England Touch bolsters management team
The England Touch management team has welcomed two new members who will help develop the sport in this country at both the elite and grassroots level.
Anthony Atherton joins the board as High Performance Director. He has a wealth of experience in player development, coach development and competition management as a former National Talent and Participation Manager for the Rugby Football League (RFL).
In his time at the RFL Atherton built a network of professional clubs and community-led competitions that has underpinned successful programmes within primary schools, the England talent pathway and the National Player Development Framework.
In addition to coaching the U16 Scholarship team at Wigan Warriors, Atherton has been an active member of Wigan St Patricks RLFC for nearly 20 years as a player, administrator responsible for players’ progression, the training and development of over 40 coaches, and leading the club’s mental health and wellbeing project.
He is excited about using this experience to help develop Touch at the elite level.
“I’ve always admired England Touch and played quite a bit as a youngster,” he said. “It’s certainly a sport that is on an upward curve and the opportunity to have an impact and support the players and coaches to be the best that they can be really excites me. This new opportunity has come at a great time.
“There is so much we can do in the sport and we have some unique selling points that put it in a better place than a lot of other sports.
“Talent identification strategies and developing coaches that develop players is the next step to continued international success and I’m very privileged to be leading a team to deliver this.”
Ian Boyd is the second new appointment, and he becomes England Touch’s new Development Director.
He has a good track record in developing new opportunities for people and teams, and is currently Area Development Manager at the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust for the Central regions.
Boyd has a strong background in in business development, youth and community work, and bringing in new finding support and opportunities. His background of counselling and life coaching, as well as working closely alongside elite athletes, has given him the foundation to develop a national volunteering programme, ‘Operation Giveback’, and a business engagement campaign called ‘Go The Extra Mile’.
“I’m really looking forward to developing this position for the benefit of England Touch,” Boyd said, “especially at this exciting time of growth for the organisation nationally.”
England Touch chief executive Gregg Cropper welcomed Atherton and Boyd to the management team, saying that their skills and experience will be important in the development of the sport in the next year.
“We’re delighted to be welcoming Anthony and Ian to the team,” he said. “They have outstanding and proven records of delivering success in their respective areas and we’re looking forward to seeing them make a positive impact on the growth of Touch in England.
“It says a great deal about where we are as a sport that we have people of this calibre interested and excited about joining us as we prepare for another year of growth in 2018.”