As a sector, we’ve a great track record of drawing on commercial expertise to help us deliver more effectively and efficiently, but there’s so much more we can do to support sport and business to build stronger relationships that benefit not just those directly involved, but also the wider community.

Earlier this year, the WSA launched its partnership with Acorn’s Executive Search, to help identify and recruit experienced corporate executives to the Boards of the National Governing Bodies of sport in Wales so that they become stronger and more financially sustainable. As part of this service, Acorn offer a full suite of support, including advice and guidance on role profiles and person specification, and access to their nurtured portfolio of Non-Executive professionals who are interested in adding to their own portfolios.

To date, Acorn have supported a number of WSA member organisations with their board level recruitment, including Cricket Wales, Swim Wales, Tennis Wales, Table tennis Wales, Hockey Wales and Welsh Netball, with some roles receiving in excess of 100 high quality applications.”

With six months since it launched, we’ve spoken to some of our members about their experiences of using the service:

Fergus Feeney, CEO Swim Wales

“Harnessing the Acorn advertising, marketing and social media brand, coupled with a very dedicated Acorn Consultant meant that we were able to reach much further than our usual audiences to gain additional exposure for our board vacancies. The response we received was phenomenal – we were originally looking for three board members, but ended up recruiting eight due to the specific skills and incredibly high calibre of the candidates we interviewed.

“For Swim Wales, our experience of using the service was incredibly valuable and our new board members are already having a great impact on our strategic work. We’ll definitely be using the service again and would certainly recommend it to those organisations who are looking to diversify and strengthen their board offer.”

Peter Hybart, CEO Cricket Wales

“During the summer, through the WSA, Cricket Wales utilised the services of Acorn to support our recruitment process for Independent Board Directors.

“The service provided was highly professional, supportive and expert in nature, and resulted in a number of high-calibre candidates being identified. We would not hesitate in utilising this WSA service again in the future”.

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