inspire others to take part. Coaching, in its widest sense, is a key ingredient in driving participation in sport and physical activity and the new sports coach UK CEO Mark Gannon has a lead role in supporting coaches and coaching organisations to inspire an active nation.”

Mark will take up his post as CEO on 20 June.

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