BSAC has appointed its first independent Non-Executive Director, to bring a level of independence in decision-making and experience from other industries.

Following an extensive recruitment process, Alistair Dickson has become BSAC’s first independent Non-Executive Director. Alistair is currently CEO of Canoe Wales

First independent Director

As part of BSAC’s Strategy and in accordance with the authority granted under the 2023 Articles of Association (AoA), BSAC Council has appointed Alistair for a period of three years. Alistair brings relevant and useful experience from being Director of Sports Development of the RYA and in his role at Canoe Wales. Council found his insights into the challenges facing membership organisations particularly stimulating alongside his knowledge of relevant applied research and the dynamics of volunteer-based organisations.

About Alistair

Originally from Llandudno in North Wales, Alistair worked as a senior instructor at the Plas Menai National Watersport Centre before pursuing a career as an officer in the British Army and qualifying as one of the few Royal Engineer military divers. More latterly, he has spent nearly four years as CEO of Canoe Wales, the governing body for paddlesports in Wales. This is following a career in the RYA where he was High Performance Manager and Interim CEO for RYA Cymru Wales, and Director of Sport Development at RYA HQ. 

During his time as Director of Sport Development, Alistair was credited with supporting the development and modernisation of the large network of clubs and training centres in line with the findings of the British Marine Futures Project – a joint initiative looking at the future customer of the UK leisure boating and watersports industry. He also led on national volunteer development projects and pioneering research which highlighted the power of outdoor activities like sailing in developing essential character attributes in young people.  

Alistair's impact at the RYA meant he was put forward on the UK Sport Future Leaders’ Programme amongst some of the best leaders within sport in Great Britain. 

Although qualifying as an independent director due to having no previous experience of BSAC, alongside his military diving experience he is a qualified PADI Divemaster and has completed around 300 recreational dives in places such as Australia, Thailand, UK and around the Caribbean. 

Alistair lives in Menai Bridge, North Wales and enjoys spending time with his family and taking part in outdoor activities around Anglesey and within the mountains of Snowdonia. 

Edward Haynes, BSAC Chair said:

We are looking forward to working with Alistair as he shares his experience and guidance in this role. He will bring some really useful insight into different membership strategies which BSAC will find extremely beneficial. Having someone independent on the Board is a recommended good board practice, and I am delighted that BSAC has taken this step.

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