Tuesday 24th March 2020 – Philip Lane OBE, who spent ten years as Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, has been appointed as a Non-Executive Member of the Welsh Rugby Players Association (WRPA), which represents, develops, promotes and protects professional rugby players in Wales.
Phil was most recently the Head of Sport & Communities at Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), which is the UK’s largest leisure operator running more than 350 public sport and leisure centres, including the London Aquatics Centre and Copper Box Arena both opened for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games.
He was awarded an OBE for services to sport in 2009, after leading Britain’s Paralympic teams at Salt Lake City 2002, Athens 2004, Torino 2006 and Beijing in 2008, during which time Paralympic sport in the UK saw unprecedented growth in profile.
A keen rugby player until he was forced to stop playing by injury, Phil then coached at Saracens, Blackheath and Southend at senior level. He has also coached representative youth rugby with Eastern Counties, London Division and England, where he was a coach and selector of England Colts and Head Coach of England U18s.
He was also Chairman of the Pro-Active East London Sports Partnership, one of the Sport England sports partnerships that deliver community sport to ten local boroughs in East London.
Formerly a head teacher, Phil has a first class honours degree in PE and Education from London University, a Master of Science degree in Management, and an honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from London Metropolitan University and Middlesex University
Phil Lane said:
“I am absolutely delighted to be invited to join the WRPA as a Non Exec. I hope that, guided by my past experience, I can support their efforts to put the players at the forefront of decisions involving this great sport."
Welcoming Phil on-board, WRPA Chairman and Ospreys forward, James King, said:
"Phil’s record in this industry speaks for itself. We have confidence that he will aid the WRPA in becoming the influential and courageous association it needs to be. The players are really grateful to have the voluntary support of our Non-Executives as we work together to represent, develop, promote and protect professional rugby players in Wales.”
Barry Cawte, WRPA Chief Executive, said:
“We are absolutely delighted Phil is joining our panel of experts. I worked with him previously at GLL, so I know just how much he brings to the table. He is massively influential in the world of sport and can open doors for us at the highest level.”
Phil’s appointment extends the WRPA’s Non-Executive Board to five members, alongside Gerry Stacey, a former Coca-Cola Enterprises executive and now a leading business and leadership advisor; Scott Bowers, Group Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications at The Jockey Club and one of the sports industry’s
leading communications professionals; Damian Phillips, Partner at law firm Darwin Gray LLP and one of the UK’s leading lawyers in the employment and sports sectors; and Adam Williams, who is International Director at the UK Intellectual Property Office and previously worked in the UK Government on Defence policy matters, with extensive experience dealing with complex negotiations.
The Non-Executive’s role is to help the WRPA to deliver its mission of acting as a force for good for rugby players and the game in Wales.
About The WRPA
A not-for-profit professional association, the Welsh Rugby Players Association (WRPA) represents, develops, promotes and protects professional rugby players in Wales. The WRPA is a member of the International Rugby Players, the international association responsible for representing all professional players around the world.
The WRPA is mandated by its members to act in their collective best interest in relation to player welfare and issues affecting the game in Wales. The association acts as a conduit for member concerns and provides a platform whereby issues surrounding their welfare can be raised at the highest levels by the Executive Board.
The WRPA Personal Development Programme (PDP) assists players in achieving a sporting/lifestyle balance during their careers and encourages them to maximise the opportunities that are open to them as professional rugby players. In doing so it ultimately makes the transition out of their professional playing career and into future employment as smooth as possible.
The WRPA provides players with resources to help with public speaking, media skills and leadership. It advises players on social media usage and how to make the best use of their professional brand. It is through the personal brand promotion that the WRPA aims to encourage as many aspiring players to continue on their rugby journey so that no talent is lost or investment wasted.
The WRPA continually engages and runs initiatives to protect the game in Wales. If it stands to either negatively impact the game or the welfare of players, the WRPA aims to ensure it is tackled.