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UK Athletics board to increase diversity with new appointment

Category: diversity, Women in athletics, UK Athletics, Careers in sport, sport, Leadership through change, Sports, Women on boards, Women in Sport, Athletics, athletes, women in boardroom, sportswomen, British Athletics, UKA, changes, change, board members, female athletes, disability in sport, media and sport, athletic


UK Athletics has announced it will commence the recruitment of a new board member, having made a number of decisions about the diversity of backgrounds, skills and experiences it sees as important for the organisation and the sport.

The advert for the role, to be released by the end of the month, will highlight the UKA board’s focus on appointing an applicant from ethnically diverse communities, and with recent and relevant athlete experience. The UKA board has recently increased from 8 to 12, following the addition of a director nominated by each of the four Home Country Athletics Federations.  All nominated directors were men, and the UKA board is now looking to appoint a woman to this position.

UKA’s Chief Financial Officer Mark Draisey has volunteered to stand down from his position as a director of the company, to enable the process to happen and ensure board continuity. He will continue in his role as CFO, Company Secretary and Executive Champion for Race supporting the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda.

Full details of the process including role description and how to apply will be released shortly through the UKA website.

Chair of UKA Nic Coward said:

“We are committed to driving positive change within our organisation and the whole sport, with a demand that all involved have an open and collaborative mindset. Athletics is for everyone. That is a core belief at the heart of our Athletics Unified strategy. We will soon finalise and publish our Diversity Action Plan for the next four years, and one commitment is that the board of the sport’s governing body board should itself be from a diverse range of backgrounds, skills and experiences. As part of this, going forward, we have decided at least two of our board are to be from a minority ethnic background.

“Our Let’s Talk About Race programme created impactful conversations across the sport and within UKA, with board composition one of the very many issues initiatives that were considered. The change we are making also reflects our commitments to diversity as signatories of the Race at Work Charter, which addresses race inequality in the workplace.

“Mark Draisey has shown his personal commitment to our plan for change, and I look forward to working with him and everyone involved in the sport in delivering Athletics Unified.”

Current UK Athletics Board:

Nic Coward – Chair

Joanna Coates – CEO

Penny Avis – Senior Independent Director

David Abrahams – Athletics Northern Ireland Nominated Director

Gordon Arthur

Ian Beattie – Scottish Athletics Nominated Director

Stuart Cain

Peter Crawshaw – England Athletics Nominated Director

Mark Draisey – CFO – to stand down

Stephen Perks – Welsh Athletics Nominated Director

Anne Wafula-Strike

Mike Whittingham

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