Conference recordings

The first SGA Annual Conference took place on Wednesday 28th April and saw around 300 professionals from across the sector meet online to learn, discuss and share. 

Take a look at the agenda, catch up on the recorded sessions and download a copy of the speaker slides below. 

Share your thoughts on the day and continue the conversation over on the Huddle. 





Welcome & housekeeping

Craig Beeston, SGA Programme Manager, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland

The 2021 SGA Conference begins with a welcome from Programme Manager, Craig Beeston.

Welcome address

Phil Smith, Director of Sport, Sport England

Phil Smith opens up proceedings, welcoming attendees with his observations on current issues affecting the sector.

The Code for Sports Governance - review update

Robert Morini, Head of Governance and International Relations, UK Sport
Lynsey Tweddle, Head of Governance, Sport England

The Code for Sports Governance was a game-changing initiative when it was published by Sport England and UK Sport in October 2016. The governance of funded organisations has undergone enormous progress under the Code, which has set a new standard for the sector. In July 2020, a review and public consultation was announced in order to ensure that it continues to lead the way in governance practice by considering the sector’s experiences, assessing the Code against best practice and identifying areas for development. The review contained a substantive focus on equality, diversity and inclusion. Lynsey and Rob will present an update on the review, outline the major changes to the Code and the roadmap which will be followed. They will discuss what the changes will mean for the sector and how Sport England and UK Sport will support and work with their partners to implement the requirements.

Building diversity in sports boards

Lucy Simpson, Head of UK Board Practice, Perrett Laver
Shivani Smith, Senior Consultant, Global Non-Profit & Social Impact and Co-Chair, Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Perrett Laver

Significant strides have been taken by sports bodies in recent years to improve their board composition and make them more reflective of society – but there remains much work to be done. In this session, Lucy and Shivani will outline the benefits to organisations of more diverse perspectives and will look at some of the challenges which the sector faces when addressing diversity. Our speakers will provide details of Perrett Laver’s work with Sport England to create and support a wider pool of board-ready candidates.

How energy and resilience affect decision making and governance

Dr Alan Watkins, Complete Coherence

The demands placed on boards are always high. Recent events have tested their resilience and decision making to a new degree. This session will look at how the board individually and collectively can use emotional literacy and develop resilience to put themselves in a position to be able respond to testing circumstances and make optimal decisions. Alan will also look at the evolution over time of governance processes.

ESG - Putting environmental sustainability at the heart of governance

Joanna Leigh, Sustainability Coordinator, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games & former Team GB/England hockey player
Toby Robins, Executive Director for Partnerships, British Association for Sustainable Sport (BASIS)

As organisations look to build back following the trials of the past year, this session considers whether now is an opportunity to do things differently and to place environmental sustainability at the centre of strategic planning and decision making. The effects of environmental change are already being felt across sport, and the sector has the chance to leverage its unique reach and influence to take the lead in a new approach.

Prepare, adapt and learn: developing organisational resilience

Kirsten Fasey, Governance and Organisational Development Coordinator, British Triathlon

The past year has thrown unprecedented challenges at bodies across the sector, forcing them to adapt and make difficult decisions. Drawing on Kirsten’s research and work with elite organisations, including her more recent facilitation of interventions, this session will explore the characteristics of organisational resilience, looking at its five pillars before offering practical advice on how organisations can prepare, adapt and learn.

Panel: Diversity in sport - what should the future look like?

Viveen Taylor (Chair), Director of Equality Diversity and Inclusion, Sport England
Sue Anstiss MBE, CEO, Fearless Women Ltd

Pippa Britton, Double Paralympian, Speaker, Consultant & Mentor
Dr Karl George MBE, Managing Director, The Governance Forum Ltd

Chaired by Sport England’s Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, this panel discussion brings together speakers with a huge store of experience to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the sector as it continues to improve diversity in the leadership of organisations, making them representative of society and achieving better outcomes in decision making, engagement and social equity.

Closing remarks

Craig Beeston, SGA Programme Manager, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland

Listen to the closing remarks of the 2021 SGA Conference from Programme Manager, Craig Beeston.