Case Study – Robin Kellen, Snowsport Cymru Wales

The Chief Executive of Snowsport Cymru Wales Robin Kellen has given his thoughts on the progress of the (GLFW) Governance and Leadership Framework for Wales.

Having witnessed the benefits of the framework first-hand, the CEO of Snowsport Wales has been able to feed the principles that the GLFW set out four years ago into the growing number of participants in Welsh sport.

The GLFW has helped governing bodies such as Snowsport Cymru Wales in their goal to increase participation and develop talented performers.

Reflecting on the progress of the framework Kellen said, "The Governance and Leadership Framework for Wales has really helped Snowsport Wales identify our areas of responsibility.

"When the Governance and Leadership Framework document first came out it was quite a daunting prospect and I was little concerned that the governing body wasn't going to be able to meet a lot of the standards".

"The GLFW helped us to reflect on what we were doing, what we were doing well, and it also helped us to identify the areas that needed a little extra work and support in terms of the overall structure of the governing body.

"One of the areas we have identified is the need for induction training around our board members to ensure they are understanding their roles as directors for the national governing body and how they can best support the staff.

The seven principles in the GLFW document was key to its success and helped organisations to improve and grow. On the principles Kellen said, "Our main focus was on principle number three which was setting out a clear vision for sport and that was a good step to take forward. We had policy documents, we made statements about what we did and what we're about, but it wasn't really clear and available to members.

"As a result of that we would often get people who were asking things of the governing body that were beyond our remit and our ability to deliver and we needed to make sure we were clear in terms of how we set out what our objectives were.

"So, we set about this document and gave it an understandable name calling it '2020 Vision' for snow sports in Wales and we wanted something that was simple for people to read and understand.

"We started off by looking at what we actually do before drawing up five core objectives, mission statements and from within there we broke it down into specific target areas such as disciplines, the areas of the sport we were running and where we wanted to be in 2020.

"We then looked at the more governance areas of the sport in terms of communication, finance, governance support structure, what we were doing and where we wanted to go. Before we actually took the document to publication, we took it to the membership and asked them for their feedback. It's been a good process and we've updated it every year and reviewed it before publishing it."

With plenty of work still to be done and objectives to be tackled Kellen said, "Our biggest challenge has been raising funds and we want to do more to meet the aspirations of the people who are involved in the sport and want to take it to the next level.

"Setting out a vison is great, and things are made easier when we have a document we can look back at. Having a board structure that's right and board members who understand their roles is really helpful because that underpins the discussions and conversations I can have with investors and local authorities."

"Finally looking to how we can develop the board for the future, we can increase the training the board can have which will also increase their effectiveness within the framework."