BBF CEO Wainwright Says It's Time to Deliver -

BBF CEO Wainwright Says It’s Time to Deliver

New interim British Basketball Federation (BBF) CEO Lisa Wainwright has said there has been enough strategy done and it is time for the federation to deliver.

Speaking after the announcement of her hiring last week on her next steps, the experienced sports administrator told Hoopsfix:

“In terms of some of the things we’ll be looking to do, bring the team in and just start delivering. That’s pretty critical for us moving forwards rather than more strategy. I think the sport has a decent strategy now it’s time to start delivering.”

Wainwright’s remit in the six month role through until the end of March is to manage a small team of staff with support of some governance funding from Sport England, to lay the foundations of the BBF to enable delivery of the National Team programmes from April onwards.

Involved in that will be bidding for some additional funding from Sport England, with a case already having been submitted to UK Sport as an ’emerging sport’, and should funding be secured, working with the BBF board to ascertain the staffing structure moving forward and begin that recruitment process.

“We’ve already just secured some funding for a small team to start very, very, quickly – bearing in mind we’re nearly in November – to pull that other plan together,” Wainwright continued. “The one to Sport England will take some time and expertise to pull together, so there’s a handful of people that I’ll need to bring in with different expertise – all interim – to do that. Part of that process will be to write the new plan in terms of what staff and what programmes are needed.”

The new roles to be filled for this short term stint (aside from the already-hired CEO), will include a business operations person, and a single position to cover the duties of performance and commercial director.

Wainwright’s background following a career as PE teacher includes extended periods of time with Sport England, England Netball, and most recently, Volleyball England. Despite not directly having worked for basketball organisations in the past, she refutes any claim she is an outsider.

“I wouldn’t say I’m really an outsider. I’ve been involved for a number of years, I used to do some work with Betty Codona, she was chair when we got the first and largest award from Sport England in the Derek Casey (former Sport England CEO) days, so I’ve known it for a number of years and as Head of Sport obviously I had a team of people that worked with basketball in the last 10-15 years.”

The BBF board didn’t advertise externally for her role, approaching Wainwright directly.

“It needs a turnaround really, really quickly and from March onwards, (and) should we secure more funding, which I hope we do, then all posts will be advertised because it’s the right thing to do, to get the right people with the right skills in the longer term.”

And despite the turbulence of change basketball has been facing over the past few years, Wainwright remains enthused about its potential.

“It’s got so much potential so so much potential, far bigger and greater than I believe that netball ever had, and volleyball ever had. I’ve said that consistently throughout my sports career and now its time to really collaborate and bring that potential to fruition which is a real challenge and real privilege to be a part of.”

Meanwhile, the departure of former BBF Independent Chairman Nick Humby was due to the time commitment, according to Wainwright.

“Nick took on the role about a year ago and his intention was to be a non executive chair and what Nick’s found himself doing is being a full time chair and it’s been exhausting, as anybody in the sport will tell you. He always saw it as a transitional piece, so just about a year, then he wanted to bring in an executive team which is what he’s now secured with Sport England funding.

“He’s now stepping aside to let the people who are paid to do the day job to do the day job. I’m sure he will want to contnue his involvement just not in a chair capacity because of the time required.

“…I think he’s still debating whether he stays on the board or whether he advises the board, he’s still debating that. The main thing is he can’t commit to the huge amount of time that he has been doing in the last year but I really do hope he does stay on, the amount of passion knowledge and experience that he’s gained is invaluable to the sport.”

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