Nick Pontefract joins Sport England as COO

Nick Pontefract joins Sport England as COO

Grassroots funding body Sport England has appointed Nick Pontefract as its new chief operating officer.

Pontefract, who is the executive director of the Commonwealth Games Delivery Unit at the British government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), will replace Rona Chester, who is retiring in March after eight years in the role.

In his new position with Sport England, which distributes money from the National Lottery and the public purse to support sports participation projects, Pontefract will assume overall responsibility for the public body’s finance, grants management, human resources and IT. He will work closely with chief executive Jennie Price on the execution of the organisation’s strategy. 

During his time at the DCMS, where he also served as head of sport, Pontefract helped secure the necessary government funding for the British city of Birmingham’s successful bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. He also developed and delivered the Sporting Future strategy, aimed at growing the number of people engaging with sport.

“Sport England is a fantastic organisation, with a really important job to do,” said Pontefract. “Getting more people from all backgrounds involved in sport is a big challenge but if we get it right the impact could be enormous.

“Being part of the development of Sporting Future and Towards an Active Nation has given me a passion for the positive impact that sport can bring, and so the opportunity to be involved in delivering that strategy from within Sport England is incredibly exciting. I can't wait to get started, and to work with the brilliant people in Sport England and across the sport and physical activity sector to make a real difference to people's lives.”

“I am absolutely delighted that Nick will be joining us as our new chief operating officer,” added Price. “He came through a highly competitive process with a strong field of well over 100 applicants, and brings a huge amount of relevant experience and enthusiasm, coupled with a genuine passion for tackling inactivity.”