UK Sports Minister Tracey Crouch has praised national sports bodies for responding positively and ‘working to become compliant’ with the new ‘Code for Sports Governance’ which will be introduced by the end of October.
Part of the government’s ‘Sporting Future’ mandate/code presented in December 2015, the UK seeks to become the world leader in sports governance and transparency.
The code’s nationwide implementation has been led by Sport England and UK Sport advising/consulting governing bodies, as the UK government focuses on three specific area’s of governance;
- Greater all-round transparency
- Increased skills and diversity in decision making – with a target of at least 30 per cent gender diversity on boards – and a commitment to greater diversity more generally
- Constitutional arrangements that make boards the ultimate decision-makers
UK sports bodies that do not adhere to the new code or cannot demonstrate a sufficient commitment to ‘becoming compliant’, may risk their eligibility to public funding.
Issuing an update, Crouch detailed that significant progress has been made on the mandate with ‘ 50 sports bodies including the Football Association, England and Wales Cricket Board, Lawn Tennis Association, Rugby Football Union and British Cycling all having plans already agreed on how they will become compliant.’
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch commented on the update: “I am really pleased with how governing bodies have responded to the introduction of the code. I appreciate for many sports this is not an easy task, due to the complexities of current governance structures, but virtually all of them have stepped up, understand the importance of this work and have changes in the pipeline that will collectively strengthen sport in this country.”
“Good governance and transparency in sport are absolutely paramount not just for effective decision making but to increase diversity, maintain sport’s integrity and ensure millions of sports fans have complete faith in those that run sport.”
Detailing examples of compliance by UK sporting bodies, Crouch and UK Sports pointed to The FA’s governance body which has agreed to reduce the board in size from 12 to 10 members, introducing term limits of 3 x 3 years.
Furthermore, The Lawn Tennis Association has agreed on all article changes to become compliant with the code in May. This includes reducing council term limits and confirming the primacy of the board as the decision making body.
UK Sport CEO Liz Nicholl backed the new code progress, stating: “Our funded sports, in receipt of support from Government and The National Lottery, have all embraced the new code for sport governance, with 100% of the summer Olympic and Paralympic sports with funded World Class Programmes having agreed on detailed action plans with us to be compliant by October.”
“The changes that are required to present some challenges as they represent a transformational step up for sports governance in this country. It’s time to focus energy on the opportunity to develop a modern sporting system that can grow and adapt to the challenges of the 21st century.”