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BKSA – proposed change of name and governance changes

BKSA – proposed change of name and governance changes

The BKSA announces that, in advance of the 2012 AGM (to be held on April 28th)  it is today launching a consultation with members on a proposed change of name and on changes to its governance structure (entailing a change to its articles of association).

I. Background and proposal in relation to the change of name

The BKSA was formed in 1999 and has grown from a meeting of 9 individuals to over 5000 members in 2012.

The Association’s remit continues to grow; covering a great variety of kitesports due to the ever increasing proportion of our members that participate in kitesports other than kitesurfing.

In the past five years the BKSA has offered training schemes, events and dealt with access issues for not just kitesurfing but also kitelandboarding and kitebuggying.

We have also had many multidiscipline clubs joining the BKSA as affiliated clubs including Wind, Wheels and Waves; Weston Super Mare; Plymouth Kite Club; Sheffield Kite flyers; Fleetwood Kite Club; The RAF Powerkite club to name but a few.

A recent survey (Jan 2012) provided the following information:


15% of our members regularly kitelandboard, 42% sometimes kitelandboard and 51% own a Landboard


14% our members regularly Kitebuggy, 17% sometimes kitebuggy and 23 % own a Buggy.

Change of name

The BKSA (British Kitesurfing Association) has recently completed a strategy review, culminating in the adoption in February 2011 of a detailed four year strategy.

Amongst other things it was proposed that the Members be invited to change the name of the Association to something that more fully represents the work that the Association does and the members it represents. Lots of ideas were discussed however the BKSA have a good reputation and brand identity so it was felt that the name should not be that dissimilar to what is used at present.

The proposal that the Board currently intends to put to members is “British Kitesports Association”. The acronym can remain the same – BKSA.

The Board believes the proposed change of name offers the following advantages:

  • One unified voice for all Kitesports
  • One body for access
  • Same initials
  • Similar branding – refresh will be launched in January 2013
  • Realignment will assist in gaining funding for all sports once recognised

Question: The BKSA welcomes feedback from its members on the proposed name change that it is intended will be proposed at the AGM in April. Please send responses to to arrive by 12 pm 21st March.


1999 – BKSA formed
2000 – First national events
2001 – Power Sports Federation formed – encompassing all sports and associations to provide Insurance cover
2005 – Split from Power Sports Federation
2006 – Own Insurance package / Sport England application started
2007 – Sport England wanted one Governing Body for kitesports
– Independent kitesurfing training scheme launched
2008 – Powerkite/ Kitelandboard/ Kitebuggy  training scheme launched
2009 –  Launched national freestyle kitelandboarding and buggy title events ,
– Offered governance of kitesurfing by Sport England, Sport Scotland, Welsh Sport and Sport NI
– Converted to a “not for profit “ Association limited by guarantee
– New board structure
2010 – BKSA accepted governance  and announced in April
2011 – Strategy Work – identifying need to change name and governance
2012 – Name Change and Governance to be voted on at AGM April
– Soft rebrand following AGM
2013 – Full rebrand from 1 January 2013

II. Background and proposal in relation to the BKSA’s governance

The Association’s strategy review was facilitated by outside consultants with extensive experience in advising sports governing bodies. Their conclusion, which was accepted and adopted by the Board, was that the current board structure could be improved upon. Specifically, it was felt that there could be a more clear demarcation between the Directors (ultimately responsible for the governance of the Association) and those performing day-to-day tasks for the association (CEO-type tasks, finance, membership, training) which would be appointments by the Board.

It was noted that the very short notice periods and insecurity implied by being a Companies Act director may be off-putting to certain candidates that might otherwise consider agreeing to provide services to the Association.

At present the Association’s Board is made up of 5 Executives (Richard Gowers – Chairman; Pete Shaw – Vice Chairman; Jason Holland – Treasurer; Marc Rowley – Secretary; and Andy Gratwick – Head of Training) and 6 Non Executives

The proposal is to change the articles to end up with the following

  • The Board (including the Chairman) will be made up of exclusively of non-executive directors, elected for 3 year terms, with staggered re-election (1/3 to submit for re-election each year)
  • The Board would be responsible for procuring the delivery of the services required by the Association including CEO services, finance, membership and training. However the Board would have flexibility in deciding how these services would be provided. For example, in certain cases individuals could be appointed and in other cases the services could be outsourced to a service provider.
  • In practice, where the appointments were individuals, those appointed would most likely be invited to attend board meetings most of the time (but would not have a vote).
  • The appointments for service providers could be for fixed terms, giving some security to the individuals concerned (by contrast, board members can be removed on short notice by a simple majority of members under the Companies Act).
  • Committees and working-groups would report to the Board.

The Board believes the proposed governance change will preserve the accountability of the Board to members but will allow the Board more flexibility in deciding how to secure provision of the services the Association needs. This may include, where the Board feel it is appropriate, offering fixed term contracts or notice periods to individuals that feel that the very short notice periods implied by being a Companies Act Director do not offer the security they require to agree to an appointment.

Question: The BKSA welcomes feedback from its members on the proposed governance changes that it is intended will be proposed at the AGM in April. Please send responses to to arrive by 12 pm 21st March.