11 OCTOBER, 2016

Helen Humphrey – McDonald’s first ever female Vice President – has been appointed as Chair of the Welsh Sports Association (WSA).

 The WSA – the membership body for sport and recreation in Wales – has recently been overhauled and has set out its vision of a sustainable future for sport and recreation. Its main aim is to modernise the sports and physical activity sector in support of the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government.

She is joined by FAW Chief Executive Jonathan Ford and former army officer turned leadership consultant Gemma Morgan who have also been enlisted onto the WSA’s board of directors.

Humphrey – who started her career in McDonald’s at 16 as a crew member serving and preparing food – explains:

“High obesity rates coupled with the fact that local authority funding for leisure services such as sport and physical activity isn’t mandatory and is reducing all the time means the work of the WSA has never been more crucial.

“Not only does the WSA provide a strong, independent voice for the sector which is desperately needed but it is also required to help modernise the sector, in conjunction with Sport Wales.

“Governing bodies of sport often have their own payroll systems, HR & legal support and IT support systems, meaning duplicated effort and increased core costs. Our vision is to enable them to come together using affordable shared services so they can better invest their often small budgets.

“Not only is sport essential for the physical and mental health of the nation,  I believe it is also paramount to the nation’s future prosperity. I started my McDonald’s career at 16 – growing up on a council estate in the Midlands I couldn’t otherwise afford to remain in education. Everything I had learnt playing sport in school was immediately transferable to the workplace and absolutely kick-started my career – turning up on time, working in and for a team, meeting targets, learning to win and lose, developing a winning attitude – the key skills we all need to be successful in the workplace.

“I have absolute belief that sport can build a better skilled workforce for Wales.”

Like Humphrey, Jonathan Ford also brings a wealth of experience from multinational, blue chip companies like Coca-Cola which will now be invested into encouraging physical activity and healthy lifestyles across Wales:

“In business terms, sport is still very much in its infancy,” says Ford.  “The work of volunteers is incredible and sport could not happen without them but we also need to blend this with modern business practices.”

Former Army Officer Gemma Morgan is the Founder of Morgan Eight Ltd – a performance, coaching, leadership consultant who works with the likes of the England and Wales Cricket Board, GB Taekwondo and GB Wheelchair Tennis:

“Sport makes such a huge contribution to people’s lives and their families that I want to help sports organisations in Wales move forward. I was involved with the Invictus Games earlier this year and it was incredible to witness sport having such an impact on people’s recovery and wellness post-injury. Having played lacrosse for Wales for many years, now’s the time to give back.”

The WSA has two remaining vacancies on the board and is keen to find representatives of the diverse community it serves.

Those interested in the board vacancies are encouraged to contact the WSA on 029 2033 4972 or [email protected]. @Welshsportsassoc


For more information, media should contact Jane Thomas on 07967 351 827 or [email protected]


The WSA board

  • Helen Humphrey (Chair) – former Vice President at McDonald’s
  • Kevin Allen – Chair of Welsh Korfball
  • Suzanne Chisholm – Departmental Strategic Engagement Coordinator Welsh Government
  • Jonathan Ford – Chief Executive of Football Association of Wales
  • Robert James – former Chief Executive of Swim Wales
  • Ffion Lloyd – Assistant Director of Customer Support at the WJEC
  • Gemma Morgan – performance, leadership and coaching consultant
  • Jon Morgan – Executive Director of Disability Sport Wales
  • Kate Stokes Davies – Head of Communications and External Affairs for BBC Cymru Wales


Share This

Leave a Comment

Our Partners

Scroll to Top