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Steven Ward steps up as ukactive chief executive

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ukactive has promoted its executive director Steven Ward to the position of CEO, the health body has announced today (8 May).

The appointment comes two years after the departure of former CEO David Stalker – a move that saw Ward take up the role of executive director to help drive the not-for-profit forward.

Ward said he had greatly enjoyed his past two years as executive director, during which he has worked with the team to build on the legacy of his predecessor.

He added: "Our members are the bedrock of ukactive and our focus will always be delivering against their core commercial agenda. New ukactive initiatives, such as ActiveLab and Future Leaders are starting to have an impact in this area and we're now fully-focused on accelerating this momentum and injecting urgency into the physical activity agenda."

In response to the new appointment, ukactive chair Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said: "Under Steven's leadership the organisation has taken great strides over the last few years across a number of areas.

"Across policy, media, business, the investment community, research and innovation, ukactive is in a better position to support the vital work of its members and we as a board are hugely excited by the direction [in] which Steven is taking this organisation.

"With a great team behind him, we're confident that the sector can expect major progress from ukactive in the coming years as we intensify efforts, hand in hand with members and key partners, to get more people, more active, more often."

ukactive's board also praised Ward, who has spent more than a decade with the organisation after joining the team as a policy intern in 2006. It described him as the "ideal candidate" to drive and deliver ukactive's ambitious strategy, highlighting the central role the new CEO played in the body's physical agenda to date.

Indeed, Ward and the policy team have spearheaded notable initiatives, such as securing almost £40m of investment for tackling inactivity at local authority public health level through the landmark Turning the Tide of Inactivity report, which won the 2014 Public Affairs Award for Trade Association Campaign of the Year. He also helped shape the body's 2012 rebrand from the Fitness Industry Association (FIA) to ukactive, and he helped strengthen its ties to key partners, including the Department of Health and Sport England.

Ward's decade with ukactive has been a time of significant growth. In that time, the body's membership has risen by almost 50 per cent to make it the leading not-for-profit body for physical activity in the UK.

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ukactive has promoted its executive director Steven Ward to the position of CEO, the health body has announced today (8 May).
HAF,PHR
Ward has been with the body since 2006