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A Reflection on the Sport and Physical Activity Sector – Kerry Chown MSc CIPD - Cobalt HR

October 22, 20200

Kerry Chown is a HR consultant specialising in high performance working practices. She is a highly experienced senior Human Resources professional, with sound abilities across the HR agenda in all sectors, and with a reputation for building and maintaining collaborative business relationships.

Kerry has sound strategy development abilities and proven skills in ER and HR transactional issues with a pragmatic steward of procedures and legislative requirements and a passion for adding value through the astute facilitation of change management and people development.

With an MSc and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and with over 25 years’ experience in senior HR roles, Kerry is Founding Director and owner at Cobalt HR to help clients raise employee engagement and performance.

Kerry is a Non Executive Director and Governance Board Member with ICON Training, a Shadow Board Member of the Velindre, Cancer Care NHS Trust, a Non-Executive Director for Wales Squash and Racketball and a Non-Executive Director for Canoe Wales for which she has established a passion and commitment for National Governing Bodies through her exposure as HR Director with Sport Wales

I asked Kerry to contribute to this article series by asking four fundamental questions on our sector in the past and future. The first of these questions is below and under each question Kerry’s responses follow in quoted italics

Who inspired you when starting out on your career and what values did you take from this inspiration? 

“Someone I worked with called Gail. Don’t remember much else about her but she inspired me with her view that people should push themselves to achieve what they want. What did I take from this? It’s good to aspire to be the best you can be.”

What would you like to see by way of investment to the sport and physical activity sector? 

“Ongoing funding to help people raise their skill level. Lifelong learning is really important. It applies to all people, not just the young. People should have opportunities to learn so they can deliver a more flexible workforce.”

 There have been many game-changing moments over the last twenty-five years. What would you say have been the most significant milestones in the last few decades and why?

“On the job training and other flexible ways of learning. I would include within this enabling people to take up learning at all ages. It has enabled people to move from one career to another at different stages in people’s lives. It’s a good thing. It makes us more flexible.”

Sport and Physical Activity has been credited with many social, health and economic benefits while many of the competencies are highly specialised and demanding. How would you like to see this sector become more professionalised and qualified and what do you consider the most important attributes, skills and behaviours you look for in leaders and managers?

“People should be encouraged to keep learning. This should be both formal and informal. I see many people in the sector making do with the skills they have, lacking in drive to develop and improve. It should be entrenched in our company cultures.

People could be rewarded based on the ideas they bring into the business. This would help to drive the right behaviours.

Most important attributes, skills and behaviours? Learning orientation, for themselves and their people.” 

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