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Chief Executive

Chief Executive – Sport England

Role: Chief Executive

Reports to: Chairman

Location: London, UK


Sport England was established in 1996 by Royal Charter to foster, support and encourage the development of sport and sporting excellence. It is a non-departmental public body, and its sponsoring Government department is the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It is answerable to Parliament.

The organisation recently embarked on a bold new strategy – Towards an Active Nation – which marks a change in policy direction with regards to making the population more active. While still encouraging people to take part in organised sport and physical activity, Sport England will work in new ways to counter inactivity and its negative social effects.

About one third of the population are regularly involved in sport or physical activity. The cost of helping this active constituency stay active will still be significant but more money and resource will be spent addressing the inactive majority, who will ultimately become more of a drain on public services, especially the NHS.

More focus will be spent on children from the age of five to help build a positive attitude to sport and healthy habits for life. Meanwhile, responding to rapid social changes driven by advances in consumer-facing technology, Sport England will aim to ensure that sport keeps pace with the expectations of the digitally-native generation. It should be as easy to consume as any other service or utility. It should also be more inclusive – irrespective of age, socio-economic background, gender or ethnicity – and accessible to all.

This new customer-centric approach will see Sport England work more closely with the private sector around behavioural change both at a national and a local level, encouraging innovation and sharing best practice.

Sport England’s award winning This Girl Can campaign has demonstrated how campaigning can help to nudge people into more sustainable habits.

The Role

Following the decision of Jennie Price to step down after 11 years in the job, Sport England is seeking a new Chief Executive to take the organisation through its next strategic phase.

It is an exciting period for sport in this country with increasing recognition at the highest levels of its positive impact on health and social well-being. Aided by advancements in technology and a growing entrepreneurial spirit, especially around social enterprise, there is an opportunity for innovative collaboration with the private sector.

The new Chief Executive will be driving a vision to put physical activity at the heart of a digitally-enabled society. He or she will be leading the charge to bring the joys and benefits of sport to the next generation, whose leisure time choices have never been so great.

Key relationships


  • Chairman and the Board
  • Executive Leadership Team


  • Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport
  • Sports Minister
  • Senior figures in DCMS, Public Health England, DoE, Local Government
  • National Lottery
  • NGBs and their leadership teams
  • UK Sport
  • UK Active
  • Various third-party agencies, charities, community clubs, event organisers

The new Chief Executive will need to drive through the 2016-21 strategy, managing staff to meet new objectives and aligning multiple stakeholders behind a common goal. As consumers enjoy unprecedented choice and competing demands for their leisure time, Sport England must transform the way sport reaches all sections of the population.

Job Purpose

  • To provide vision, leadership and direction for the organisation ensuring the agreed strategy is being executed, that objectives are clearly communicated and that there is commitment to ownership of accountability and delivery in line with the organisational goals and statutory requirements;
  • To be the Accounting Officer for Sport England accountable to Parliament;
  • To oversee delivery on behalf of the Board the agreed Sport England strategy.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead and execute the cross-government strategy, Towards an Active Nation;
  • Provide effective strategic leadership and direction to all areas within Sport England.
    • Lead an effective and cohesive Executive team;
    • Plan, develop and implement the strategy to meet Sport England’s objectives within agreed budgets and timescales;
    • Oversee and ensure a robust approach to business planning across Sport England and ensure there is strong and effective corporate governance;
  • Foster an appropriate and effective relationship between Sport England and its key stakeholders including DCMS, HM Treasury and the NAO.
    • Develop and communicate the organisation’s purpose, vision and values to external stakeholders so that the direction of Sport England is clearly articulated and understood.;
    • Work actively to build and sustain effective relations with customers, stakeholders, media and partners within government and other relevant agencies to promote the profile of Sport England and its objectives and sustain the reputation of the organisation;
    • Work with the Chief Operating Officer to ensure that the organisation maintains a positive relationship with the NAO.
  • Report to the Board regarding all aspects of Sport England’s strategy, operations and activities. Ensure on behalf of the board effective management of the £300m budget.
    • Work constructively with the Chair and board members agreeing strategy and then overseeing delivery;
    • Ensure reliable and accurate financial reporting mechanisms are in place.

Qualifications & Skills


  • Degree or equivalent vocation qualification or experience


  • Broad-based business exposure and previous experience of directing and leading an organisation in a complex public sector or a commercial organisation to deliver challenging targets;
  • Previous experience of successfully leading the business/corporate planning of an organisation;
  • A proven track record of working effectively with a range of stakeholders, particularly in the context of successfully engaging government, public and private sectors and local communities;
  • Experience of representing a major and complex organisation to stakeholders at the highest level;
  • A proven ability to build and manage a high-performance team including the ability to improve team and individual performance;
  • A proven ability to respond quickly and on own initiative to changing complex circumstances, maintaining a clear view of overall strategic priorities;
  • Ability to problem-solve at a strategic level and to build support and consensus across multiple stakeholders
  • A skilled ambassador, demonstrating effectiveness, high standards and credibility to external stakeholders.

Abilities / Knowledge

  • A proven ability to influence effectively at Board level;
  • Highly developed written and verbal communication skills including the ability to present complex messages at the highest level – including in public arenas – and to effectively communicate complex financial information to a wide audience;
  • Demonstrable knowledge of statutory responsibilities and public-sector procurement practices and a practical understanding of the obligations associated with a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) and the regulatory environment applicable to Sport England;
  • Demonstrable understanding of behaviour change strategies;
  • Demonstrable understanding and sensitivity to work in an NDPB environment where processes are open to challenge;
  • High level of commercial awareness and intellectual rigour.


  • This post is subject to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. It will be necessary for a Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure & Barring Service for details of any previous criminal convictions.

How to Apply

To apply, the candidates should send the following:

  • Letter of application highlighting relevant experience;
  • Up to date curriculum vitae.

Deadline for applications: June 1, 2018.


Applications must be submitted via SRi‘s Apply Now button above.

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Tagged as: CEO, Chief Executive, Chief Executive Officer, Sport England

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