Scottish Handball Appoint new Chair & Board Members


For immediate release – 13.11.2023

Scottish Handball Association appoints new

Chair & Board members

The Scottish Handball Association (SHA) are delighted to announce the recent appointment of a new Chair during our most recent AGM and this has been followed by the appointment of 6 new Directors.

Beverley Francis has been appointed as the new Chair of the SHA following a phenomenal level of interest in our Board recruitment process.

Ms Francis succeeds Iain MacKinven, who stepped down earlier this year having very successfully overseen a number of significant changes at the SHA during his tenure.

Having started her career in social housing, Ms Francis has since gone on to hold a number of different roles including senior positions within both the Scottish Government and UK Governments as a civil servant, and since 2020, leadership and Chair roles notably within the third and not-for-profit sector.

Ms Francis has also been actively involved in volunteer Sports, helping found, coach and run a local football club in recent years.  Her passion for the power of Sport and the potential to positively change people’s lives was the inspiration for her interest in joining the SHA.

She said: “I have seen some of the work of the SHA from a distance and was inspired to join and help the team navigate the next phase of their journey.  What’s clear to me is that Handball in Scotland has made huge progress in recent times but is still very much a sleeping giant.  I believe that we can collectively keep growing to make a very significant difference to the Scottish sporting landscape, and therefore make a very big difference to the lives of many thousands of people of all ages across all of our communities.  I really look forward to getting out and meeting all of our clubs, players and volunteers in the coming weeks to learn even more about this fabulous sport.  I’m delighted to bring the energy and experience that I have to help the team to deliver our aims.”

We are also delighted to welcome the addition of 6 other new Directors to the SHA.  They are:

Fiona Semple (Other - Elite / Performance)

Fiona is a graduate of Glasgow University (LLB (Hons), DipLP), Strathclyde University (BSc) and Stirling University (MSc), and a former international Scottish Hockey player with 70 caps to her name.  She is an experienced performance development professional and is currently the Head of Selection for the British Elite Athletes Association.  Her previous roles include Winning Students Project Manager with the University of Stirling and a Performance Lifestyle Advisor with the English Institute of Sport (attached to British Shooting)

Ross McGowan (Independent - Safeguarding expert)

Ross is a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University (BSc Hons) with a lifelong love of Sport.  He is currently the Club Licensing Officer within the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and has previously worked at both Scottish Cycling as well as England Basketball.  Ross has a very significant depth of expertise around all matters relating to safeguarding, compliance and the development of processes and frameworks required for success in this area.

Ross Kirkwood (Independent – Finance / Treasurer)

Ross is a graduate of Abertay University (BA Accounting), Deakin University [Australia] (MBA), is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA) and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).  A former young athlete, Ross has since developed his professional career in Finance, Business Change, Transformation and Strategy consulting.  Ross currently works as a Change & Transformation Director alongside his duties as a guest lecturer at Strathclyde University and a Board Director at Cadder Housing Association.

Cameron MacAllister (Independent – media expert)

Cameron is a graduate of the University of the West of Scotland (BA Hons), and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (MCIPR).  He is an experienced media and communications professional and has previously worked for Commonwealth Games Scotland, Scottish Rugby (SRU) and the World Curling Federation.  He is currently the Lead Communications and External Affairs Manager for Glasgow Warriors and brings over 13 years of experience in national and international sports bodies.  He has significant experience of helping create brand value, and the development and delivery of strategies that utilise a full range of media assets and channels.

Victoria Cox (Other – Elite / Operations)

Victoria is a graduate of Lincoln University (BA Hons) and is a highly experienced Operations, Project, Events and Ticketing Manager.  She has previous experience of working with Ticketmaster, Disclosure Scotland, Commonwealth Games Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).  She is currently the Head of Competitions and Compliance with Scottish Rugby (SRU) and brings significant knowledge and experience of the professional delivery of projects, events and business critical strategies.

Kevin Bain (Independent – Technology / Digital)

Kevin is a graduate of Robert Gordon University (BSc) and someone with deep technology and digital development expertise.  He has experience across a wide range of sports and currently runs his own technology consulting practice working with sports to develop their digital assets.  His background includes working as Head of Digital Development and Technology Director for The R&A (notably creating as well as working with other significant sports organisations such as the SRU, FIFA and Arsenal Football Club.  Kevin also played with Dundee Handball Club, so has experienced, first-hand, the joy of our sport.

CEO of the SHA, Ewan Hunter, said: “We are delighted that Beverley has accepted the position of Chair following an extensive and robust recruitment process which attracted strong candidates and interest, again, from around the globe. She brings a wealth of relevant experience and expertise to the role, and I am delighted to be working with her and the rest of the Board as we continue to work hard to achieve our ambitious, but achievable, aims for Handball here in Scotland.

I am equally delighted to welcome Fiona, Ross, Cameron, Vicky, Kevin and Ross to the Board.  We believe that with their combined experience, we have assembled a truly phenomenal set of skills and expertise – and with them all now on Board, we can begin the work of developing from where we are towards even more ambitious targets for Handball across Scotland.  Beyond that, we are keen to see Scotland play an increasing part in the development of Handball across Europe.

I know the rest of the Executive team at the SHA, and our partners at SportScotland, the EHF and IHF as well as our other Partners, will be excited to also get to know all our new Board members more in the coming weeks and months as we all work together to deliver on our strategic objectives.”

- ENDS -

Notes for Editors: Originally founded in 1972, the Scottish Handball Association employs 4.5 people and was announced as Sport Governing Body of the Year 2022 at the Scottish Sports Awards ceremony in December 2022.  Working closely with SportScotland, the European Handball Federation (EHF), the International Handball Federation (IHF), the SHA enables thousands of children and young people to play Handball across Scotland.  We also deliver training to many young sports leaders across Scotland.  There are many primary and secondary School Handball Festivals as a result; and we see many young athletes continue their Handball journey by joining their local clubs.  A number have gone on to play professionally with European clubs, as well as representing Scotland and Team GB in international competition.  We have vibrant domestic league and cup competitions.  The current highlight of the domestic season is the season-ending British Handball Super Cup – where the top two teams from Scotland (Women and Men) play against the top two teams from England.  The NorDan British Handball Super Cup was broadcast live on BBC Sport in May 2022, and was broadcast live on other streaming platforms in 2023.