Goodbye from Ruth Shaw Chief Executive
They say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. April at the SGSA has been more like a chameleon, with lots of change on the surface, but the same body underneath.
On 1 April we welcomed our new Chairman, Alan Coppin, who has already demonstrated great energy and enthusiasm for the role. In just four weeks he has met the Joint Chairs Group, seen behind the scenes at a Premier League club, attended a fixture at Wembley, walked the corridors of power at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and set up a programme of 1:1s with individuals and organisations we work with.
We also appointed an Interim Chief Executive, Rick Riding, who will lead the SGSA until the permanent position is filled, and I would like to wish him all the best in what can only be described as one of the greatest jobs in sport. I know he’ll do a great job and has the support of the whole of the SGSA team who are committed to ensuring you continue to receive the level of service from us that you’ve come to expect.
I originally came to the Football Licensing Authority for a three year secondment. That stretched to four and a half years in the blink of an eye and saw us transform into the Sports Grounds Safety Authority. It’s been an incredible journey for us all, and it’s with sadness - but no regrets - that I’m moving on. I know the time is right, and that the organisation will continue to develop and evolve.
I will miss the brilliant team and Board, and the experienced and committed professionals I’ve worked with on spectator safety in the UK and around the world. I have loved collaborating with people who are so passionate about what they do, and who always go the extra mile to deliver excellent services and experiences. Some things will be forever changed by my time here. I won’t ever take for granted the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure safe and secure events. I will always check what the accessible provision is like when attending a sporting event. And watching Match of the Day will never be the same again.
Thanks to everyone who has made this job such a pleasure, and all the best to you all for continued safety and success.