Active Essex strengthens Board ahead of launch of the Greater Essex Sport and Physical Activity Strategy

Active Essex

The Active Essex Board has once again been further enhanced with three significant new appointments, who bring a wealth of experience and expertise on health, strengthening communities and the sport and physical activity sector.

The three new appointments join at a very exciting time for Active Essex, the active partnership for Greater Essex, as they endeavour to build upon the momentum gathered from the pandemic, with physical activity placed a high priority. It is now a critical time to shape the county and increase activity levels, helping improve the health and wellbeing of residents, to create an active Essex for everyone.

Anton Ferdinand retired professional footballer, Dan Doherty NHS Alliance Director for Mid Essex and Emma Lewis, National Swimming Development Manager at Greenwich Leisure Limited, begin an exciting new chapter of the Active Essex journey. Together with the Active Essex team and organisations from across the county, they will help develop and deliver the new 10-year Greater Essex Sport and Physical Activity Strategy, which is due to launch at the beginning of July 2021.

Speaking of the new appointments, Chair of Active Essex, Azeem Akhtar said: “It is great to welcome the three new members of the Board. Anton, Dan and Emma will be instrumental in helping us shape Active Essex for the future, so that we can work more effectively in tackling issues around inactivity. It is an exciting time for Active Essex and for our sector, and our three new appointments will help ensure we build back better from the Coronavirus pandemic and reenergise the county after what has been a turbulent year. They each bring something unique and exciting to help us continue to grow and build on the momentum set out in our previous strategy.”

Anton Ferdinand, current ambassador/mentor for new Era Global Sports Management and retired professional footballer for West Ham United, said: “Football is of course a love of mine as I’ve played it my whole life. But as a child I really loved horse riding and throughout lockdown have found a real love for walking and exploring my local area. You don’t have to find one sport and physical activity to do forever and I’m looking forward to learning and developing more opportunities for residents across Essex through my time on the board.”

Dan Doherty, NHS Alliance Director for Mid Essex CCG is a practising physiotherapist and is pleased to join the Active Essex Board. Speaking about his appointment, he said: “I have a passion for all forms of physical activity and enjoy keeping my family active. Physical activity is such an important ingredient in individual’s lives to enable them to look after their physical and mental health and I’m a firm advocate for activity promotion in the NHS.”

Emma Lewis, National Swimming Development Manager who has a passion for running, swimming and family activity, said: “I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in a range of swimming programmes and initiatives over the years, as well as completing various sporting challenges. But what I really love, is being active and outdoors. Open water and wild swimming allows me to destress, switch off from technology and enjoy my surroundings, it’s a great way to explore new places, and this is something I would love to help show others through my work with Active Essex.”

The three new appointments will join Active Essex’s current Board cohort of Anne Wafula-Strike MBE, Billy Ray Mansell, Bob Mclintock, Caroline Rassell and Dr David Sollis.

To read more about the board of Active Essex, visit our page here.