At their recent AGM, Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) added three new members to the Board. Angela Bennett is the new Policy Director, Vincent Bryson as Strategy Director with Donna Martin becoming SWF’s first-ever Child Wellbeing and Protection Director.
The Chair of SWF, Vivienne MacLaren commented on the appointment, speaking about her delight that “three fantastic individuals” have joined the board. She explained that whilst they had been trying to appoint someone to these positions for a few months, she emphasised that the board had focused on finding the “right people who bring a wealth of talent and importantly commitment to the roles” – rather than a quick appointment.
Donna Martin – Child Wellbeing and Protection Director
The headline appointment is probably the first ever Child Wellbeing and Protection Director, the first of its kind for a sporting organisation. Donna Martin has taken up this position and she brings a wealth and range of experiences to the position: from her experience in sports development within local authorities and other governing sports bodies to her child protection and safeguarding positions with leading children’s charities Children 1st, NSPCC and Who Cares? Scotland.
Martin spoke about her excitement about joining the SWF, and stated that she was looking “forward to contributing towards making the girl’s and woman’s game an amazing platform for young female players to flourish and enjoy playing football.”
MacLaren praised Martin’s “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 was these qualities that she felt Martin had demonstrated in past positions and organisations understand that “good informed coaching practice is not only the basis for keeping children safe but also aids the development of players, clubs and performance.”
Angela Bennett – Policy Director
The new Policy Director, Angela Bennett, will be the chair of the ‘Policy Working Group’. This helps bring together the ‘Strong, Quality Growth’ and ‘Perform & Win’ elements of the game, with her role making sure that all the policies and procedures are relevant, work and promote the overall development of the Sport.
Bennett played a key role in the creation of one of the first specific Girls & Women’s Football Development Officer posts in the country, back in 2000 in partnership with the Scottish FA. She spoke about her passion for women’s football and added: “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.”
Vincent Bryson – Strategy Director
The new Strategy Director, Vincent Bryson, joins SWF with experience in working within Scottish sport. Bryson is the Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Fencing, he also spent three years with Scottish Hockey as Operations Manager as well as being a board member of Scottish Archery over the past three years, where he led the strategic planning process for their increased investment plan for the 2017-2021 period.
Bryson described his delight of joining SWF, saying that it is an exciting time for him “personally and professionally.” He also added, “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.”
To find out more about the SWF’s structure and other board members, you can visit the organisation’s About Us section on their website.