Alex Marshall has joined the Hampshire FA Board of Directors, providing guidance and leadership for the County FA, particularly in the areas of inclusion and diversity.
Hampshire FA is pleased to announce the appointment of Alex Marshall as the newest member of our Board of Directors. Alex joins the Board at an exciting time and will use her extensive experience and skills in inclusion and diversity to provide support and guidance to the Board, CEO and senior leadership team.
Hampshire FA CEO, Neil Cassar, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Alex has joined our Board of Directors. Inclusion and diversity is right at the forefront for Hampshire FA as we continually strive to ensure that football is for all. Alex’s vast knowledge and experience of inclusion and diversity, both in and out of sport, will provide Hampshire FA with invaluable insight and I look forward to working with her.”
Alex started her career in Marketing & Communications, with roles that saw her promote esteemed venues such as National Theatre and Southbank Centre, as well as many major sporting events, including Rugby World Cup 2015, European Aquatic Championships 2016, and Hockey and Lacrosse World Cups.
From this, Alex progressed to a role as Deputy CEO and Director of Campaigns & Engagement for Women in Sport; the UK’s leading organisation for gender equality in sport. Here, she lead on public campaigns working with a variety of sporting organisations, from small grassroots clubs up to national governing bodies and large commercial clubs, to get more women and girls playing sport and staying in sport. She also supported sporting organisations attempts to build more inclusive workforces, particularly supporting women’s progression in the sector.
Discussing her experience of the sport sector throughout her time working for Women in Sport, Alex said: “The sport sector has quite a poor track record when you look at boards and you look at senior management teams in terms of the number of women that are on them. It’s definitely getting better, particularly in some sports, but there is still a long way to go before women are truly represented in decision making roles in sport.”
Alex has now used her vast experience to set up her own inclusion consultancy business, Spot the Gap. The business aims to help businesses be as inclusive as they possibly can so that everybody within them (employees, volunteers, participants etc.) can achieve their full potential. The company does this by delivering training, creating campaigns, and writing strategies and policies that can help all manner of businesses (inside and outside of the sports sector) become more inclusive. This is a key area that Hampshire FA now seeks to utilise Alex’s guidance.
Hampshire FA has already benefitted from Alex’s expert knowledge in the areas of diversity and inclusion from her role volunteering on the county FA’s Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG). This is a role that only came about by a chance meeting on Twitter with Hampshire FA’s Women & Girl’s Football Development Officer, Flo Lunn. The two got tweeting about ways in which women and girls could be better encouraged to get involved in football. This snowballed and a couple of face-to-face meetings later Hampshire FA’s Football Development Manager, Chris Smith, invited Alex to join the Hampshire FA IAG to share her insight.
Alex was initially attracted to Hampshire FA and grassroots football because she is a firm believer that participating in sport (particularly team sports) can teach you valuable life skills such as leadership, teamwork, communications, strategy and tactics, which are transferable to other aspects of life. She thinks this is an area of sport which is often overlooked when people consider only the health benefits of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.
Alex explained: “I know from personal experience how transformative taking part in sport can be, particularly when you’re young. I played quite a bit of sport when I was young; I was heavily involved in swimming and swam competitively for a number of years. I absolutely loved it and gained so much in terms of confidence and soft skills development. I want other people, particularly children and young people, to have access to those benefits.
“I really want to be part of an organisation that’s ensuring that everybody can take part. Growing up as a child, I really loved football, but didn’t play because even in the 1990’s girls didn’t play football. Even though, I loved to watch it! It’s great that things have changed so much over the last 20 years and more girls are playing football, but I’d love to help get to stage where there is equal representation of women and men in the sport.”
Alex now looks to hit the ground the running and help ensure Hampshire FA is at the forefront of county FAs, not just in inclusion and diversity, but being the best FA it can possibly be in ALL aspects. She is particularly looking forward to seeing UEFA Women’s EURO come to Southampton and increase the visibility of women’s football across the county.
There was, just one final important point to clarify with Alex… What team does she support?
Alex said: “I’m a Spurs fan and have been ever since I was young and they were a mid-to-lower-table team without the frills of the Champions League that we have experienced in recent years. However, as someone who lives in Hampshire, I do also have a soft spot for Saints and keep an eye on them and where they are and what they’re doing.”