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This is the first of a series of Newsletters which the Board and CEO of NISA are providing in order to inform our membership, and the wider range of participants and stakeholders in our sport, about the changes that are being undertaken.

In the following, you will find information about:

  • A New Strategy for NISA, and how this will be progressively fleshed out in the Strategic Plan
  • The new Code for Sports Governance in the United Kingdom, and what this means for NISA
  • A Communications Timetable, and how NISA will provide information to, and take feedback from, the membership   



An Independent management audit conducted by Moore Stephens in 2016 strongly recommended NISA achieves significant change.   An immediate priority was to determine the future strategy and the board and organisational structures needed to deliver future plans.

Recognising the need to modernise, improve service provision to members and develop the sport, in September 2016 the NISA Board developed a new ten-year Strategy to deliver:


‘Succeed on the world stage and inspire all generations to enjoy skating, in all forms, for fun, success and life”.


“Establish an infrastructure that increases and sustains participation at all levels and achieve success on the world stage by 2026”.

Four objectives were set to deliver the vision;

  • to establish NISA as a credible, high performing organisation,
  • to have a talented workforce in place,
  • to increase participation at all levels in the sport, and
  • to develop a medal-winning talent and elite pathway.

The VMOST (Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics) at the bottom of this newsletter provides an outline of NISA’s 10 year strategy. These strategic objectives can also contribute to “Towards an Active Nation”, Sport England’s new strategy, which focuses upon delivering sport to improve five health, social and economic outcomes. Investment of £250m is committed to tackle inactivity, particularly amongst children and young people. This includes £30m towards a volunteer strategy and funding for NGBs to support the ‘core market’ including coaching and talent development. These are key objectives within the NISA Strategy and therefore an opportunity exists to attract Sport England funding to deliver mutual objectives.

A Four Year Business Strategy and Financial Forecast will be completed by June 2017 to deliver the NISA Strategy. During 2016 the CEO attended all the NISA national events inviting ideas from members, parents, judges and officials on how NISA can move forward. This feedback will be considered within the new strategy and is available on the NISA Website.

In response to the feedback, over the next twelve months NISA will:

  • appoint staff to develop coach education, clubs and competitions;
  • develop better benefits packages and services to the membership across all the disciplines;
  • help the sport in the UK to revive or develop home nations structures in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and in regions of England as a way of providing better opportunities for individuals and clubs to engage in the sport;
  • develop and maintain an improved dialogue between the board, the staff and the membership through those structures and through other means such as the newsletters.


Ongoing consultation within members and key stakeholders will be undertaken during 2017 through surveys, information events and obtaining feedback through social media channels.



On 31 October 2016, UK Sport (the United Kingdom Sports Council) and Sport England (the English Sports Council) published a new Code for Sports Governance, which came into force on 1 April 2017.   All sports bodies, which receive public funding from UK Sport and/or Sport England, are now required to complete their implementation of the Code by 30 September 2017.   Continued investment of public funds, from the Exchequer (i.e. UK  tax-payers) and the National Lottery, will be dependent on sports bodies adhering to the Code.


What does this mean for NISA?

In the financial year to 30 September 2016, NISA received some 21 % of its operating income from UK Sport.   This is a very significant proportion of our funding.  It is therefore in NISA's vital interests to retain access to this public funding from UK Sport, which underpins NISA's World Class Figure Skating Performance Programme for the Winter Olympics.

As many members and participants will be aware, NISA's corporate governance arrangements were not considered robust enough for UK Sport to allow NISA to manage the World Class Short Track Speed Skating Programme.  This programme is therefore currently managed by the EIS (English Institute for Sport), which is a subsidiary company of UK Sport.   As the UK NGB (National Governing Body) for both Figure Skating and Speed Skating, one of NISA's strategic aims (and one which UK Sport would support) is therefore to improve NISA's governance to the point where NISA can take back the management of the Short Track Programme

At present, NISA receive no public funding from Sport England.   NISA, however, has a number of characteristics (for example: some 80% of NISA members are female; and NISA has a presence in inner cities through the location of various ice rinks) which means NISA is a potentially interesting investment opportunity under Sport England's new 2016 - 2021 strategy, "Towards an Active Nation".  This could potentially provide welcome additional funding for development programmes to benefit the grass-roots and local membership of our sport in England.  NISA, however, needs to meet the requirements of the Code for Sports Governance in order to be in a position to apply to Sport England for such funding.            

Beyond access to public funding, NISA has a need (and the Sports Councils fully encourage this) to gain access to additional funding to continue, and expand, its activities.  Key potential sources of such funding may come in the form of commercial sponsorship and/or donations from philanthropic foundations or registered charities.  Meeting the requirements of the Code for Sports Governance will put NISA in a much better position to attract major sponsors and donors, as they will, usually undertake "due diligence" checks to see that NISA is suitably well governed and managed to merit their investment or donation.     



Since October 2016, the NISA Board has been progressively working through a number of items around strategy and change.  A major priority now and ongoing is to give members as much information and understanding of the reasons for change and what it means for them and for the association as a whole.

Information events will be arranged in Edinburgh, Sheffield and London during the summer so that we can engage in face to face discussions about the proposals and respond to questions and concerns.  The locations and dates for these are as follows:

  • London; 14/5/17; Alexandra Palace
  • Sheffield; 21/5/17; Ice Sheffield
  • Edinburgh; 4/6/17; Murrayfield

These events will provide the membership with the opportunity to engage with NISA on a number of levels, and will ensure that communication is established and all relevant information is exchanged in advance of the Annual General Meeting (AGM).


In addition, regular newsletters will be issued, and are a good way to provide information and establish lines of communication in both directions.  One such method is for a channel for questions and requests for clarification to be established, which can be responded to in an FAQ section on the website to ensure visibility and transparency to the entirety of the membership.

A significant number of you have already taken part in the round of informal question and answer sessions held by Jackie Sheldon, NISA CEO, at various events over the last few months.   The Board and CEO would like to thank you for all your input so far.  This input has been used to inform both the work on the Strategic Plan and on the Governance Upgrade Project.



In January 2017 the Board recruited four Independent Non-Executive Directors (INEDs) through an open recruitment process. The NISA Board welcome the following INEDs:

  • Gemma Lower (Legal)
  • Ben Mariam (Finance)
  • Christina King (Commercial)
  • Avril Jones (HR)

The appointments are until the 2018 AGM in accordance with the current Articles of Association. The INEDs attended an induction event on the 22 March 2017 and attend their first Board meeting on the 23 March 2017.



We are pleased to announce that NISA accredited a conditional pass for the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) Intermediate Safeguarding Standards in Sport. In 2013 NISA developed a new Safeguarding Policy to ensure all children, regardless of the level of participation in ice skating, have a safe and enjoyable experience. NISA has invested resources to implement the policy, appointing a National Safeguarding Officer and updating current policies and practices. Achievement of the Standard recognises the progress NISA has made and provides a framework to further develop this work.

A PDF of the VMOST can be found here