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The British American Football Association (BAFA) wishes to formally announce the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Pete Ackerley. Pete’s decision, reached after careful consideration and discussions with the Board, reflects personal circumstances and a desire to strike a balance between professional commitments and family well-being. Under Pete’s four-year tenure, his strategic leadership has resulted in many milestones. And it is fitting that we acknowledge his service.

Pete guided us successfully through the challenges of the pandemic – arguably the most challenging period in our history. This included securing £90,000 funding which saw us through this turbulent time.

Yet Pete’s contributions extended far beyond financial achievements. Under his guidance, BAFA planted the seeds for performance improvements on the international stage across many of our formats, and also the emergence of disability football. His foresight and dedication played a crucial role in positioning BAFA favourably as Flag Football ascends to Olympic sport status, presenting a significant growth opportunity. Our organisation is now more agile, and the foundations are in place for long-term growth as a sport equipped with the structure, rigour and robust processes required of a funded, professional national governing body.

Recognising the need for stable leadership, Pete’s departure comes at a pivotal juncture, allowing his successor to shape BAFA’s future authentically. While the Board expresses sadness at Pete’s decision, we fully understand and support the reasoning behind it. The recruitment process for a new CEO is already underway led by independent firm, Kinsey Sears. It will be incorporating input from the wider Britball community to ensure alignment with the organisation’s values. Details of the process – and the crucial part that stakeholders will play – are to be released later this week.

We will also be announcing details of the governance of BAFA over the interim period in the coming days – with plans already firmly in place. And although Pete steps down as Chief Executive with immediate effect, he has graciously agreed to support in ensuring a smooth transition in leadership and, more immediately, in concluding the funding applications in progress with Sport England and UK Sport. As an instrumental figure in bringing us to this pivotal point, we are delighted that Pete has committed to seeing this through, thereby leaving a legacy of a secure future for the growth of our sport at this very exciting time. The Board aims to announce Pete’s successor in the Spring, confident that the new Chief Executive will build upon the solid foundation laid by Pete.

BAFA extends heartfelt gratitude to Pete Ackerley for his unwavering dedication and leadership, which has significantly contributed to the organisation’s continued progression. The Board looks forward to a smooth transition and continued growth under new leadership.


After a period of contemplation and reflection, I have arrived at the difficult decision to step down from my role as CEO of the British American Football Association (BAFA).

Over the past four years, it has been an honour to serve as the lead of our organisation. During this time, I am proud to have contributed to the advancement of our sport, laying the groundwork for its professionalisation across Britain. Our efforts have also planted the seed for the growth in participation in Contact and Flag, Women’s, Men’s, Youth, and Disability football. Notably, achieving Olympic sport status is a milestone that marks a significant turning point for our sport and the Association. The work we have undertaken in seeking to open the vital lifeline of subsidy and support from national sports funding bodies commensurate with NGBs of similar standing and status will act as a catalyst for further positive change. Britball is re-emerging on the sporting landscape – and I am proud to have been a part of making this happen.

As we look ahead to 2024, I am excited about the upcoming phase of development. The inclusion of Flag Football as an Olympic sport is a momentous achievement, with far-reaching implications that will resonate throughout all levels of the game.

My contemplations on finding the right time to pass on the mantle did not arise  from a lack of enthusiasm or dedication to our sport; to the contrary, Rather, it was based on personal circumstance after discussions with my family. If I had resolved to stay, I would have committed myself to developing and delivering the growth of our sport in the build-up to the 2028 Olympics and for its legacy beyond. I would have pledged to lead the organisation for close to a decade. Upon reflection, I recognise that embarking on the next stage of the journey over the next five years would eventually have come at the cost of commitment to family, to my health and wellbeing. I was not prepared to begin the next chapter, but not end it. I am in a good place, and so too, is British American Football.

Recognising the critical need for stable and consistent leadership, I therefore concluded that it would be unfair for a successor to inherit a vision that isn’t entirely theirs. Therefore, I’ve decided that stepping down at this pivotal juncture will allow my successor to shape the organisation’s future with their unique values and principles. In discussing my decision with the board while regretful, they understand its rationale and support it.

I know that BAFA is in capable hands under the leadership of Nichole and board members. I have full confidence in their ability to initiate the process of selecting a worthy successor, and I pledge my support during the initial transition period. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each member of the team, particularly the support of Amanda across so many areas of the operations of our game. I also want to thank all our affiliate members, key partners and valued stakeholders for their unwavering support and commitment. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together.

Thank you for the opportunity to lead the sport, and I wish BAFA every continued success in its journey.

Yours sincerely,