“When challenged or faced with an extremely difficult decision, one that could possibly be unpopular, or could possibly focus the media on the organisation, that you had to be sure it was the right decision. You had to be sure that you yourself could go to go to bed at night and be comfortable with the decision that you made. And that’s the first part of a difficult equation.”

Jane Allen made the move to British Gymnastics nearly ten years ago, from a similar (but smaller) organisation in Australia. She chats with Nick Meakin about leading a large organisation through changing (and occasionally challenging) times, the importance of communication, and the opportunities for young women in senior leadership roles today – while also offering invaluable advice for anyone looking to make a cross-continental career move.

Nick Meakin is Head of Sport at The Playbook, the Hanover Group’s game-changing sport and consumer communications agency.


Jane is the Chief Executive Officer of British Gymnastics, a position she has held since 2010 and she became a certified member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in 2011. She commenced her Sports Administration career over 33 years ago in Australia and worked in several sports including softball, athletics, rowing and gymnastics. Her involvement has included various roles in sports administration including CEO of Gymnastics Australia for 13 Years. Jane has also been involved as a coach, an official and on volunteer club committees for many years which has given her a strong understanding of issues within sport from club through to national level. Jane is also involved actively in international gymnastics affairs and has been a member of the FIG Marketing Commission since 2010. She has extensive major event experience and has played a leadership role in the 1994, 2005 & 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.

All opinions are the participants’ own, and do not represent those of Hanover Communications.