Sports governance: board training and development
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Since the introduction of a new government strategy at the end of 2015, the past few years have heralded substantial change in the strategic direction and governance arrangements of organisations operating in the sports sector.

Part of our work in this sector has focused on governance standards and board efficacy. As a leader in governance, we are well versed in the Code for Sports Governance and the challenges membership bodies have in controlling governance arrangements, and we have been helping sport and leisure organisations meet the new threshold of excellence required of them. We set out below one way in which we consider we’ve had some positive impact.

County Sports Partnership Network

From September 2015 to June 2017, CT was appointed to support the County Sports Partnership Network’s ‘Good to Great Board Training and Development Programme’.

We worked with County Sports Partnership (CSP) board members from across the 44 nationwide county sports organisations to improve their skills and knowledge of governance issues.

Our approach:

The programme comprised of:

  • 5 ‘supa-regional’ workshops: 1-day events made up of keynote speakers, topical workshops, and peer-to-peer action learning groups.
  • 7 webinars on: the sports governance code; effective stakeholder relationships; driving efficiency and business sustainability; the role of the chair; understanding the Board member role; being strategic; and Board effectiveness.
  • 5 thought-pieces published on the CSP member-only online forum;
  • 1-2-1 individual surgeries with Board members at the CSPN Annual Convention;
  • Authoring documents to help CSPs comply with the Code for Sports Governance;
  • 2 pilot ‘light touch’ governance health checks with CSPs;
  • 2 seminars at the CSPN Annual Convention;
  • On-going support to the CSPN team.


CSPN noted progress overall in raising standards in board performance. Action taken by CSP boards included: improving the quality of strategic discussions; holding regular meetings between CEOs and chairs; reviewing and refreshing policies; developing board-driven agendas; better utilisation of the board skill set; and increased selfreflection alongside a culture of improvement.

All of these improvements sat alongside practical steps to introduce appraisal and succession planning processes.

This project has been a catalyst for CT’s involvement in the wider network and we have assisted individual CSPs with a wide range of governance related issues, as well as assisting with options appraisals and recruitment to non-executive and executive roles. For example, we have assisted CSPN in recruiting its whole board. We have also recruited chairs to three CSPs and are currently working on a new chair recruitment exercise.

To find out how we can help your organisation, email

How can we help you?

Contact the Campbell Tickell team to find out how we can help

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