Meet the new ESFA Chair – Stuart Botham

The ESFA is delighted to announce that Stuart Botham has stepped into the role of ESFA chair for the 2022/23 season. Stuart has chosen to support “Sport in Mind” as his Chair’s Charity for this season.

Stuart Joined Council in 2011 and is extremely proud to be assuming the position of ESFA Chair for season 2022-23. Stuart’s involvement in Schools’ football started in 1990 when he took up a teaching position at the Royal Liberty School in Romford, leading many school teams. This quickly moved into District football as a team manager and Secretary for the Havering Schools’ FA and then a natural progression into County football as a team manager for the Essex Schools’ FA for a number of years. 

During his time on council, Stuart has served on a range of sub-committees including National Competitions, PR and Marketing, chairing both. He has also organised, with the support of his colleagues at the Essex County Schools’ FA, an U18 international at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club, led regional school and district events and competitions and has been involved in the organisation and preparation of the Girls’ Under 15 representative teams trial processes on a regional and National level since 2012.

Stuart is incredibly proud of his involvement with the ESFA and never more-so than now as Chair for season 2022-23. He takes the honour extremely seriously and is determined to ensure that every student has the opportunity to play Schools’ Football in a safe, inclusive environment, whilst being supported in developing not only their talent, but their values such as leadership, honesty and integrity as well as their own character traits such as effort, determination and perseverance. Key life skills that are honed through school sport, in what is an ever changing, demanding world.  

Stuart pays tribute to the teachers and adults who work so tirelessly within Schools’ Football for the benefit of young people and is looking forward to exciting and challenging times ahead for the ESFA. He hopes to make many new friends on his travels as Chair this season.  

The ESFA’s Chairs Charity 2022/23

As a tradition, Stuart has selected a “Chair’s Charity” for his time as Chair of the ESFA. He has decided to support “Sport in Mind” a charity transforming the lives and mental health of children and adults through sport and physical activity.

Stuart said, “It is vital that we support all those who struggle with their mental health by working together with Sport in Mind to use all forms of activity as the vehicle to improve mood, raise self-esteem and reduce stress. There is much evidence that shows physical activity can have a profound and positive impact on mental wellbeing and I am very pleased that the ESFA is working in partnership with Sport in Mind to turn this rhetoric into reality and allow many to lead a more balanced and better lifestyle.

Neil Harris, CEO of Sport in Mind said: “I am absolutely delighted that the ESFA have selected Sport in Mind as their charity of the year. The money you raise will enable Sport in Mind to transform the lives of more people struggling with their mental health through Sport and physical activity. Beyond this I am excited by the opportunities our two organisations have to work together to really bring home the vital role sport and physical activity can play in looking after our mental health, especially for children and young people right across the country”

The ESFA is delighted to promote Sport in Mind for the 2022/23 season and you can click here for more information and how you can help support Stuart’s chosen charity.

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