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New Board Members appointed to the SGSA

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) is pleased to confirm the appointment for four new Board members – Martin Esom, Alex Lacey, Bradley Pritchard and Jon Sellins. 

The four new Board members replace Rimla Akhtar OBE, Susan Johnson MBE, Philip Kolvin KC and David Mackinnon. 

All SGSA Board appointments are for a term of three years and are made by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. 

Martin Esom is Chief Executive of Waltham Forest Council, a position he has held since 2010.  He sits on the Board of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as a Non-Executive Director and also Chairs the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.  Martin is an environmental health officer by training, has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and holds a range of technical qualifications including Health and Safety and Acoustics & Noise Control. 

Martin said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed to the SGSA Board.  It offers the chance to use some of my knowledge for the good of spectators and the game.  I am really looking forward to going on site with inspectors and gain a real appreciation of what it is like to be on the front line.” 

Alex Lacey is the Operations Director at Silverstone Circuits, with over 27 years’ experience of operating major sporting events.  She is a member of the Motorsport UK Race Committee and has played an active role in the Major Event Organisers Association for some years. 

Alex said: “Having worked at the home of British motorsport for over 25 years, I have been fortunate to watch the sport and industry develop and grow into what it is today – an exciting, fast paced environment. My experience within not only the sporting field, but also the events industry, puts me in a unique position as a member of the SGSA Board. It is an extremely exciting opportunity and very much aligned with my personal and professional aspirations.” 

Bradley Pritchard is a former professional footballer, having played for Charlton Athletic, Leyton Orient and Stevenage whilst in the Football League.  He continues to play non-league football for Lewes FC.  He is currently a member of the Chair’s Panel for The Football Association’s Judicial Panel and Exception’s Panel, as well as an Arbitrator Specialist member for the panel of arbitrators and mediators for Sport Resolutions. 

Bradley said: “I am excited about the opportunity of being part of an organisation that can have such a huge impact on football as a regulator. However, for me the exciting part was not that it is a regulator, but rather, how it was able to make this impact.  Hopefully my experience as a professional footballer can add a different perspective to consider on spectator safety and other factors such as match day experiences.” 

Jon Sellins has been involved in running large venues and major events for over 35 years. His career has included involvement at the Wembley Complex, Earls Court and Olympia, London 2012 Olympics and The Roundhouse in Camden.  Between June 2017 and June 2020 Jon was Group Operations director at The Football Association where he was responsible for the operation of both Wembley Stadium and The National Football Centre at St George’s Park. 

Jon said: “I’ve been involved in running venues and events throughout my career and I am keen to put that knowledge and experience to good use. The SGSA is the perfect opportunity. I’m aware of the great work the organisation does and look forward to contributing in the future”. 

Derek Wilson, Chair of the Board, said: “These appointments are great news for the SGSA.  They each bring a huge variety of experience and knowledge which will help drive the organisation forward in the coming years.  The importance of sports grounds safety remains a critical issue as the nature and scale of issues affecting sports grounds is changing. The Board plays an essential role in providing robust governance and strategic oversight and I know that Martin, Alex, Bradley and Jon will be exceptional assets to the organisation.” 

To find out more about the new appointees, see the Board page

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