ukactive's Board

ukactive is a not-for-profit trade body, accountable to its members and governed by a board of directors who are representative of the different areas of our membership.

Board directors are nominated and elected by ukactive members. They serve a three year term and are required to attend four general meetings a year and one AGM. The CEO, chairman, vice chairman and treasurer are appointed by the board members.

The executive staff team are responsible for the day-to-day running of ukactive, which is overseen by the chief executive officer (CEO).

 

David Stalker

David Stalker

CEO, ukactive

David Stalker is the CEO of ukactive, Chairman of CIMSPA and a member of the board of directors on EHFA.

Dave's considerable experience across the physical activity sector is drawn from working in the UK and Europe for over 20 years. In that time he has worked at every tier of the corporate ladder from a Level One fitness instructor to CEO. He has held senior positions in companies such as Bladerunner, Leisure Connection and First Leisure.

Dave, who is married with two children, is an enthusiastic follower of most sports particularly of rugby, which he played for a number of years in Kenya, his country of birth.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Chair of ukactive Board

Baroness Thompson has had an extremely successful career as a Paralympic athlete. With her first international competition in Seoul in 1988 she has since competed in five Paralympic games, winning 11 gold medals, as well as six London marathons. 

Since retiring from competitive racing in 2007, Tanni has become an avid campaigner for getting more women and disabled people into sport and has many accolades to her name for her contribution to sport and campaigning. She has been vocal on the government's change to the Disability Living Allowance, citing it as an important benefit for Disabled people that allowed her and other disabled athletes to be able to afford transport and equipment. 

In 2005 Tanni was made a Dame for her services to sport and in 2010 became a life peer sitting as a cross-bencher in the House of Lords. She is the president of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and the patron of numerous charities including Sports Leaders UK, the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme and a trustee of the Sportsaid foundation.  She became the chair of ukactive in April 2015.

Matt Merrick

Matt Merrick

European Chief Operating Officer, Virgin Active

Matt joined Virgin Active in 2004 as the Group's Financial Controller, when the business operated 14 UK clubs. He has held several roles since then including UK Finance Director, UK Managing Director and now European Chief Operating Officer. He is responsible for operations, commercial product, customer services, facilities and investment across Virgin Active's 150-strong European club portfolio. Prior to joining Virgin Active, he worked for KPMG, the audit and assurance firm, where he trained as a Chartered Accountant.

In his time at Virgin Active, Matt has overseen the acquisition and business integration of Holmes Place in 2006 and Esporta in 2011 and in recent years has led Virgin Active's Active Inspiration programme alongside the Youth Sport Trust, Enabling Enterprise Education and Women in Sport with the goal of tackling youth inactivity. He also plays an active role in promoting greater participation in tennis, at all ages, working alongside Virgin Active's partner, the Lawn Tennis Association.  

 

Mark Sesnan

Mark Sesnan

MD, GLL

Mark has been privileged to be Managing Director of GLL since its formation in 1993 and has also been a key player in steering the growth and direction of the local Authority leisure market. He is also a CIMSPA Fellow, a Fellow of the RSA and the Secretary and founder member of Sporta.

Mark has extensive business knowledge as a managing director and experience as a director and trustee working on various strategic boards.

Dr Ewan Hamnett

Dr Ewan Hamnett

Birmingham City Council & NHS Birmingham Cross City CCG

As a recently retired 58-year-old General Practitioner (GP), Mark's 26 years in practice in Birmingham has given him insight into population health and the barriers to change. His particular interest is in education, having taught medical students and junior doctors as well as being the postgraduate tutor for GPs throughout the West Midlands.

He is a passionate advocate for activity and, on behalf of Birmingham City Council, chair the Active Wellbeing Committee. This coordinates the development of strategy, pulling together the various health stakeholders including GP commissioning groups and the activity sector. Our role is to enhance substantial programmes, such as 'Birmingham Be Active' and 'Active Parks'.

Currently, he competes in triathlons and qualified for two world championships in spite of bilateral hip replacements. Also a previous, active racket sports player.

He firmly believe we need to improve education for health professionals and the public about the life-enhancing benefits of activity. Broadening the menu of activity and ensuring a safe and attractive infrastructure, are key to ensuring a healthier population.

John Treharne

John Treharne

CEO, Gym Group

A former accountant and England squash player, John Treharne's fitness industry experience spans 25 years.

In 1991 John started his first gym business, Dragons Health Clubs, which floated in 1997, with 22 clubs. In 2008 John launched the budget gym chain, The Gym Group, with 32 clubs operational by the end of 2012.

 

Phil Rumbelow

Phil Rumbelow

Chief Executive, Jubilee Hall Trust

Phil is a Chartered Director and the Chief Executive of Jubilee Hall Trust, which operates four fitness and sports centres & delivers community programmes across three London Boroughs. He is also Vice Chair and London/South East Director of Sporta and Chair of Active Westminster. He has served as a school governor for over 20 years and was a volunteer Gamesmaker at the London 2012 Olympics.

