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Get to know the CEO

Thursday, September 12, 2019

We ask new BAFA Chief Executive Pete Ackerley about his first ten days in the role, his priorities and more


 

What made you apply for the role of BAFA CEO?
It offered a chance to lead a dynamic and exciting sport with huge potential for growth in participation and deliver high quality events and national programme activities. I believe there’s a fantastic opportunity for British American Football to become an innovative and high-performing National Governing Body that really challenges the norms.
 
How has your first ten days in the role been?

One word - busy! But really exciting and great to see the passion of the committed volunteer base and the goodwill towards the role. I’ve also spent much of my first two weeks contacting important stakeholders moving forward and hearing their excitement for the sport as we start to develop and refine a laser focused strategy for participation and development.

What are your priorities for your first month?
Talking to partners, developing a commercial strategy, engaging with stakeholders and working closely with existing Board and volunteers. I also want to start getting out and about meeting our member clubs and teams and hearing about their ambitions and challenges. On top of that I’ll be looking to review and refine our overall strategy and polices, as well as looking at our communications strategy and potential broadcast partnerships.

What lessons have you learned from your roles within the Football Association and the England & Wales Cricket Board that you can bring to the table?
Less is more - laser focus on the key elements that create the biggest impact and make the biggest difference. Don’t try to do all the heavy lifting and create strong and mutually beneficial partnerships. And, importantly, volunteers and clubs are the lifeblood of our game and are our biggest asset.

You've already talked about growing participation and performance - what are the key things you'll be focusing on here?

I want to establish a clear plan around our National Programme and elite performance - in short, a plan to develop winning GB teams.

I think it’s important that we have a clear DNA for our game and what we’re trying to achieve and how we link that to partners and key relationships.

We need a clear plan for developing our coaching structure and making sure we recruit, retain and develop our workforce to deliver long term player development.


We also need to build on the inclusive nature of our sport and make versions of the game accessible to all, as well as establishing an entry level programme, widening our participation base and showing how our clubs will be the beneficiaries of more and better players.


Where do you want to see our sport in five years time?

In five years’ time I want to see British American Football recognised and funded by Sport England, with strong commercial partnerships and sustainable development programmes delivered across the UK.

I want our sport to be renowned as innovative, and have more participants at all levels, including officials, and significant resources invested into our clubs and volunteer workforce. I also want to see strong links between all our programmes and a clear and demonstrable player pathway, leading to winning GB teams

Tell us a little about you away from work?
I’m a sports nut and follow Lancashire Cricket, Manchester United, Sale Sharks and Warrington Rugby League. And, of course, the NFL. My team are the Giants - influenced by Channel 4 in the eighties. I used to love watching Lawrence Taylor smash teams!


I also love walking on the Lancashire Hills and in the Lake District, visiting great restaurants and enjoying a glass or two of good wine.

What's made you smile this week?

The party stand at Old Trafford during the Ashes Test Match! Some antics printable and some not!

Tell us something we couldn't find out about you on Google?
I lived and worked in Spain for a Spanish bank in the late eighties and love Spanish history and culture.

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