With the 2018 Commonwealth Games just over a year away, Team England has welcomed three key people to its team to boost preparations for the Games.

Commonwealth Games England is fully focused on sending the best prepared and largest English team to ever leave these shores for an overseas games, and as a result CGE has grown its commercial and operations teams.

Laura Spaven, who spent over two and a half years working on the 2015 Rugby World Cup Commercial Programme as Brand Manager and Commercial Operations Venue Manager, has joined Team England as Commercial Account Manager, where she will lead on all of Commonwealth Games England’s commercial operations, working with current and prospective partners.

Spaven, who joins CGE from Octagon Marketing where she worked with Delta Airlines and Chelsea FC, brings with her over seven years of experience working across marketing and sponsorship strategy and delivery, account servicing and commercial rights management.

Laura Spaven, Commercial Account Manager at Commonwealth Games England said:

“I’m really excited to be back working on a global sporting event, I can’t wait for the Gold Coast and am looking forward to working with all our sponsors in the lead up to bring the achievements of Team England to as many people as possible.”

Joining Spaven is Frankie Kelly as Sport Operations Manager, following her recent role as Development Manager at Youth Sport Trust. Kelly oversaw the delivery of the 2016 School Games National Finals, held at Loughborough in September last year. Prior to that, Kelly was Head of Volunteer Engagement at British Swimming and joins Sports Director Don Parker in the considerable task of preparing Team England for next year’s Games. 

Frankie Kelly, Sports Operations Manager at Commonwealth Games England said:

“I am delighted to have joined Commonwealth Games England and look forward to working with the sports and wider team over the next 14 months on their preparation for the Games.”

Joining the team from Tennis Australia is Harriet Smith as Games Project Manager. Whilst working with Tennis Australia as Events and Operations Coordinator, Smith was responsible for delivering major cross-functional projects and events in conjunction with a range of governing bodies, partners and stakeholders. Smith will be a vital part of CGE’s team, working closely with Louise Bell in the Operations department.

Harriet Smith, Games Project Manager at Commonwealth Games England said:

“I'm thrilled to have joined the team at Commonwealth Games England. With just over a year of planning and preparation left, I can’t wait to see all of the hard work come to life on the Gold Coast in 2018.”

All of the Games delivery staff will work closely with Team England’s Chef de Mission and former world rowing champion Sarah Winckless who will provide leadership and direction to Team England before, during and post the 2018 Games.

Sarah Winckless, Chef de Mission for Commonwealth Games England, said:

“I believe that we have a fantastic team in place to deliver a successful Team England at the 2018 Gold Coast Games and am delighted to welcome Laura, Frankie and Harriet on board.

“We have a big task on our hands to send a team of over 600 athletes and staff to the Gold Coast and ensure they are given the best possible environment to perform at their highest levels next year. I am confident that the variety of experience with these three new members of the team will be greatly beneficial in delivering our aims.”

The Gold Coast Games in 2018 will be a chance for Team England to follow on from the success of finishing top of the medal table at Glasgow 2014, and it is fully focused on ensuring that it sends the best prepared team to the Gold Coast.