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Thought leaders: Emma Boggis column: Governing for prosperity

We need to make sure we get governance right at all levels to ensure our success, says Sport & Recreation Alliance CEO Emma Boggis

by Emma Boggis, Sport & Recreation Alliance | Published in Sports Management Sep 2016 issue 126
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The success of Team GB relies on good governance and support every step of the way / image © rebecca blackwell
The success of Team GB relies on good governance and support every step of the way/ image © rebecca blackwell

Many things contribute to Team GB and Paralympics GB performing at their very best – investment from UK Sport, the National Lottery and the exchequer and the hard work of the athletes.

As we’ve heard many of them say over the last few weeks, the athletes also recognise the support they get from their support teams – whether it’s their individual coaches, national governing bodies or organisations like the British Olympic Association, British Paralympic Association and national institutes of sport.

All these organisations need to be well led in order to be effective and there’s an important development coming up that will seek to improve the leadership of the sport and recreation sector.

The government’s new sports strategy, Sporting Future, set out the intention to introduce a UK Sports Governance Code, and this is due to be released this autumn.

We’ve been leading on improving the standards of governance for sports organisations for years, with our Voluntary Code of Good Governance launched in 2011 and refreshed in 2014, so we don’t need to be convinced of the subject’s importance.

To coincide with the release of the UK Sports Governance Code, we’ll be exploring what the challenges and opportunities are around embedding good governance in a sports organisation. Our Governance and Workforce Month, launching at the beginning of October, will feature a series of blogs and articles to provide our members with expertise and guidance on good governance. We’ve also teamed up with the Governance Institute (ICSA) to offer a qualification to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills around sports governance, so they can start to champion the topic and take ownership of driving changes to governance from within.

These kind of activities are all part of our drive to help the sector navigate its way through a changing social and political landscape. In May 2015, the SRA launched its Fit for the Future programme of work, designed to identify and consider the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and how we can work together to make sure sport and recreation thrives.

The release of the government’s strategy and Sport England’s Towards an Active Nation report, published earlier this year, gave us more information about these opportunities and signalled a significant shift in how the value of sport and recreation is measured, marking a very clear departure from simply equating success with participation.

With these shifts comes inevitable change, and at our Leadership Convention in November we’ll be looking at how to implement change within the sector.

It’s an exciting time to be involved in the sport and recreation industry and we’re focused on making the most of the opportunities that lie ahead and helping our members do the same.

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