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30 Oct 2019

England Netball appoints Fran Connolly as CEO
BY Tom Walker

Connolly is an internal appointment and first joined England Netball in 2001

Connolly is an internal appointment and first joined England Netball in 2001
photo: England Netball

England Netball has named Fran Connolly as its new chief executive.

Connolly succeeds Joanna Adams, who stepped down earlier this year after a 10-year stint in the role.

Connolly is an internal appointment and first joined England Netball in 2001. She has held several roles within the organisation and overseen a broad spectrum of areas – including participation, capital investment, governance, competition and events, coaching, officiating, volunteering, talent and insight.

Connolly was appointed director of development in 2010 and has been accredited as being a key figure – alongside Adams – in the sport's growth over the past decade.

According to Colin Povey, England Netball chair, Connolly's innovative approach has led to record-breaking participation figures, while her work on the legacy strategy for the Vitality Netball World Cup has "inspired a nation of new netballers".

"Fran has been one of the most influential development directors in British sport over the past decade, having transformed the participation landscape with the introduction of pioneering initiatives, securing netball’s position as the largest female team sport," Povey said.

"I have every confidence that Fran will inspire netballers everywhere as well as our members of staff and lead England Netball into a thrilling new phase of development.”

Speaking about her new appointment, Fran said: "As a sport, we’ve been on an incredible journey and have experienced remarkable success over recent years at every level from our participation programmes to the Vitality Roses.

"However, I truly believe we’ve only just scratched the surface of the potential that netball has.

"The magic moments that were created on the Gold Coast and earlier this year at the World Cup in Liverpool captured the attention of the nation and united the Netball Family – it is this movement that I want to ensure we continue to nurture and grow as we move into an exciting next chapter."



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