Our Board

The Board of BaseballSoftballUK Ltd, based on provisions of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, is made up of a Chair, two Directors appointed by each Federation and up to five Independent Directors who can bring valuable skills to the Board.  The Independent Directors are people who have no direct connection to the BBF Board or BSF Executive, but who can contribute valuable skills and experience to the BSUK Board and bring a different perspective to the challenges we face.

The Board provides policy direction and review for BSUK and for the work carried out by BSUK staff, and meets on a quarterly basis.  But much of the Board’s work is now carried out through subcommittees that meet more regularly and consist of both Independent and Federation Directors.  These subcommittees cover areas such as development strategy, diversity, employment, finance, governance, marketing and the service level agreement (SLA) between BSUK and the Federations.


Diversity

The Board is committed to making appointments on the basis that no less than 30% of its total membership be represented by either gender, progressing to gender parity and progressing towards achieving greater diversity on the Board.  The Board has also adopted the Diversity Action Plan.

The current demographic of the BSUK Board and staff is:

  • Gender: 75% Male; 25% Female
  • LGBT: 18% LGBT
  • Disability: 0% 
  • BAME: 59% White British; 35% White Other; 6% Other 

Minutes from meetings of the Board and sub-committees are published in the Company Documents section.

 

BSUK Interim Chair

Cate Atwater

Cate Gillingwater HeadshotMy experience lies in the areas of physical activity, sport and community development, managing grant funding and programme management. I am a certified PRINCE2 Practitioner and currently programme manage the £2.1m Sport England Lottery funded ‘Make Your Move’ programme across the UK at Sporta (charitable social enterprises in leisure and culture).

I have worked in the public, voluntary and social enterprise sectors in various roles mainly in project and programme management of externally funded resources.

I began working in sports development in a voluntary capacity at the Rugby Football Union, before moving to East Riding of Yorkshire Council. I held various roles there, ending with managing a professional community coaching team delivering right across the county.  I moved to London to work at Age UK on the £17m Big Lottery Funded ‘fit as a fiddle’ wellbeing programme, where as a Regional Development Manager, I strategically led and project managed six of the nine English regions.

I am an Associate of the Institute of Directors, and a member of the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s ‘Directors Club’. I grew up in Loughborough before studying at the University of Hull, and staying on to work in the area. I moved to London about four years ago and have used sport and physical activity as a great way to meet new people.

 

Independent Directors

Chris Greenhalgh

Chris GreenhalghI first experienced baseball at the age of five on holiday in Canada watching the Blue Jays at the SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) in 1991. Then in 2007 I visited my aunt in St Louis and watched the Cardinals at the new Busch Stadium with Albert Pujols launching a huge home run over left field. He may have moved on but I still follow the Redbirds from afar.

I have been employed for the last six years in an evolving sports development team which has moved from a district to a unitary authority then to a charitable leisure trust. I have been involved in a number of diverse projects, originally delivery focused around national products such as Sport Unlimited and Sportivate; more recently focusing on local strategic work and embedding an improvement culture through the team.

Personally, I am a keen cricketer playing, coaching, and acting as club welfare and development officer for my local club. I live with my wife and young son in South Cheshire.

 

Evan Ray

Evan Ray profile pictureMy first experience of the baseball was playing T-ball and later Little League as a child in Marin County, California.  I lived and breathed baseball, had an impressive baseball card collection and was a devoted fan of the Oakland A’s.  At 10 years old I was a decent shortstop, but my playing days, outside the occasional social game of softball in the park, are mostly behind me.

I am a lawyer specialising in commercial contracts and compliance in the sports sector.  Having worked for the Premier League since 2013, my remit includes advising on, drafting and negotiating the Premier League’s commercial contracts, ensuring the business meets its compliance and safeguarding obligations and advising on sport specific legal issues from ticket touting to safe standing.  Prior to retraining as a solicitor, I worked for a number of years as a talent booker in broadcast (BBC, ITV) and print media (FHM Magazine), negotiating television appearances and securing exclusive magazine interviews with celebrities.

