Swim England

A nation swimming


The Swim England Board

The 12 members of the Board are made up of representatives from across the sport and physical activity sector, as well as those with backgrounds in legal, human resources and finance.

The Swim England Board meets around six times a year to ensure the charity is working to the highest standards for all those involved in swimming and aquatics.

Within the governance structure the Sport Operations Committee (SOC) reports directly into the Board and has a wide brief which includes overseeing the effective delivery of the pathway (all disciplines) from learn to swim through to the elite programs and ensuring a seamless transition for all participants. In addition to the SOC there are a number of other committees that support the Board within a specialist area. View the members of the committees here.

For more information about Swim England as a Company Limited by Guarantee with charitable status, please click here

Meet The Swim England Board Members

Here are the current members of the Swim England Board.

Mike Farrar CBE, FRCP, FRCGP (Chairperson)

Mike has spent his career in the health service. He is currently an independent management consultant working with health and sports clients including NHS Confederation and the Football League Trust. He is committed to promoting health innovations and links between health and sport.

Keith Ashton

Keith is the CEO of S&P, the largest sports and leisure architectural practice in the UK. As well as working with the majority of the UK’s Local Governments to develop sports infrastructure projects, S&P also completed two of the 2012 Olympic venues and continue to work with OPLC on the QEII Park transition. Keith joined S&P in Feb 2001 becoming a Director in 2006.

Neil Booth

Neil has been involved as a member of his club for over 25 years and has successfully carried out the various officer roles within his Club. He was a founder member of the management board of the North West Region and, following retirement in 2007 from a long career in the police service, he has evolved into a ‘full time’ volunteer within the sport. Neil is a British Swimming Referee and is currently involved in developing material and delivering training for swimming technical officials. He is also chair of the Sport Operations Committee.

Alison Breadon

Alison is an Assurance specialist and has supported organisations in all parts of the public sector since joining PwC in 1996. She currently leads PwC’s Government and Public Services industry teams across three Midlands offices. Alison has extensive experience of managing large NHS, Education and local government assurance engagements and has led a wide range of advisory work to public sector entities particularly support on governance.

David Flack

David has been associated with the swimming community for over 25 years, working as the Development and Partnership Officer for Somerset for eight years, then as Somerset’s representative to the Regional Management Board. He has held positions as Regional and then National Chairman of the Swim21 programme, and completed a top-to-toe review of the programme and benefits to clubs, which eventually saw many layers of duplication disappear. He was appointed South West Regional Chairman in 2013.

Caroline Green

Caroline jointly leads Browne Jacobson’s nationally recognised retail and logistics sector group. She is a true sector expert and is well respected for her thorough understanding and knowledge of her clients’ businesses as well as the legal frameworks within which they operate. Caroline specialises in high value and complex commercial contract and commercial property matters.

Sarah Gregory

Sarah is an inspirational HR Director with a track record of delivering results in top brands in Retail, Telecoms, Financial Services and Media industries. She has a reputation for thinking differently, delivering results and engaging stakeholders. Chartered FCIPD and Six Sigma Blackbelt with significant experience in leading change and transformation across different industries, consumer groups and operating models.

Brian Havill

Brian moved to Swim England from the England and Wales Cricket Board where he spent 15 years as Finance Director and Company Secretary. Before then, he was the Commercial Director for Pentland Sports Group and Chief Operating Officer for Hi-Tec Sports International. In a voluntary capacity, Brian spent six years on the Council of the Lawn Tennis Association, including time as vice-chair of the LTA’s Performance Committee. Brian is also member of the Audit Committee of the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

Joan Wheeler

Joan was a competitive swimmer as a child and renewed her involvement in swimming when her children joined the local club. Having held the position of Club Chair for nine years, Joan progressed to the County Executive, being President twice, and became Regional Chair in 2013. Joan is also a qualified swimming judge and referee and continues to volunteer at a range of club, county and regional competitions. Joan is a qualified project manager and worked as a middle manager in a range of governance and policy development roles.

Jane Nickerson

Jane Nickerson became Swim England CEO in 2017 having held a range of senior management posts during her 20 years at the organisation. These included Head of Administration, Director of Operations and latterly Chief Operating Officer.

Jane has a deep understanding of the sport through the eyes of a swimmer and through her involvement in regional governance. As a youngster she swam competitively for City of Coventry reaching national championship standard, and during the 1990s, was an England and Great Britain swimming team manager.

Jane graduated with B Ed majoring in History and English after studying Ethnography in France for 12 months. Outside of work, Jane continues to enjoying swimming for relaxation and is committed to her voluntary work with the Samaritans.

Bernard Simkins

As an active official and qualified referee Bernard has officiated at all levels up to regional championships and continues to mentor new officials. He has been involved in his club including chairperson and organised licensed open meets, for twenty years. He is CEO and owner of a West Midlands-based engineering company specialising in the Mining, construction and transport sectors.

Sue Smith MBE (Senior Independent Director)

Sue has spent her career working for local government and has a wealth of experience in leadership, good governance and organisational transformation, and was recognised for her services to Local Government in the 2018 New Year’s Honours with an MBE. Sue is currently Chairperson of the Graven Hill Village Development Company, which is delivering the UK’s largest self-build housing development. Sue is a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Board Statement 27 August 2019

A complaint was made by a member under the judicial complaints system. The judicial system functions entirely separately from the executive function and independence was key throughout the process, which included the appointment of an external Chair (QC) through Sports Resolutions UK to the Appeal Committee. The judicial process has been followed to a conclusion as set out in the published determination, the contents of which are noted by the Swim England Board.

The Board have noted the respondent was referred to as the Chair of Swim England throughout the document. At the time of the complaint the organisation had a two board governance structure and the respondent was the Chair of the Sport Governing Board. In 2018 the Swim England Group Board and Swim England Sport Governing Board were dissolved following the incorporation of the organisation. One single board was created and Mr Mike Farrar was appointed as the Chair. The respondent did not take up a role within the new organisational governance structure.