New board members

We’re thrilled to announce that we have appointed two new business experts, Pam Wilde and Emma Neale, to our now seven-strong board of trustees.

Between them, Pam and Emma will provide invaluable insights and expertise in business strategy, marketing and employment as we continue with our journey of growth aimed at reaching more young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs).

Pam, who brings strategic marketing and board-level experience from organisations such as technology experts SSP, Rolls-Royce, Barclays Bank and Interserve, will contribute to the development of our public profile over the coming months and years. Additionally, Pam is interested in the impact of physical activity on wellbeing – she herself has run marathons in New York and Boston, plays single tennis leagues and is currently training for a bodybuilding competition.

Emma, meanwhile, is Associate Professor in Marketing and Employability Lead at Birmingham City University. She specialises in teaching marketing strategy and management, as well as embedding employability skills within the curriculum, to create placement and graduate opportunities for students.

Prior to this, Emma worked at Siemens as a European direct marketing manager and ran her own marketing consultancy, working with West Midlands SMEs.

Of her appointment, Pam said: “I am delighted and proud to be appointed as a trustee of Sport 4 Life UK, which really is innovating with sport and physical activity to equip young people with the skills needed to secure employment and live a life full of hope. And in the post-Covid environment, organisations like this are becoming incredibly important – they are the unsung heroes of the next generation’s future.”

Emma added: “I’ve been really impressed with the strategic vision and overall leadership of the charity and its core values of “changing the lives of young people”, which is very much aligned with my own ethos and philosophy on life. I aim to contribute my knowledge and skills from employability and marketing perspectives and am excited about being a part of the growth and success of Sport 4 Life UK.” 

Despite coronavirus lockdowns preventing face-to-face activities like sports coaching, demand for our services continue to grow due to the impact of the pandemic and economic downturn on the region’s young people.

In the year to June 2020, we have supported a total of 926 youngsters with on and offline mentoring, qualifications, and training programmes, in addition to structured sports sessions. But this is expected to grow in the coming years.

Commenting on the trustee appointments, Founder and CEO Tom Clarke-Forrest said they would help the organisation continue to make a positive impact on young people.

“Young people have been severely affected by the crisis and it’s clear that the next generation faces a future without hope if support isn’t provided and opportunities created. Our new trustees really are at the top of their game and bring some fantastic skills to Sport 4 Life UK, enriching and complementing the existing talent within our board. Together, this crucial team will help provide effective strategic direction that will help us to benefit even more youngsters in tough times,” he said.

In 2020, we scored a number of significant achievements in our mission to support more young people. In November we moved into larger offices at Digbeth from our original Ladywood site and appointed our first ambassador in the form of Casey Bailey, also Birmingham’s Poet Laureate. On top of this, we announced a corporate partnership with B2B digital energy switching and comparison service Tickd. The trustee appointments represent the next step in our evolution.

Meet our trustees.