Appointment of Board Non-Executive Directors

England Athletics is pleased to announce the appointments of Helen Kendall and Jim Buckle as Independent Non-Executive Directors to the Board following the completion of an extensive recruitment process.

Both will join the Board in October this year when they succeed outgoing Directors Peter Crawshaw and current Senior Independent Director Steve Grainger who will have completed their full eight-year terms of office.

Helen is currently a Trustee of the Yorkshire Sports Foundation and has operated in senior financial and commercial executive roles across a variety of industries over a long period. She is passionate about the role that sport and physical activity can play in contributing to the physical and mental health of the nation. Helen is a keen and active runner in her own right having completed several marathons and endurance challenges.

Jim is currently the Chief Financial Officer for food company Gousto and has a number of various digital retail company executive experiences. He is also trustee of St Mary’s Athletic Club in London and manages their cross-country team. He has a daughter who is also competing at a high level in 400m and 800m at under-20 level.

Chair of the England Athletics Nominations Committee Leshia Hawkins said:

“We are delighted with these appointments following what was a highly competitive recruitment process that attracted over 150 applicants of an extremely high quality.

“We worked as a Nominations Committee to refine this overall list to eight candidates for interview which was a task in itself and narrowing it down to two was extremely difficult with the pool being so strong.

"I would like to thank all those individuals who took the time to put themselves forward for consideration and we wish them all the very best of success in their future endeavours.

“The Committee have agreed that both Helen and Jim have strong technical skills, particularly in the areas of finance and commercial affairs, and it is felt that they will fit well into the existing Board and its culture and will each bring interesting and complimentary views and experiences.

"They have both demonstrated in their applications and interviews a strong affinity for athletics and running, and a commitment to make a positive difference to our great sport as we further emerge from the effects of the pandemic.”

A third Independent Non-Executive Director Janyce Holmes will also, in accordance with the code for Sports Governance, continue into her second four-year term of office effective from October this year having already been recruited through an extensive selection process in 2018.

The Nominations Committee considered that asking Janyce to continue in her NED role for a further term would provide both continuity and experience to the Board during this transitional period with Janyce also overseeing the Board’s Sustainability Strategy development ⁠— a critically important piece of work for England Athletics as we work to become more environmentally and socially sustainable as an organisation.

Gary Shaughnessy, Chair of England Athletics, said:

“It was impressive that so many high-quality individuals put themselves forward. This shows the wide-ranging interest in the important work of England Athletics as an organisation and the passion that people have for athletics as a sport.

“I would like to thank both Steve and Peter for all their dedication and commitment to England Athletics as Board Directors since they joined eight years ago. They have worked tirelessly for the organisation in their respective roles, and we wish them all the very best of health, happiness, and success when they finally stand down in October this year.”