Scottish Women’s Football has added three new Board members at the recent AGM. These positions were filled by Angela Bennett as Policy Director (middle), Vincent Bryson as Strategy Director (right), and Donna Martin as the organisation’s first ever Child Wellbeing & Protection Director (left).
Speaking after their appointment, Vivienne MacLaren, Chair, said: “We’re delighted to have three fantastic individuals involved with Scottish Women’s Football. We know the importance of getting the right people on board. We’ve had vacancies for a few months now and for us, it’s been about taking the time to elect the right people who bring a wealth of talent and importantly commitment to the roles.”
The appointment of a Child Wellbeing & Protection Director is also one of the first of its kind by a sporting organisation, a sign of how important this area is for Scottish Women’s Football. Donna Martin was elected to this role and brings a combined 23 years of experience from sports development within local authorities and governing bodies of sport, as well as child protection and safeguarding roles within leading children’s charities Children 1st, NSPCC and Who Cares? Scotland.
“I’m very excited to be part of this amazing organisation” said Donna. “I look forward to contributing towards making the girls and women’s game an amazing platform for young female players to flourish and enjoy playing football.”
Vivienne added: “Donna has a strong, passionate belief in children having equal rights and respect, recognising the capacity that young people have and the positive contribution they can bring to anything they are involved with.
“It is with this motivation and understanding that her practice and influence has helped many organisations appreciate that good informed coaching practice is not only the basis for keeping children safe, but also aids the development of players, clubs and performance.”
As Policy Director, Angela Bennett will chair the Policy Working Group which brings together the ‘Strong, Quality Growth’ and ‘Perform & Win’ elements of the game to help ensure that all policy and procedures are relevant, fit for purpose and promote the overall development of the Sport.
“I’m extremely passionate about women’s football” said Angela, who in 2000, in partnership with the Scottish FA, was instrumental in creating one of the first specific Girls & Women’s Football Development Officer posts in Scotland. “To be involved with SWF is fantastic. It’s an amazing time to be involved and I look forward to playing my part in the continued growth of the Girls & Women’s game.”
The final role filled was Strategy Director, with Vincent Bryson elected to this post. He joins SWF having spent several years working within sport in Scotland. Currently Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Fencing, Vincent also spent three years as Operations Manager at Scottish Hockey and has also served on the board of Scottish Archery for the last three years where he lead the strategic planning process for their increased investment plan for the 2017-2021 period.
Expressing his delight at joining the Board, Vincent said: “It is a real privilege to be joining SWF at what is a time of significant change for football in Scotland overall. I am looking forward to getting started and meeting as many people as I can within the SWF community as there are so many people committing time and effort to energise clubs and players to achieve throughout the country. It is a hugely exciting time for me, both personally and professionally, and I can’t wait to get started.”