Fran Connolly has been appointed as the new chief executive of England Netball, replacing Joanna Adams in the role.
Adams announced in August that she would be leaving England Netball to take up the newly-created position of chief commercial officer at the London Legacy Development Corporation.
During Adams’ tenure as chief executive of England Netball, the national team picked up a historic gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, while the organisation also secured hosting rights the 2019 Netball World Cup, which took place in Liverpool.
Connolly (pictured) joined England Netball in 2001 and was appointed as the organisation’s director of development in 2010. She has since helped contribute to the growth in netball participation across the country and overseen areas such as capital investment, governance, competitions and events, coaching, officiating, volunteering, talent and insight.
Connolly has secured substantial investment from new commercial partners including Vitality, as well as government funding agencies. She also pioneered the Participant-Centred Approach, which drove the development of England Netball’s ‘Your Game Your Way’ strategy.
Connolly said: “I’m thrilled and feel hugely privileged to be taking on the role at this exciting time. As a sport we’ve been on an incredible journey and have experienced remarkable success over recent years at every level from our participation programmes to the Vitality Roses. However, I truly believe we’ve only just scratched the surface of the potential that netball has.
“The magic moments that were created on the Gold Coast and earlier this year at the World Cup in Liverpool captured the attention of the nation and united the Netball Family – it is this movement that I want to ensure we continue to nurture and grow as we move in to an exciting next chapter.”
England Netball chair Colin Povey added: “We partnered with Executives in Sport Group who undertook a wide-ranging international recruitment process that attracted extremely high levels of interest and generated an exceptionally strong field of candidates so it gives me great pleasure that the best candidate for the role was someone from within the organisation.
“Through the selection process Fran’s breadth and depth of knowledge across all aspects of the sport shone through. She has a real passion for women’s sport and netball in particular. In the view of the Nominations Committee, Fran was the standout candidate.”