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Board Member Profiles

Meet the British Canoeing Board. 

John Coyle1

Professor John Coyne CBE (Chair of British Canoeing)

Appointment period: March 2017 - March 2021 (first term)

With a 40 year career in higher education, Professor John Coyne was Vice Chancellor at the University of Derby for 11 years, before retiring in July 2015.  His contribution to the sector was recognised in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List when he was awarded a CBE for services to higher education.

John is well known in the business sector and sat on the Board of D2N2 - the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, and was a commissioner of the UK Commission on Employment and Skills. He is also currently a non-executive director of CFE Research and Consultancy Ltd.


Richard Boreham1

Richard Boreham (Vice Chair of British Canoeing)

Appointment period: March 2017 - March 2021 (first term)

Governance Committee

Richard has been an active paddler for most of his life, with a particular love for white water kayaking.  Richard is also a voluntary coach at his local Canoe Club, Basingstoke Canal, where he is a past Chairman and a current committee member. 

Professionally, Richard is involved in business technology. He began his career in building leading edge software systems for various companies and is now a technology leader with over 25 years experience working with businesses to help them deliver their digital strategies. Richard has worked with senior executives in a wide variety of organisations, helping them to bring new thinking and to apply digital technologies to their business operations.


Mark Bache Image

Mark Bache (Independent Director)

Appointment period: March 2018 – March 2022 (first term)

Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee

Mark has been paddling for around 20 years and is a volunteer coach and committee member at his local canoe club in Solihull. Having paddled all sorts of craft in the past, he now specialises in coaching open canoe at the club, as well as organising its touring programme. 

Mark is a chartered accountant with a total of 32 years’ experience in finance, having spent the last 20 years in Finance Director roles, many of which have been at PLC level. He has spent most of his career in businesses involved in manufacturing and construction as well as a not-for-profit entity and now operates as a freelance Finance Director working with management teams in a variety of organisations.

Stephen Craig1

Stephen Craig (Director nominated by The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland)

Appointment period: March 2015 - March 2019 (first term)

Governance Committee

Stephen started canoeing while at school and has been an active club paddler for most of his life.  He is now one of the coach educators in the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI). Stephen joined CANI in the 70's and was elected to the Council in the 80's.  He served as Treasurer for 10 years before accepting his current post of President in 2008.

His career started as an engineer with a TV rental company and went on to set up his own repair and maintenance business for electronics and central heating.  In 2004 he changed tack and moved into working in the outdoor pursuits / team management industry.  He is now working freelance in the outdoor industry and training groups for the Duke of Edinburgh Award.


Clare Dallaway1

Clare Dallaway (Director nominated by the English Council)

Appointment period: March 2017 - March 2021 (first term)

HR, Remunerations and Nominations Committee

Clare is a member of Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club, and is Chair of British Canoeing’s West Midland’s Regional Committee and Vice Chair of the English Coaching Management Committee.  Clare is also a UKCC Level 2 Coach and 4 Star Leader in both canoe and kayak. 

Clare works within the NHS and is responsible for project teams leading on service redesign, cost improvement delivery and the development of the business’s long term strategic plan. Clare has a Masters in Business Administration and holds the Institute of Leadership and Management Executive Coaching and Mentoring Award.


James Fry1

James Fry (Independent Director)

Appointment period: March 2017 - March 2020 (first term)

Chair of the Governance Committee

James is committed to grass roots sport and is involved in Canoe Slalom through his 3 daughters who all compete in the sport.  

James is a commercial partner within a major international law firm, specialising in Intellectual Property and commercial contract work. He is also an experienced non-executive Director, sitting on the Boards of the East Midlands Chamber, the National Space Centre and the National Space Academy. James also has significant experience of advising sports organisations, including on marketing and sponsorship arrangements, and in this context has advised a Premier League football club, a First Class County Cricket Club and a number of governing organisations.


Bronagh Kennedy2

Bronagh Kennedy (Independent Director)

Appointment period: March 2017 - March 2020 (first term)

Chair of the HR, Remunerations and Nominations Committee

Bronagh Kennedy is a highly experienced Company Secretary and General Counsel who has worked for Severn Trent since June 2011. Previously Bronagh held a similar role at Mitchells & Butlers, where she worked for 15 years. Prior to that she was a Senior Associate at Allen & Overy.

