BAFA is delighted to announce Warren Smart is taking on a new role focusing on improving facilities for our sport.

The Head of National Facilities Development role is a new volunteer role, reporting directly to BAFA Chief Executive Pete Ackerley.

Warren previously held the role of BAFA Game Development Manager, where he focused on developing associate teams. Last season he stepped up to lead on contact football scheduling, planning and delivery during a challenging and abbreviated Covid-19 delayed season. As many aspects of Warren’s previous role now sit within the Contact Commission structure headed up by Mark Snow, his development remit has been revised to focus on this important part of BAFA’s long term vision.

Key areas of focus for the role will be to develop a facilities strategy for British American Football, support and educate facility providers to improve their understanding of the requirements for our sport and help clubs build successful local partnerships. In addition, Warren will also undertake an analysis of existing provision within our sport, and work closely with Sport England, and other home country sports councils to represent BAFA in planning groups and consultations. Long term, Warren will also lead on facility focused funding applications for BAFA, as well as providing advice and guidance to clubs making facility funding applications.

“Establishing high quality environments to play and perform is a key element of our long-term vision to professionalise British American Football and to create the most engaging playing experience for all our participants,” explains CEO Pete Ackerley. “The end goal is to have our own National Centre for American Football but there are a lot of smaller steps to be taken on that journey first. Warren is going get us underway and will become the facilities ‘go to’ person for our clubs and stakeholders. One of his first actions will be to reach out to clubs to understand the facilities that they are using currently and what their challenges are. This means we can build a picture of current provision and where we most need to prioritise our support, guidance and education to help make sure the right facilities are in place.”

Warren says: “Planning facilities has long been a complicated challenge for clubs, including the security of knowing if a venue will be available for the future, how to improve and maintain facilities and how to partner with others to benefit and get the best from those facilities. I’m excited to be developing a focused role for BAFA and our members and look forward to working with clubs up and down the country.”