Welsh Netball has recruited 6 non-executive Directors to its newly expanded Board in what is a revolutionary next step for the future of netball in Wales.

The six new Directors will add a wealth of invaluable experience to the existing Board of Welsh Netball and provide the National Governing Body with new expertise and insight as it seeks to ‘grow the game’ and ‘inspire success.’ The new Directors will each hold a portfolio relating to one of commercial, IT & digital, policy & governance, communications, HR and legal matters. Other than the commercial brief, none of these portfolios have ever been part of the Welsh Netball’s Board before.

The first of these new appointments has already been hard at work for Welsh Netball over the last few months. Mr Kerry McDonald, Welsh Netball’s Commercial Director, was appointed in April 2018. Kerry has over 14 years of experience within the sports industry. He has experience of identifying commercial opportunities and securing and managing partnerships with blue-chip brands. Kerry has also been a member of the Rights Holder Working Group for the Department for Culture Media & Sport.

Meanwhile, Mr Rob Rees will be taking on the role of IT & Digital Director. Rob is the Operations Director at Box UK. Box UK is a software development and digital agency that specialises in the design, development and delivery of user-centred digital systems for ambitious and innovative organisations worldwide. Rob is part of the Executive Team that is accountable for setting, communicating and delivering Box UK’s mission. Rob is passionate about working with clients to harness the transformative power of digital and has experience of coaching and mentoring.

Taking on the position of Policy & Governance Director is Ms Rhian Edwards. Rhian is the Project Manager of Social Business Wales, run by the Wales Co-operative Centre. Social Business Wales provides intensive one-to-one support for social businesses across Wales who are looking to create or expand jobs. Rhian has extensive experience of advising boards of Directors, Trustees, and operational staff on business issues such as governance, legal structures, and commercial and policy development

Joining the Board as Communications and Marketing Director is Ms Lowri Williams. Lowri has over 10 years of experience in the sports sector, having worked internationally in the USA and Australia. Lowri presently works as the Player Liaison and Partnerships Manager for The Football Association. Lowri has delivered several successful marketing and PR campaigns whilst at the FA, including the FA Women’s Super League ‘A League of Our Own’ campaign (which won UEFA Best Women’s Football Marketing Campaign in 2016), and developed the ‘Lionesses’ brand for England Women. She has worked in football commerce and marketing and has a passion for driving awareness and changing perceptions of women’s sport.

Welsh Netball will also be welcoming Ms Zoe Grainger as HR Director. Working in HR for nearly 20 years, Zoe has developed her career from starting out in administration, to her role today which focuses on the strategic development of specified directorates within Public Health Wales. Zoe also holds a senior leadership role within the HR team, coaching and mentoring colleagues to ensure they can effectively deliver the operational requirements of the organisation.

Finally, Ms Karen Meggitt has been appointed as Welsh Netball’s new Legal Director. Karen is currently Operations Director with RedKite Solicitors and has a background as a lawyer and senior manager who has worked in a highly regulated environment for many years. During this time Karen has held positions such as Head of Litigation, Head of Recruitment and Employee Development, both at NewLaw Solicitors and prior to that Karen was a Partner (Insurance Litigation) at Eversheds.

Having successfully secured the services of six new Board members, Sarah Jones, Welsh Netball CEO, reflected on what the newly expanded Board will mean for netball in Wales.

She said: “The decision to expand the number of appointed non-executive Directors that sit on the Board of Welsh Netball marks a revolutionary change in how the National Governing Body will operate. In June this year we changed the Articles of Association through our AGM process, from 5 elected and 2 appointed Directors, to 7 appointed and 5 elected. This has meant that we retain netball specific knowledge and experience that will now be complemented with defined skills-based Directors.

“These Director roles have never existed on the Board of Welsh Netball before and these changes are as a result of a skills-based audit the current Board undertook.”

Jones added: “These changes will modernise the way that Welsh Netball operates. Our knowledgeable Directors from the netball community will work with our new appointees to help us to further deliver on our aims to grow the game and inspire success. Our existing Board are committed and passionate people and combining this energy with these new skills is an exciting prospect for the future.

“Our newly strengthened Board will ensure positive levels of scrutiny to continue our growth journey through the Governance and Leadership Framework Wales. Furthermore, the newly expanded Board will ensure that Welsh Netball is suitably skilled and balanced to drive the sport towards delivering on the Vision for Sport in Wales.”