England Touch has announced the appointment of two Non-Executive Directors that will help the Association achieve its ambitions across a range of areas.
David Christophi is Director of Operations at Strength and Conditioning Education, the UK’s best provider of education, resources and coaching to fitness, conditioning and athletic development specialists. He has over 15 years’ experience working in the sector and has had senior roles at multinational companies.
Before joining the private sector Christophi had a 14-year career in the Royal Air Force, which he combined with playing representative sport across a number of codes, including rugby and semi-professional football.
He believes that England Touch is on the verge of big things across its operations and is looking forward to helping the Association reach its goals.
“England Touch has grown significantly over recent years, but I believe that there is much more to come in the future,” he commented. “The Association is a great place both in sporting and business terms and I am excited about becoming involved to help England Touch on its journey onwards and upwards.”
Paula Robertson is Head of Operations at Dallaglio RugbyWorks, which uses the values of rugby to get 14-to-17-year-olds outside of mainstream education either back into the classroom or long-term employment.
Robertson has been with the charity – which was founded by Rugby World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio – for over six years, with her roles including Head of Programmes and Rugby Programme Manager. Her previous experience includes chairing Race for Life for Cancer Research UK, and supporting an extensive network of regional branches and industry-specific groups for the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
“I’ve seen first-hand the positive all-round benefits that sport can bring to a community, and believe that Touch is in a unique position to make a great impact across the country,” she said. “It is a sport where men and women, young and old, compete as equals and where there is a clear pathway from the grassroots to representing your country. All you need is a ball and a space to play, which makes it a great recreational sport, and I believe that England Touch has a massive amount of potential to grow and grow in the coming years.”
England Touch Chief Executive Officer Gregg Cropper welcomed Christophi and Robertson onto the board.
“David and Paula have a great range of skills and experience that will add to what we already have among our Non-Executive Directors,” he said.
“David’s can-do attitude came across at our first meeting. As a senior business manager with years of relevant experience he offers significant commercial and strategic understanding of operational efficiencies, business development and customer service.
“Paula has helped to make Dallaglio RugbyWorks one of the country’s most innovative and impactful charities. This experience will really help support our development work as we expand our schools programmes and make Touch one of the country’s leading recreational sports.
“I’m looking forward to working with David, Paula, and the rest of our Non-Executive Directors as we further our progression and deliver our plans for the future.”
The appointments of Christophi and Robertson complete the England Touch group of Non-Executive Directors.
As well as Christophi and Robertson, the team comprises:
Natalie Davis, an advisor to Government ministers who has experience creating and developing policy ideas at the national level. Davis was one of the authors of the Government’s new Sport Strategy and has worked with sports administrators to increase participation and raise the profile of women’s sport.
Mark James, who is one of the country’s leading sports law researchers. James is Professor of Sports Law and Director of Research at Manchester Law School, and works with a variety of sports organisations and governing bodies on a wide range of issues, including ambush marketing, ticketing, and player violence and injuries.
Geraint Thomason, who has combined a successful business career as a senior executive in the technology industry with active participation in sports, including playing rugby union for several decades at Esher RFC.
David Jenkins, a senior executive with significant commercial and general management experience from nearly 20 years in and around sport, having held senior roles in cricket and football, amongst other sports and leisure organisations.