APCO's Stibbs to lobby for increased sports funding

The Central Council for Physical Recreation has hired James Stibbs to its first dedicated PR role as it prepares to raise its profile and lobby for additional finance.

The council, which represents 270 of the UK's sports clubs, plans to take advantage of opportunities created by an increase in sporting and political activity in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.

The head of comms post was created by recently appointed chief executive Tim Lamb – formerly chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board – who has pledged to step up the case for greater funding.

The council relies on Sport England for most of its budget following an agreement made in 1972. The council transferred all of its assets, including the national sport centre Bisham Abbey, to the then English Sports Council (now Sport England) in return for an annual budget.
Its grant for 2005/6 was £1.56m. 

Stibbs is now devising the body's strategy on communicating with the media, Whitehall, its members and staff. He reports to Lamb.

'My brief is to monitor how legislation affects sport, particularly that which is coming out of the EU, and communicate on issues such as tax concessions to our members to make sure they are aware of them,' said Stibbs.

'We also hope to put the organisation on a more secure financial footing,' he added.

Stibbs is also charged with making sure that funding for non-Olympic activity – such as rock climbing and ballroom dancing – is not ignored in the run-up to 2012.

He joins the CCPR from public affairs and strategic comms specialist APCO, where he held the post of senior associate.

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