Swimming Governing Bodies Strengthen Senior Leadership

David Sparkes is to move to sole position of British Swimming CEO while the ASA is to recruit a new Chief Executive to focus on participation and talent development.

The Amateur Swimming Association [ASA], announced today that its Chief Executive David Sparkes will move on from that role later this year and assume the sole position of British Swimming CEO where he will focus on the sport’s high performance strategy and development alongside its International Influence programme.

“It has been a privilege to serve both the ASA and British Swimming for more than 20 years," David Sparkes OBE, Chief Executive of the ASA and British Swimming.

This change has been agreed between the respective Boards of the ASA and British Swimming, David Sparkes having been Chief Executive of both organisations since 1994. The ASA will now begin a search for a dedicated Chief Executive to focus on growing participation in aquatic sports as well as supporting the development of talent through its affiliated clubs and a range of county, regional, and national competitions all over England.

Edward Lord OBE, Chairman of the Group Board, Amateur Swimming Association, said: “I would like to thank David for his significant contribution to the development of Swimming as ASA Chief Executive. The ASA is proud that Swimming is the number one participation sport in England with over 12 million people swimming every year, and David has played a major part in helping us get to this position. He has driven change and modernisation in the ASA and British Swimming for 20 years and both he and the respective boards of the ASA and British Swimming feel it is the right time to have a dedicated CEO for each organisation.

“A new ASA Chief Executive will now be recruited who will be able to focus exclusively on achieving the ASA’s key priorities. Under new leadership, the ASA will continue to grow the appeal of swimming at a grass roots level, help communities have access and enjoy the benefits of local swimming facilities and enable people of all abilities, from beginners to national level competitors, take part in the sport they love. This is an important and exciting time for the ASA as we move to a new era in our senior leadership.”

Maurice Watkins CBE, Chairman of British Swimming, said: “I am delighted that David has agreed to move full time to British Swimming at such an important time for the organisation and elite swimming in the UK. It now makes sense that British Swimming and the ASA, while maintaining a close working relationship, have their own senior leaders to drive the strategic priorities for each organisation. I am confident that this change will benefit swimming at every level in the years ahead.”

David Sparkes OBE, Chief Executive of the ASA and British Swimming, said: “It has been a privilege to serve both the ASA and British Swimming for more than 20 years. In that time swimming in England and across Great Britain has gone from strength to strength with increased participation in the sport and the development of world class, medal winning athletes at elite level.

“I believe the progress of the ASA and British Swimming has reached a stage where they would benefit from having individual leaders to drive both organisations forward. This has been a journey and now we are moving to the next phase and I am very much looking forward to continuing my role at British Swimming to deliver results for the sport and Great Britain at an elite level as we head towards Rio 2016 and beyond.”

David Sparkes will remain joint ASA / British Swimming CEO until a sole ASA Chief Executive has been appointed and joins the organisation later this year.

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