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Gemma Wiggs among sixteen named on inaugural UK Sport Event Leaders Programme

British Canoeing’s Head of Events and International Affairs, Gemma Wiggs, will be in the first cohort of a new UK Sport programme which is aimed at growing the number of world-leading event directors in the UK.

UK Sport today announced the group of 16 talented individuals from across the entire sport sector in the UK who have been chosen for the inaugural Event Leaders Programme.

The individuals came through a competitive application process which began in March, and represent the widest breadth of sports from canoeing to table tennis, triathlon and taekwondo to rugby league, netball and football.

It is the first of its kind to collaboratively pool events and people development expertise from the entire sport sector and industry partners and will develop and empower these individuals to be more effective and purposeful leaders, who can strategically and impactfully drive a world-leading events programme for their sport.

The Event Leaders Programme will also provide an opportunity for the group to build upon existing leadership skills, learn new approaches, consider the ethical challenges major events have a responsibility to address and crucially, understand how to apply and embed them in the context of their own events.

Gemma was delighted to be part of the programme and said it was a privilege to have been selected. 

“The UK Sport International Leadership Programme and coaching programmes are renowned worldwide.

“To be part of the inaugural Events Leadership Programme is a privilege and exciting.  It is not only a huge opportunity for personal development and growth but I also want to share my knowledge and experiences with the cohort and ensure a collaborative approach to supporting each other and as such the wider events community in the UK.”

Beyond the inaugural edition of the Event Leaders Programme, those working in the UK Sport events network will have the opportunity to join UK Sport’s major event knowledge transfer programme and continue to access learning and development opportunities, such as attending observer programmes, webinars and peer learning groups.

Esther Britten, Acting Deputy Director of Major Events at UK Sport, said: “It is really exciting to be able to announce the first cohort of our inaugural Event Leaders Programme. 

"Our ambition is to host some of the world’s biggest sporting events over the next decade and to do this well will need impactful leaders who understand people and culture, the successes and challenges of event delivery and the power of sport to drive societal change.

"We look forward to supporting this group on their leadership journeys.”