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Mike Farrar steps down as chairperson of Swim England board

Mike Farrar has stepped down as chairperson of Swim England to focus on his work supporting the NHS through the coronavirus pandemic.

Mike, who has held the role for five years, announced his intention in a resignation letter to the Swim England board.

He was praised for his dedication to the post by Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson, who said the recognised national governing body were ‘extremely lucky’ to have had him at the helm.

Vice-chairperson Sue Smith is to hold the post of interim chairperson for the coming period.

Mike announced in April that he had taken on the post of Acting Deputy CEO at King’s College Hospital, London – which was one of the hospitals to have had the highest number of Covid-19 patients at the time.

He is also now helping the NHS in a number of other cities with their response to the pandemic and their recovery programmes.

Mike said: “After a lot of soul searching, I have decided to step down permanently from my role as chairperson of Swim England.

“As we all know, these are very difficult times and I have been drawn back into supporting the NHS throughout and in recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This has impacted, and sadly continues to impact, on my time and availability to provide the crucial support and leadership that I believe Swim England also requires at this time.

“As a consequence, I think it is right for the organisation if I step down and focus on my work in and with the NHS, allowing a new chairperson to offer their fuller support to the organisation.

“I would wish to pay tribute to the work of all of those at Swim England and indeed in the wider swimming and aquatic family, who have continued tirelessly to deliver our vision and purpose of ‘A Nation Swimming’.

Privilige to hold this position

“Swim England is, I believe, now one of the leading NGBs in the country and is held in high regard by our funders and our peers.

“I am grateful for all the warmth, friendship, and support that I have been given ever since I was appointed in 2015 and I will stay engaged and committed to swimming and aquatics through my health links and personal friendships. It has been a privilege to hold this position.

“I wish the organisation and my successor all the very best in the tough times ahead but know that Swim England, with its glorious ASA history and tradition, will come through this with great success and a renewed passion for its mission.”

Jane said: “We are sorry to lose Mike from this key role but understand the constraints on his time.

“We were extremely lucky to have had Mike at our helm for five years.

“During this time, we have achieved a great deal, including the attainment and retention of the Advanced Level of the Equality Standard for Sport, a place in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For in the not-for-profit sector, produced valuable insight and reports on the Health and Wellbeing benefits of swimming as well as the Value of Swimming report.

“In addition, we have strengthened our relationship with external partners and operators and have stronger internal relationships with our members, clubs, counties and regions.

“Mike has built a strong board with all the skills necessary to support the executive team in their work.

“We wish him well with his NHS work and all future endeavours.”

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