Dr Kathryn Severn joins SAPCA Board, Professor David James Appointed SAPCA Technical Chair

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Raising the standards for sports facility projects

We are the recognised trade association for the sports and play construction industry in the UK. All of our members go through a strict checking process:

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  • Code of Professional Conduct
  • Technical Mediation
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SAPCA has announced two important new additions to its team.

Dr Kathryn Severn, Framework and Procurement Manager at The Football Foundation, has joined SAPCA’s Board of Directors, while Prof David James, Managing Director of Labosport, has been appointed the new SAPCA Technical Chair.

Kathryn’s appointment will further strengthen the composition of the SAPCA Board, going into 2021. Having spent 12 years in the sports surface industry – including stints at Labosport, Notts Sport and GreenFields – Kathryn has a strong background of research and development in the sports surface sector. She joined the Football Foundation – a funding organisation which has delivered sports projects worth more than £1.5bn over the past 19 years – earlier this year.

Kathryn has also been one of the driving forces behind the Women in SAPCA initiative, launched this year to improve the representation of women in the sports and play construction sector.

“I’m delighted to join the Board of SAPCA – an association I obviously know very well, having worked at member companies for so long,” Kathryn says.

“With an insight into both ‘camps’, I believe this will further strengthen the ties between The Football Foundation and SAPCA. The two organisations already have a great working relationship – not least as many of the projects that are funded by the Football Foundation are delivered by SAPCA members.

“As a Board member, I look forward to the opportunity to help drive forward SAPCA’s policies and guidance, which ultimately shape the way sports facilities are developed in the UK.

“I will also continue to be very much involved in the Women in SAPCA initiative, which I believe is an important part of the association’s future work.”

Meanwhile, David’s new role will see him lead the work of the Technical Committee and help drive forward SAPCA’s Technical Programme, working in cooperation with the SAPCA team and, in particular, Project Manager, Colin Corline. David will also play an important part in SAPCA’s liaison on technical issues with numerous stakeholder organisations, such as the sports councils and NGBs.

The work delivered through the SAPCA Technical Programme is central to the association’s activities and, over recent years, has been increasingly supported by the Technical Committee, which draws on the expertise of various individual members from different sectors of the industry.

David, a former director of the Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER) at Sheffield Hallam University, brings a significant amount of expertise to the role, having worked in the field of sports engineering for more than 18 years. During his career, David has made an important contribution to research through his work with international sports federations.

He joined Labosport in 2018 and is also a visiting professor at TU Delft in the Netherlands – one of the world’s leading engineering universities.

David replaces the outgoing SAPCA Technical Chair Mark Oakley (Hunter Construction) in the role.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to take on the position of Technical Chair for SAPCA,” David says.

“My involvement in testing and consultancy directly connects me with many of the technical issues and questions facing our industry and I hope that my experience and knowledge will help the Technical Committee to respond effectively to these challenges.

“I also hope that I’ll be able to strengthen the connection that SAPCA and the industry has to relevant research that is happening in universities in the UK and abroad, to maximise the impact of this valuable resource.”