Smith leaves FA to join Sport England

Sport England today announced the appointment of two directors who will lead the organisation’s work with National Governing Bodies of sport, a relationship that sits at the heart of Sport England’s new strategy.

NGBs are a critical partner in delivering Sport England’s Strategy 2008 – 11, which aims to get more people playing and enjoying sport and to help those with talent get to the very top.

Phil Smith joins Sport England from the Football Association where he has been Head of Public Affairs since 2003. Having been involved in amateur football for many years as a player and volunteer, his professional career with the FA began in 1996 as the General Secretary of the County FA in Manchester.

Lisa O’Keefe’s appointment is an internal promotion. Most recently, Lisa has been Interim Head of National Sport. Previously she was Deputy Regional Director of our South East Region. As well as championing sport in her professional life, Lisa has herself been a sporting champion – representing Scotland at rugby union. She also captained Richmond women’s rugby team for three years and has coached Premiership and regional representative sides.

Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England, said:
“We are delighted to have attracted a key player from one of sport’s largest governing bodies to join Sport England. Phil’s knowledge and experience will be a great asset as we put governing bodies at the heart of delivering our new strategy for community sport. Combined with Lisa’s excellent track record within Sport England and the experience she has already gained of leading our new commissioning process for NGBs, I am confident that they offer the best blend of skills for this key area of our work.”

Notes to Editors
Sport England is a non-departmental public body and National Lottery distributor. We are committed to creating a world-leading community sports development system and increasing participation in sport. Sport England’s annual budget (lottery and exchequer) is c£250m.

Sport England’s new strategy was launched on June 10th and commits Sport England to deliver on a series of demanding targets by 2012/13:
• one million people doing more sport
• a 25% reduction in the number of 16-year-olds who drop out of five key sports
• improved talent development systems in at least 25 sports
• a measurable increase in people’s satisfaction with their experience of sport – the first time the organisation has set such a qualitative measure
• a major contribution to the delivery of the five hour sports offer for children and young people.

For more information please contact the communications team: Jane Clarke on 020 7273 1800, Peter Dickinson on 020 7273 1822, or Andrew St Ledger on 020 7273 1593.

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