Leisure industry mourns the death of Steve Franks, CEO of Water Babies
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
star job
Rugby, UK
Sefton Council
Band D (scp 5-6 £19,321 - £19,698)
Sefton, Liverpool, UK
Everyone Active
Unlimited earning potential
Camberwell Leisure Centre, London, UK
Leicester Grammar School
Leicester, UK
star job
Coach Gyms
£15k basic + commission + Bonus
Leeds, UK

Leisure industry mourns the death of Steve Franks, CEO of Water Babies

Job opportunities
Chesterton Sports Centre
£18,426 - £18,795 per annum, pro rata
location: Chesterton Community College and Sports Centre, Cambridge UK, United Kingdom
VOYA Products Ltd
location: Europe
training opportunity
Les Mills
location: Nationwide, United Kingdom
more jobs

The physical activity sector has been left in shock by news that Steve Franks, the long-serving chief executive of Water Babies, has died following a short illness.

Tributes and condolences have flooded in on social media for Franks, an industry veteran who spent six years as operations director at the Swimming Teachers' Association (STA), before being appointed CEO at Water Babies in 2009.

Franks had been involved in the UK sport and leisure industry in a senior management capacity for more than 25 years, across both private and public sectors. His leisure career began in 1997 as leisure services manager at Lichfield District Council.

During his career, he was a technical author for a number of British Standards – aimed at creating industry best practice for the swimming and aquatics sector – and a member of two All-Party Parliamentary Groups, including one for swimming.

He was also a passionate advocate of children's physical activity, becoming the lead spokesperson for Children First, a national campaign to encourage the government to put children at the heart of all decision-making and to get a dedicated minister for children and young people.

Franks also sat on the ukactive's Kids council as board member.

Tweeting her condolences, Jane Nickerson, CEO of Swim England, said Franks' death was due to complications related to COVID-19.

"Very sad day today," she said in her tweet. "Good friend has lost the Coronavirus fight. RIP Steve Franks. Your work for baby swimming will live on. I will miss our lunches and catch-ups. Definitely a friend as well as a Swim England colleague."

ukactive Chair Tanni Grey-Thompson and ukactive Kids Council Chair Adrian Packer issued a joint statement, saying "The board and team at ukactive are devastated by the news".

"Our hearts go out to his family and the team at Water Babies," the statement reads.

"His contribution to improving the health of children will always be recognised, as CEO of the hugely successful swim school organisation, or through his leadership as part of the ukactive Kids Council.

“Steve’s passion and energy for changing children’s lives inspired us all. He is a huge loss to our movement, and we will be more determined than ever to deliver his ambition to improve our children’s health.”

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
The physical activity sector has been left in shock by the news that Steve Franks, the long- serving chief executive of Water Babies, has died following a short illness.

More News

1 - 15 of 43,104
25 Jan 2021
Fitness instructors, personal trainers, coaches and other self-employed physical activity workers in Wales are being given extra financial support through Sport Wales. The grassroots sports ... More
20 Jan 2021
HCM editor, Liz Terry, has launched a Parliamentary Petition calling for gyms to be in the first wave of reopenings after the lockdown and for ... More
22 Jan 2021
The failure to tackle the UK's obesity crisis is down to successive governments being guilty of weak policy design, lack of effectiveness and botched implementation. ... More
22 Jan 2021
Les Mills has launched a new digital content solution to support health and fitness operators in engaging their members outside the four walls of their ... More
21 Jan 2021
Gymbox has entered the hospitality space with the signing of a deal to deliver in-room exercise sessions to guests staying at citizenM hotels around the ... More
21 Jan 2021
The Hong Kong government has revealed plans to provide the historic Ocean Park theme park with a further HK$2.8bn (US$361m, €298m, (£265m) worth of investment ... More
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Miha Bodytec GmbH
21 Jan 2021
Nuffield Health has launched a series of free, online classes focused on emotional wellbeing. The classes have been made available on the healthcare charity's digital ... More
20 Jan 2021
Resistance training is just as beneficial for men and women over the age of 50, a new study has found. Research by the University of ... More
19 Jan 2021
Fitness, sport and leisure sector professionals who have continued to deliver services to their communities throughout the pandemic are to be celebrated at industry networking ... More
19 Jan 2021
Design specialist BRC Imagination Arts (BRC) has been selected to design and produce the World Food Center Experience in Ede, the Netherlands. The attraction will ... More
19 Jan 2021
Broadcaster and natural historian, Sir David Attenborough, will front a new virtual app which will allow users to explore exotic plants and animals in their ... More
19 Jan 2021
A national survey has launched to chart the mental health of the fitness and physical activity workforce. Undertaken in partnership with CIMSPA, the survey will ... More
TVS Sport Surfaces
TVS Sport Surfaces
18 Jan 2021
One of England's highest ranking police officers has called on government ministers to clearly define the maximum distance people are allowed to travel to undertake ... More
17 Jan 2021
Virtuagym, a leading provider of fitness technology for gyms and trainers, has announced the launch of PRO+, a new solution that enables operators to generate ... More
15 Jan 2021
Fitness First has launched a new free digital fitness hub, offering users a wide range of virtual classes and training sessions. Called FitX Player, the ... More
1 - 15 of 43,104
Les Mills
Les Mills