Date of release: Friday, July 14, 2017

Sports StrategyA passionate belief in the power of sport and exercise to transform lives is part of what drives Marianne Boyle, the University of Greenwich's new Head of Sports Strategy.

Marianne's vision includes working with the Students' Union and key partners such as Charlton Athletic to develop more sporting and physical activity opportunities for students, staff and the wider community. She also wants to place healthy living, fitness and well-being at the centre of the university experience.

"Engaging in sport can help students learn so many other skills in areas such as leadership, team-building, communication and resilience," she says. "These are highly transferable skills that make students more confident, motivated and accomplished, and therefore makes them attractive to high-quality employers.

"A key part of the university's sports strategy is that people who are strong socially and personally are also successful academically, and therefore we want to give students every opportunity to fulfil both their academic and sporting potential. Greenwich has a very bright sporting future and I'm thrilled to be part of it."

A former athlete who competed at national level in various track events, and a graduate from Sheffield Hallam University (where she studied for a BSc in Sports Development and Coaching), Marianne brings with her a wealth of strategic leadership experience from the sport, leisure and local authority sectors.

Most recently she worked as a Major Projects and Service Manager for the London Borough of Hounslow, where she led on implementing its sports, healthy living and leisure strategy. Marianne was in charge of a project portfolio valued at £50 million: among many other achievements, she oversaw the building of a new leisure centre, and introduced a ten-year plan for helping residents to be more active and to participate in sport and fitness activities.

In her role at Hounslow, she helped attract more than £10 million in external funding for new sports facilities, and forged close partnerships with organisations such as the Football Association and Sport England.

Her previous roles included that of Public Health Strategist (also London Borough of Hounslow), and Sport & Health Development Manager for Harborough District Council in Leicestershire.

But it is at Greenwich that Marianne says she can see the greatest potential in taking forward her vision for using sport as a tool to enhance people's lives. "It's such an exciting time to be joining, with the investment and commitment the university is making in sport," she says, referring in part to the £1.7 million state-of-the-art, 3G sports pitches that Greenwich unveiled earlier this year.

The pitches are the new home for the university's various sports teams – including rugby, football, hockey, American football and lacrosse – and will host nearly 70 competitive matches and many more recreational games in the coming year.

"I am relishing the opportunity to drive forward the delivery of the sports, health and well-being strategy. The provision of sport and physical activity will become one of the university's outstanding assets and will certainly contribute to our overarching aim of 'Making Greenwich Great'," she says.

"I'd like to help introduce a university-wide commitment to Greenwich sport, which will also create a strong sense of pride and belonging to the university through student and staff sports activities. We have plenty to celebrate already, in terms of individual and team successes, and this is just the beginning."

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Marianne Boyle at the university's 3G sports pitches.