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Active Partnerships CEO to leave role

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Posted 4th June 2021

The Chief Executive of the Active Partnerships Network, Lee Mason, has decided to leave the national representative body at the end of June after 10 years at the helm.

He has built a strong platform since the organisation’s inception in 2011, and is highly respected and recognised for his commitment to the development of sport and physical activity.

Lee said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed and am immensely proud of my achievements in leading the Active Partnership network to evolve, becoming agents of change and such an essential part of the sport and physical landscape across England. By representing and supporting the 43 local Partnerships, their Boards and staff teams to make a difference for people in their communities, whilst working closely with Sport England and sector partners, I have sought to make a real difference in our support to the sector.

“However, I believe that following the recent publication of Sport England ‘s new 10-year strategy, having laid strong foundations for the future, it is the right time for a fresh approach, with a new leader, to drive the organisation forward and meet the significant challenges ahead.”

The Active Partnerships National Board chair, Doug Patterson, said “I have witnessed and benefitted at first hand from Lee’s wise counsel and key role that he has played in harnessing the power of the network while building its strong and positive profile and reputation.

“He has helped to transform our members’ thinking and practice to reach more audiences, scale up interventions, build new relationships and become key strategic players in their local systems. The Board and I are very grateful for his commitment, direction and support and we wish him well and success with his next venture.

“Like all other membership  organisations, the Active Partnership Network needs to continually align with our changing world and circumstances. Lee’s successor will have a very high standard to follow to ensure we maintain our focus on a range of relevant topics and issues including behavioural change, achieving outcomes, making progress, having clarity of intent, continually improving, innovating and strategic learning. This  is clearly a wide and challenging agenda that we need to cover and address.”

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England said: “I am grateful to Lee for his work and commitment over many years guiding the Active Partnerships to become a mature,  essential and valued network in England. He leaves them well placed as partners working closely with Sport England to address the challenge set out in our new strategy  – Uniting the Movement – to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity.”

With Lee Mason’s forthcoming departure and Doug Patterson’s four year term as Board Chair ending shortly, the Active Partnerships National Board has made interim appointments to ensure continuity in these two key positions. The Board’s senior independent director, Adam Walker has been invited to be the  interim Executive Chair for up to six months; and Nigel Harrison has agreed to become interim Chief Executive on a part-time basis alongside his current role as Chief Executive of Yorkshire Sport Foundation.

“I have known Lee for many years and seen first-hand the tremendous amount of work he has put into supporting and advocating Active Partnerships,” commented Nigel.

“He was instrumental in setting up the network in the first place and has continued to develop the environment and practices for Active Partnerships to work and learn together. I am delighted to be asked to continue this work in the immediate future at a time when we are all shaping our plans to deliver ‘Uniting the Movement’ over the next ten years.”

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