International development leader returns to her roots

Partnership head will lead change to get more people active.

The Black Country BeActive Partnership is delighted to announce the appointment of Deborah Williams as the new chair of their board.

Deborah has an impressive business and finance career both on a national and international field but is thrilled to return to her Wolverhampton roots and pick up the BeActive challenge across the Black Country.

The Black Country BeActive Partnership is one of 44 County Sports Partnerships in England working to provide opportunities for people to participate in sport and physical activity across the Black Country; support the development of progression pathways to ensure individuals reach their full potential in sport and physical activity; and raise the profile of PE, Sport and Physical activity in the area.

With a background in finance and business in the public and not for profit sectors, Deborah will bring a wealth of skills to the BeActive Board. Deborah has led an international committee in capacity building as well as strategic change, recognising the motivating force of partnership working and relationships. Not new to boardrooms, she has previously held roles with the Department of Transport, Cranfield University, government advisory boards and NHS as well as Just Advocacy, a charity providing advocacy services for adults with learning difficulties.

Talking about her new role, Deborah Williams said: “I have worked in areas and countries with the greatest advantage as well as the greatest disadvantage and have learned the value of any activity which can develop and assist an individual’s health and sense of well-being.

“I am looking forward to this new challenge and it was just what I was looking for when returning to my Black Country roots. I am eager to work with the BeActive team and put my skills and experience to good use to get the Black Country active.”

Simon Hall, BeActive Partnership Director welcomes this new appointment: “With the devolution agenda and the government’s new strategy for an active nation, this is our chance to make the most of the positive alignment and investment in our workforce. Deborah brings fresh ideas, strong leadership and experience to the Partnership and we are all looking forward to working with her.”

Given the recent Sporting Future Strategy and Sport England’s Towards and Active Nation, one of Deborah’s immediate priorities will be to set out the action needed to encourage a joint approach across the Black Country to address rising levels of inactivity and the impact this has on health, economic development and education and skills.

She added: “We need to look at how we make physical activity relevant to every day and also to make physical activity more evident as one of the solutions to the Black Country’s economic and social priorities.”

BeActive are contracted by Sport England to provide a set of core services to underpin the local delivery of National Governing Body (NGB) Whole Sport Plans and support the achievement of NGB and Sport England targets.

For more information about the BeActive Partnership visit