Sue Storey: My first 100 days as CEO
30th March 2020
Wednesday, 25th March marked my 100th working day in the post as Chief Executive of Volleyball England and, wow, what an interesting time it is to be a CEO in sport!
I started on 4th November 2019 and quickly learned the 2 key facts about volleyball’s National Governing Body – that the Hub team are excellent and are committed to delivering the best possible service to the volleyball community, and secondly that there is a fantastic army of volunteers who give so much to ensure this great sport happens.
The Hub team have been through many changes over the past few years and have faced some challenges and hardships; in resourcing, in finance, in pay and in numbers – yet I was met by a vibrant, positive and motivated team with an amazing team spirit who show on a daily basis how much they live to our values of being open – innovative – respectful – connected – and inclusive, and they’re a genuinely nice group of people to work with too. Thank you, team, it’s a pleasure to work with you.
I was genuinely amazed at the dedication and passion of the fantastic volunteers who give so much of their time to support our wonderful sport, without these true heroes this sport would not exist. I am proud and honoured to do whatever I can to support you, thank you for all you do.
So, what have I been doing? Well clearly the last couple of weeks have been some challenging and strange times for us, especially as we are all working from home and learning to adjust to the new norm of daily contact through video conferencing – so far so good – in fact, it’s going so well we will all have to re-learn how to work in an office again!
In the past 100 days I’ve spent a lot of time out and about getting to games and getting to meet lots of people, and I’ve been in ‘listening and learning mode’ along the way. I have seen so much to be positive about and it’s also pleasing to see some easy wins, but then also some longer-term challenges that we need to tackle.
A few highlights:
- Communications - As a team we are trying to really reach out and talk to our community more, using social media platforms and our website – I am loving the conversations! Please keep talking to us.
- Volleyzone - We are working very hard to improve Volleyzone which I know has been a challenge for so many in our community. It’s not perfect yet but we are seeing lots of improvements and feel we are making progress.
- Finance – We have migrated to a new financial system whilst having a complete change of finance staff, and are now deep into trying to understand what our future will look like post-Covid-19. I have to acknowledge Sport England in this area; they have really stepped up and are supporting NGBs through these very difficult and challenging times.
- What does good look like? – We have also started some thinking about what good looks like for our sport. There will be more to follow on this but I really want to understand from the volleyball community: what would good look like for you? (Covid-19 aside!)
The next 100 days will be challenging, strange, unusual and unprecedented (hopefully this lockdown won’t be as long as 100 days!), the world of sport will be a different place post-Covid-19 but I really hope this time will really bond our community. We should all support and care for our fellow volleyballers, look after our team mates and our communities. This is also an opportunity to look at how we can be better and how we can better serve our volleyball community – I would love to hear any ideas you have.
I am still incredibly proud and privileged to be the Chief Executive of this exciting sport and feel this is a fantastic opportunity to continue to improve for the future, to grow the sport, to support all the community and show everybody how great volleyball is.
Take care of yourselves, stay safe and keep #digginginthegarden.
Chief Executive, Volleyball England