Pontefract brings a wealth of sports sector experience to Sport England. As head of dport at the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport, he led the work to develop and deliver the Sporting Future strategy to increase the number of people engaging in sport. Most recently, he was responsible for the government’s contribution to the successful Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games bid.
Pontefract will replace current chief operating officer Rona Chester, who will retire this spring after eight years in post. In the new role, he will take overall responsibility for the key functions of finance, grants management, human resources and IT, and will work closely with chief executive Jennie Price on the detailed execution of Sport England’s strategy.
Commenting on the appointment chief executive of Sport England Jennie Price said: "I am absolutely delighted that Nick will be joining us as our new Chief Operating Officer. He came through a highly competitive process with a strong field of well over 100 applicants, and brings a huge amount of relevant experience and enthusiasm, coupled with a genuine passion for tackling inactivity. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Rona Chester for her service and dedication to Sport England’s work. She leaves a strong foundation for Nick to build on as we continue to deliver on our vision of a more active nation for all."
Pontefract added: "Sport England is a fantastic organisation, with a really important job to do. Getting more people from all backgrounds involved in sport is a big challenge but if we get it right the impact could be enormous. Being part of the development of Sporting Future and Towards an Active Nation has given me a passion for the positive impact that sport can bring, and so the opportunity to be involved in delivering that strategy from within Sport England is incredibly exciting. I can’t wait to get started, and to work with the brilliant people in Sport England and across the sport and physical activity sector to make a real difference to people’s lives."
Nick Pontefract will join Sport England in March.