Jackie Kingham, who has joined Hunslet as a Non-Executive Director, brings well over a decade of experience in the Financial Services industry – working at Investment Banks and Big4 Consulting firms across various roles in Treasury, Fixed Income and the Corporate Bank Sales – to the south Leeds outfit’s cause.

The 37-year-old New Zealander has lived in this country for thirteen years. She aims to utilise her acquired expertise leading global transformation programmes and client strategy to help Hunslet revitalise and drive forward commercial and business strategy development across areas such as sponsorships and partnerships, and diversity and inclusion.

Kingham, who plays Football, Netball and Hockey, is also a Non-Executive Director at the West Riding FA and admits to being a `sports nut’. She says: “I have always loved playing sports. In New Zealand, sports are all around you and you spend a lot of time outside playing anything and everything. Rugby Union and Rugby League are really popular in New Zealand and I used to follow the Auckland Warriors (now New Zealand Warriors) and attend some games as well. It has hard not to know about League when you grow up in a country like New Zealand. Touch Rugby is also really big in New Zealand, especially over the summer, so I used to get involved in that as well.”

She continues: “I’m delighted to have become involved with Hunslet after seeing an advertisement on LinkedIn, posted by the Rugby Football League, inviting people to become involved with the sport as part of its Diverse Boards initiative I was really excited on becoming aware that the RFL was seeking more diverse NED candidates. Looking at the list of clubs looked, I wanted to make sure that I worked with a club that was fairly close to where I live, and Hunslet fit the bill perfectly. I’m looking forward to attending some forthcoming home games and getting to know the club and the people around it. I’ve been looking for a new direction in my career for some time and I’m delighted to be on board at the South Leeds Stadium.”

“Sports are very important to me,” Kingham concludes, “not only in terms of the enjoyment and fitness benefits. Playing team sports is so important about building personal confidence, leadership skills and lasting friendships. That is why I am particularly interested in making sports more accessible, especially for young people.”

Hunslet’s CEO Neil Hampshire adds: “We already have a strong reputation for having female representation at board level and Jackie’s appointment continues that trend. As well as having an extensive business background, which brings stronger governance to our decision making, Jackie is active across a number of sports at both participant and administrative levels. We want to utilise that experience and enthusiasm to help engage the next generation of female fans.

“Jackie will also have a key role to play in developing our Inclusivity and Diversity strategy as we look to put the club at the heart of our local, and fantastically diverse, South Leeds community. It’s a real coup to have her work with us and, as she settles into the Hunslet family, I’m sure she’ll find the role both challenging and rewarding.”