Debbie Kaye

Debbie Kaye

Cambridge City Council

As a member of the cCLOA Executive, Debbie had involvement in a range of initiatives such as the commissioning programme. She now seeks to expand her involvement at a national level with ukactive in order to advocate, inform and support approaches that relate to her belief that an active lifestyle should be an educational entitlement, can take many forms and should be in reach for everyone.

She fully endorses the mission and vision of ukactive.

 

Clare Howard

Clare Howard

Deputy Managing Director, AoC Sport

Clare has worked at senior level with CEOs and Boards since 1998, and is now Deputy MD of the new lead organisation for college sport. She has worked in the sector throughout her career and her consultancy experience has enabled her to work in, or with, over 100 different organisations.

She has a broad experience of all types of leisure management and sport development, and in-depth knowledge of sport in education. The Association of Colleges represents 98% of all colleges in England and we have links with Scottish and Welsh Colleges with communication networks which are wide and has direct links to Principals, College Governors, and individual networks e.g. Finance Directors, VPs, Curriculum and Quality leads, Student Services managers, and Heads of Sport.  We are the trusted voice for the college sector.

Dean Horridge

Dean Horridge

CEO & Founder, Fit For Sport

Dean has over 25 years' experience working within education, health, leisure and sport with a focus on children's activity. As head of PE in a primary school he was disappointed at the lack of physical activity his pupils undertook during school holidays. 

Realising the effects of inactivity, Dean began Fit For Sport in 1991 as a weekend and holiday activity club for children. Fit For Sport has grown to employ over 400 staff, caters for over 250,000 children through schools services, and has engaged over one million children in activity through free school and family initiatives. Fit For Sport also trains 23% of the UK's activity leaders.

 

Liz Lowe

Liz Lowe

Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain

Following a degree in Psychology and suitable amounts of world travel, Liz started her career in consumer PR at agency Lynne Franks PR, working across a variety of consumer entertainment accounts.  Following a period as part of SEGA's marketing team, she moved to Pearson's multiple media publishing business, Pearson New Entertainment, running the in-house PR team responsible for corporate and consumer communications for a variety of magazines and videos, including sport, music, film and computing.

Currently she leads a cross-functional marketing and communications team to develop and deliver ParkLives, an innovative, long-term community physical activity programme in partnership with local authorities offering free activities in parks. The programme is part of the company's commitment to get one million people active through its programmes by 2020.

 

Neil King

Neil King

MD, 1Life

25 years industry experience in the public & private sectors in both the UK & mainland Europe.Recently Commercial Director for SLM & instrumental in the creation and development of the Everyone Active brand. Neil is currently Managing Director of 1Life where they are in the process of bringing a new fun, vibrant, aspirational brand to market and re-positioning the company for future success.

He has previously served on the ukactive Board and has experience of key development areas such as the skills  and health & wellbeing agenda.He is passionate about creating a more active community and giving people a wider range of physical activity opportunities.

 

Robert Rowland

Robert Rowland

CEO, Boom Cycle

Robert is CEO of BOOM Cycle London -  previously, his background was as a business development director for a global, drinks brand and events consulting. Robert started BOOM Cycle with now Creative Director Hilary Gilbert in 2011 as a way to fill a hole in the market in London's fitness offering.


Robert looks after all the business development, business strategy, investor relations, new site development as well as overseeing marketing, sales & PR departments to ensure that we're hitting predetermided targets through precise data, brand and consumer analysis.

Hilary Gilbert

Hilary Gilbert

Creative Director, Boom Cycle

Hilary Gilbert is co-founder and creative director of BOOM Cycle London. Hilary came to BOOM Cycle with a back-ground in fashion modelling. Her role at BOOM Cycle is to develop and integrate BOOM Cycle's unique product offering to ensure that it's delivered by our team of professionals perfectly every time and that is correlates and engages with our London centric consumer base.

She also works very closely with the PR team to ensure consistent brand messages are getting out through the press as well as being the media face of BOOM Cycle.

Garry Kerr

Garry Kerr

Head of Operations, British Military Fitness

Garry has worked in the fitness industry since 2008 following 8 years experience as a Physical Training Instructor in the Armed Forces. He joined British Military Fitness in 2008 as an Instructor and has progressed through the ranks at BMF to Park Manager, Regional Manager and National Training Manager before moving onto his current role as Head of Operations and Training.

He has demonstrated excellent results, strong leadership and the ability to develop others around him by being a key part of BMF's nationwide expansion. In addition to this, Garry has pioneered the launch of the BMF Academy, a new commercial venture in the fitness training sector. Garry has developed BMF's quality strategy over the past 3 years which has delivered excellent improvements towards achieving operational excellence by improving efficiency and sustainability.

Garry's main passion is helping people achieve their goals and be the best that they can be. As an instructor on the front line this is highly rewarding, as a senior manager within an organisation, inspiring more people to have this impact on peoples lives is equally motivating.

 
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