I live in North London with my wife and young son.

 

Simon Winman

Simon Winman profile pictureFollowing an 11-year teaching career, I have worked for the Rugby Football Union for 17 years and am currently Head of Club Development, responsible for: the retention, recruitment and recognition of volunteers; facility investment and improving the leadership; management and governance of clubs.

I have been responsible for the facility investment programme at the RFU since its inception in 2003 following England’s Rugby World Cup success to its current position where it has invested £69m, generating investment of over £200m in a range of grass roots club facilities. I am currently leading the development of a ground-breaking volunteer leadership programme to support volunteers in clubs and counties.

I played rugby for a number of years, including Exeter University and Exeter RFC, but I found I was a better coach, going on to coach Oxford University.

I am married with two children and can, on occasions, be seen out running around the streets of Aylesbury and Twickenham.

 

BBF Board Nominated Directors

Cody Cain

My love of baseball began when I was eight years old and my dad started me on my first Little League baseball team.  Since that first game in Portland, Oregon in 1976, I have played 35 consecutive years of baseball and softball.  I had an eight-year hiatus from baseball when I lived in Asia, where I played in slowpitch softball leagues and tournaments in Taipei, Shanghai, Manila and Hong Kong.  The highlights of my career have been playing in the College World Series in 1990 with my university, and the BBF Championships my teams have won in England: 1993 with the London Warriors, 2006 and 2010 with the Richmond Flames.

I also have a passion for coaching youth that has included four years (1986-1990) coaching at a week-long baseball camp for ages 14-17 and numerous programmes throughout London and the South East from 1994-2011.  A number of kids I have coached have gone on to play at the highest levels of British baseball.  I have also enjoyed a stint with the Great Britain National Team as a player and as a coach for the GB Juniors.  In 2012, I again helped with the Junior National Team as a pitching coach.

My professional career has always followed a parallel path to my baseball career, rarely if ever intersecting, even though my career started with a job I got through a relationship on my softball team in Taiwan.  I have lived all over the world with roles in technology and finance.  Over the course of my career I have founded seven companies and raised over £60 million pounds for companies I have been involved with.  I am looking forward to the intersection of my favourite sport with my career experiences in hopes of further developing the sports of baseball and softball in the UK.

I currently live in Weybridge, Surrey and am the father of two active children, a daughter (15) and a son (11) who have their passions in horse riding and football respectively.

 

Chris Deacon

Competing with a stick, bat or club and a ball of various compositions has always been part of my sporting life before I enthusiastically decided to become involved in baseball in 2008, having previously only been a spectator at handful of games in the US.  In fact, it was my then 5-year-old son who was the catalyst; he started playing and inevitably parents are asked to help out, which ultimately lead to being encouraged to start playing baseball myself in my early 40s. 

In 2012, involvement ratcheted up after joining a new club and my son moving to a new league.  Since then I’ve looked after baseball fields, been an assistant coach, run a team, managed a club, umpired and served on the British Baseball Federation board as the Officials Commissioner. I have also well been fortunate to travel with my family to support my son playing in various locations round Europe.

The last decade in British sport, like in many sectors, has seen huge successes, near misses and importantly changes to improve aspects of governance and development. Expanding access to sports and activities is a cornerstone of the recent sport funding review and with baseball and softball included in the 2020 Olympics, there is a bright future for our sports particularly as they cater for a wide section of the population and arguably wider than many other traditional field sports.  While on the BBF Board, I worked on a project to explore how baseball and softball organisations can work more closely together and look forward to progressing this along with bringing my sporting and professional experience to BaseballSoftballUK.  

Professionally, after leaving the Royal Navy, I have worked in investment services in various roles and more recently have changed sector to payrolling and contracting services, a challenging EU cross-border business even before Brexit. 

 

BSF Board Nominated Directors

Jenny Fromer

Bio to follow.

 

Simon Wareing

Bio to follow.

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