The Department for Communities has reappointed five members to the Board of Sport NI including Wilma Erskine who is a Non-Executive Director of Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort.
Mr Richard Bullick has been reappointed from 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2024. He has served on the Board of Sport NI since 1 April 2014.
Ms Wilma Erskine OBE, Mr Kyle Ferguson, Mr Kieran Harding and Dr Catherine O’Mullan have been reappointed from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024. They have served on the Board of Sport NI since 1 January 2016.
The constitution of the Sports Council for NI (Sport NI) is set out in Schedule 1 of the Recreation and Youth Service (NI) Order 1986. Sport NI works with the Department for Communities to deliver on Sport Matters: The NI Strategy for Sport and Physical Recreation, 2009-2019.
This Strategy sets out a new shared sporting vision of “a culture of lifelong enjoyment and success in sport”, as well as the key strategic priorities for sport and physical recreation, and informs the direction of future investment – underpinning three areas: participation, performance and places.
Board member positions are unpaid, they receive expenses only. The time commitment is 12 days per year.
These reappointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland Code of Practice.
A press release said: ‘All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments Northern Ireland requires political activity of appointees to be published.’
The following biographical details were provided:
Ms Wilma Erskine OBE
Ms Erskine retired in September 2019 after working as Manager of Royal Portrush Golf Club for 35 years and in the golf industry for 40 years.
She is currently a Non-Executive Director of Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort and a consultant within the golf and tourism industry.
Ms Erskine is involved with charity organisations and was awarded a BEM in 2015 and OBE in 2019 for services to Tourism and Golf. She was part of a team to stage the 148th Open Championship in Northern Ireland, the first time the tournament was held here since 1951.
This brought over £100 million of economic benefit to Northern Ireland during the week of the event.
She brings leadership and strategic direction experience to the Board, as well as team working skills. Ms Erskine has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.
Mr Richard Bullick
Mr Bullick is an experienced PR professional who has held public sector communication manager roles for more than a decade. He has previously worked as a management consultant in marketing and in tourism project management.
Mr Bullick has been a freelance sports journalist for more than 25 years covering three rugby World Cups and other major international events including the Ryder Cup and Cheltenham.
A long-time advocate for women in sport, Mr Bullick is currently a non-executive director of Netball NI and previously sat on Armagh’s Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) executive committee. He has served as a director of two building preservation trusts, one as company secretary. Mr Bullick has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.
Mr Kyle Ferguson
Mr Ferguson is a reader within the School of Sport at Ulster University. He has managed a range of European, national and regional sports related programmes delivering outcomes in sport inclusion, sports innovation, performance sport and physical activity.
His research focuses on the sport for development and the modernisation of public sector sports policy with practical experience across grassroots, community development and elite performance.
He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Mr Ferguson brings research skills, policy development and financial oversight to the Board. Mr Ferguson has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.
Mr Kieran Harding
Mr Harding is the Managing Director of Business in the Community Northern Ireland and has held Board positions with a number of leading charities.
He has over 20 years’ experience as an Irish Premier League football coach and is a Coach Educator for the Irish FA. Mr Harding has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.
Dr Catherine O’Mullan
Dr O’Mullan has over 30 years’ experience in the further and higher education sector where she established strategic partnerships with a range of stakeholders including the post primary sector, business and industry to develop bespoke skills training.
Dr O’Mullan is currently undertaking the post Head of Curriculum and Operations at North West Regional College. She also sits on the Board of the Odyssey Trust Company, is Chair of W5 and is a non-executive director on the Board of the Western Health and Social Care Trust.
Dr O’Mullan has also recently joined the Board of the Down and Connor Diocesan Education Committee. She brings extensive experience in leadership, strategic direction and team work to the Board. Dr O’Mullan has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years.