John Birch

John trained as a PE teacher at Loughborough from 1951-54.  After teaching he undertook further training at Carnegie before joining the CCPR as Research Officer in 1965.  He was responsible for the first ever research study on Indoor Sports Centres in 1970-71.  He transferred to the new executive Sports Council in 1970 and in 1974 became Chief Leisure and Cultural Services Officer for Waverley District Council.

John re-joined the Sports Council in 1980. He was Regional Director for the Greater London and South East Region and then in 1986 became Director of the Sports Council’s Regional Services.  After he retired in 1994 he put his experience to good use over the next ten years as Director of Second Innings Leisure Consultancy. His contribution to the establishment and development of sport in the UK, and specifically sports centres, has been enormous. As a member of the Sports Leisure Legacy Project Editorial Group, John has been a tireless supporter and contributor to the story, able to reflect on 60 years of progress.