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Four Board Members appointed to Sport England

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has appointed Mel Bound, Michelle Cracknell, Jason Fergus and Helene Raynsford as Board Members of Sport England for terms of three years.

Mel Bound

Appointed from 01 January 2023 until 31st December 2025. Mel Bound is the founding CEO of This Mum Runs, the largest digital, mobile and in person running community for women in the world. A digital thought leader and globally recognised community builder, Mel leads an ambitious team with a vision to empower all women to enjoy the life changing benefits of being active; tackling stubborn exercise inequalities through an innovative community playbook and pressure free ethos based on movement, not performance.

A graduate in Sport and Exercise Sciences, much of Mel’s career has involved creating experiences that positively impact how people engage with sport and physical activity - starting out on a fast track programme for a global health and fitness group before moving into sports marketing, designing in-stadia experiences for international track and field events; latterly as Strategy Director for a global experiential agency, winning hearts and minds for brands in sport, tech and FMCG before founding This Mum Runs in 2014. Mel is a Fellow of the Facebook Community Leadership Programme, recognised as one of the Top 16 Most Impactful Community Leaders in the world, listed in the Sunday Times Maserati 100 British Disrupter Brands and a recipient of the Women’s Sport Trust “Grassroots Game Changer” Award.

Michelle Cracknell

Appointed from 01 January 2023 until 31st December 2025. Michelle was Chief Executive Officer and Accounting Officer of The Pensions Advisory Service between October 2013 and December 2018. Prior to that, she held Director roles in advice firms, providers and insurance companies. She is a qualified actuary. Michelle holds non-executive positions at Fidelity International Holdings, Just Group Plc, Lloyds Banking Group Pension Trustees Ltd and PensionBee Group Plc. She is passionate about helping people make more of their money and sees lots of parallels between motivating people to budget and take physical activity.

Jason Fergus

Appointed from 01 January 2023 until 31st December 2025. Jason Fergus has over 20 years’ experience in the sport and physical activity. Jason is currently Director of Active Essex, one of the largest Active Partnerships in England. Jason also heads up the delivery of the Essex Local Delivery Pilot, one of 12 LDPs that form part of a ground-breaking £100m programme funded by Sport England from 2017-25 to tackle population levels of physical inactivity in deprived areas.

Jason is a high-level strategic thinker, operator and is competent at building trusted relationships with a wide range of agencies. Jason has a strong track record in Essex of adopting a whole system and place-based approach to drive up physical activity levels at scale. Jason consistently demonstrates exemplary behaviour and ethics, and ensures Active Essex operates to the highest standards of governance. Jason co-founded the successful charity ‘Active Essex Foundation’ and is a serving trustee. Jason represented GB Athletics at national and international level as a sprinter.

Helene Raynsford

Appointed from 01 January 2023 until 31st December 2025. Having worked in public health for over 14 years at local, regional and national level, Helene is very interested in the role of physical activity in the prevention health agenda, care pathways and how sport and health can work closer together with benefits for both. Helene grew up in a vocational schooling through both Elmhurst and Royal Ballet School, thus see’s physical activity in its widest sense and has worked on many local initiatives to increase physical activity in general and targeted populations. Helene has been involved in national and international policy / guidance writing on both sport and health agendas, including both a ‘public health’ and ‘expert’ member of NICE Committee’s and member of the International Advisory Board of the World Academy of Sport.

Helene is a retired Paralympian having become the first World Champion and Paralympic Rowing Gold Medallist in Paralympic Women’s Single Sculls. She is in her second term as Chair the Athletes’ Commission for the British Paralympic Association and an active member of the Athlete voice Internationally within the Paralympic movement. Helene has a portfolio career and is an experienced Non-Exec Director having worked with organisations covering international and domestic sport. She firmly believes in the huge benefit of sport and physical activity at a grass roots level to the wider health outcomes of both individuals and communities.

Remuneration and Governance Code

Remuneration for these roles is set at £218 per day. This appointment has been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments. The appointments process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Under the Code, any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years must be declared. This is defined as including holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation, or candidature for election. Mel Bound, Michelle Cracknell, Jason Fergus and Helene Raynsford have not declared any significant political activity.

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