With a demonstrable track record of success at a senior level with significant HR experience Bronagh will also be the Chair of British Canoeing’s HR and Remuneration Committee.


Lawler Ivan1

Ivan Lawler (President of British Canoeing)

Appointed: March 2017

Ivan, one of Great Britain’s most successful marathon paddlers of all time, is a five-time canoe marathon world champion and a canoe sprint world champion. He also competed at three-Olympic Games from 1988-1996 and was awarded an MBE for services to canoeing in 2000.


Steve Linkstead1

Steve Linksted (Director nominated by The Scottish Canoe Association)

Appointment period: April 2015 - March 2019 (first term)

Steve started paddling in the mid 1980’s as a teenager with the Scouts and with Forest Canoe Club. Steve became a coach in 1988 and also competed in Slalom until the mid 1990s, when his sailing interests saw him racing a Dart 18 catamaran instead. He came back to paddling in 2009 and now coaches several times a week.

Steve is a member of Stirling and Falkirk Canoe Club, a member of the British Canoeing Slalom Committee, the Regional Officer for the Central Scotland region and a Director of the Scottish Canoe Association.  For his day job, Steve is an Air Traffic Controller at Glasgow Prestwick Airport and also holds a private pilot’s licence to crown a lifelong love of aviation.


Dee Paterson1

Dee Paterson (Director nominated by the English Council)

Appointment period: March 2017 - March 2020 (first term)

Finance and Audit Committee

Dee first got involved in canoeing as a junior with her family before joining Stafford and Stone Canoe Club where she took up Slalom racing. Since then she has taken part in a wide range of disciplines, including competing for Great Britain at World Championship level in Wild Water Racing, Freestyle, Dragon Boat Racing and Outrigger Sprints as well as World masters for Marathon canoeing. She is also an active coach, from novice paddlers to those competing internationally, including at the 2014 Youth Olympics Games.

Dee is employed as a Senior Finance professional.  She is a qualified Accountant with over 15 year’s corporate experience in a range of industrial sectors.  Dee also has previous experience at Board level as a Pension Trustee Director.


Gregsmale1

Greg Smale (Director nominated by the English Council)

Appointment period: March 2018 - March 2022 (second term)

Board Safeguarding Representative 


Greg started Canoe Polo and Slalom as a boy scout at the age of 14 with St. Alban's Canoe Club. He went on to represent the GBR Canoe Polo Senior Team for ten years, winning around 25 International tournaments, a silver medal at the ‘93 European Championships, and a bronze at the ‘94 World Championships.

He coached the GBR Men and Women Canoe Polo Teams to eight consecutive World and European Canoe Polo finals with gold at 3 World and 1 European championship. He additionally coached Sweden Men for two years and has provided national team coaching support to 6 further countries.

In November 2016 Greg was re-elected Chair of the ICF Canoe Polo Committee and member of the ICF Board of Directors, a position he previously held between 2006 and 2014. During this time, he led the development of discipline - rules, secured a sponsor from outside the sport, funding for referees at World Championships and a Manufacturers Licensing Scheme. The discipline is a popular spectator sport in the multi-sport International World Games.

Greg is a graduate of the U.K. Sport International Leadership Programme, member of the World Paddle Academy, holder of the British Canoeing ‘Award of Merit and in November 2016 was awarded the ICF ‘Order of Merit’ for services to canoeing.


David Wakeling

David Wakeling (Director nominated by Canoe Wales)

Appointed: March 2018 - March 2022 (first term)

David is the current Chair of Canoe Wales. 

He first became involved in canoeing over twenty five years ago when his sons started to compete in Slalom.

He initially became Chair of the Canoe Wales Slalom Committee and was then invited to join the main board as treasurer.

An electronics design engineer by profession, in his spare time, David runs a small design and manufacturing company based in the valleys of South Wales.

David Joy1

David Joy (CEO of British Canoeing)

Appointment period: January 2016 - no maximum term (current term)

HR, Remunerations and Nominations Committee

Finance and Audit Committee

Governance Committee

David Joy is an experienced and successful CEO who has over 25 years of managerial experience. He has managed commercial and public sector relationships and led the development and implementation of strategic plans for individual sports and multi sports programmes.

Previously David has been Chief Executive of Scottish Athletics, Derbyshire Sport and most recently England Golf, as well as holding senior positions with Sport England, Sport Scotland and Sports Coach UK.  David commenced his role at British Canoeing in January 2016.