England Touch announces new Chief Executive Officer
England Touch has today announced the appointment of Chris Simon as the Association’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Simon is a familiar face in the Touch community thanks to his work to grow the sport in the Nottingham area.
After establishing the first leagues in 2005 Nottingham now has a year-round operation with 40 teams and 400 players at its peak in the summer, including a juniors’ league for over 100 Under-14 players, a growing corporate and social league, and a club which had its best ever finish in the Belief Sports Elite National Touch Series in 2019.
As well as being involved in developing England Touch’s first RFU partnership in 2012, Simon represented England Men’s 35s at the 2010 European Touch Championships and 2011 Touch World Cup, and coaches at regional level with the Midlands.
Simon’s life away from Touch is also dominated by sport. A Director of Nottingham Rugby Club, he has built Perfect Motion, his sports events and marketing agency, into a leading organiser of mass participation events across the country.
England Touch Chair Mark Croston says that Simon is a natural choice as the Association’s new CEO.
“Chris was the outstanding candidate amongst a very impressive field,” he said. “As someone who knows the Touch community he is an ideal advocate for our sport when dealing with the wider world, and has hands-on experience of growing both a club as well as a successful sports events business.
“Together with Gregg Cropper, Chris will be developing the sport’s commercial and events portfolio, and with Ben Powell as High Performance Director I believe we have a senior leadership team which is second-to-none.”
Chief Operating Officer Gregg Cropper says that he is looking forward to working closely with Simon to continue growing the sport.
“Chris is bringing a broad range of experience and expertise in the areas that will help take England Touch to the next level, and it is going to be good to be working with him to achieve our ambitions,” he added. “We are at a pivotal point in our growth, with some ambitious targets both on and off the field, and this commercial-focused role will play a crucial part in delivering these goals.”
Simon is looking forward to taking on his new role in early September.
“England Touch has come a really long way in a short time, with more tournaments, more clubs, more exposure and more players than ever before,” he said. “Touch is becoming a mass participation sport, and England Touch is well placed to capitalise on this potential to both increase our success on the field and to become a sustainably growing business overall.
“It is an exciting time for all of us and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve by working proactively and productively together in the future.”