Former BOA legal director takes up chief role at ping pong association

The former legal director of the British Olympic Association (BOA), Sara Sutcliffe, has become interim CEO at the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA).

Sutcliffe’s appointment comes following the retirement of the association’s former CEO Richard Yule, who served at the helm for almost two decades from 1995 to June 2013. 

Sutcliffe brings with her 12 years of senior management experience as the former director of legal and HR at the BOA (16 August 2004). Prior to joining the BOA in 2001, she practised in Baker & McKenzie’s disputes practice in London from 1995.

Most recently, Sutcliffe worked with Bakers to represent the BOA in its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport with regard to the dispute with the World Anti Doping Agency over whether athletes who have deliberately taken drugs can be selected for Team GB at future Olympic Games (14 December 2011).

 “After serving 12 years at the BOA, it’s time for a natural career change. The new role presents a good career opportunity to move to senior management,” said Sutcliffe.

“Table tennis is a great sport and a sport that has huge potential to grow in the UK. At the same time, modernising the governing body of professional sport associations is a big trend in the industry. I will utilise my skills set to help modernising the governance structure of the ETTA and putting in place an effective day-to-day management,” said Sutcliffe. “With the new changes, the interim role will potentially turn into a long-term role.”

Since her departure from the BOA at the end of 2012, she has also been appointed to a number of other positions across the UK sports industry, including non-executive director at GB Taekwondo and British Gymnastics.

A spokesperson at BOA said that the organisation has not yet appointed a new director of legal services, and the responsibilities are currently shared between senior lawyers Shahab Uddin and Ben Goodburn.