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Communications and External Affairs Manager

  • Organisation: Sport and Recreation Alliance
  • Salary: £32,000- £36,000
  • Closing Date: 03 December 2023 | Marketing & Communications

 Job Role – Communications and External Affairs Manager

Salary £32k to £36K (per annum, dependent on experience, plus paid holiday, hybrid working from day one and benefits package)

Are you looking for an opportunity to work in the UK sport sector and play a part in building the political landscape surrounding sport, health and wellbeing?

Are you interested in bringing your communication, media and public relations skills to an organisation working to improve the lives of people across the UK through sport and recreation?

The Sport and Recreation Alliance (SRA), representative body for the grassroots sport and recreation sector in the UK, is looking for a passionate communications and external affairs professional to join our energetic and ambitious team.

In what is an exciting year leading up to a General Election, we are looking for a Communications and External Affairs Manager who will play a large role in shaping and driving forwards the work of the SRA, highlighting and advocating the interests of our members and boosting our reach, profile and impact across the sports sector, media and Government.

We are looking for a self-starter, with excellent communication and inter-personal skills, and a strong understanding of the media (national and trade), parliamentary and political landscapes.

About Us

At the SRA, we strongly believe in the transformational power of sport and recreation to positively shape lives and help drive societal and economic growth. We recognise the untapped potential of our sector and actively advocate on its behalf to help foster a happier, healthier and more prosperous nation where more people from all backgrounds can participate and be active.

As one of the main and longest standing bodies in the Sport and Physical Activity sector, our role is to protect and promote the interest of our members who range from traditional governing bodies of sport (including the FA, the RFU, the ECB, England Netball), to outdoor and water pursuits (including British Canoeing and the RYA), to movement and dance organisations (including the British Dance Council and the Royal Academy of Dance).

This a busy role and represents a good chance to learn and make your mark. The environment is very positive and fun as you would expect in a sporting organisation, but we work hard. As a member of our team, you’ll be doing everything you can to deliver our strategy. And we’ll be doing everything we can to support you every step of the way.

For the team employed at the Alliance, it is more than just a job – as a team and organisation, we want to make a difference. The Alliance may be small, but the work and the impact is far-reaching. Whilst we are focused on meeting targets and delivering outcomes, we know that it is important that people maintain a healthy life-work balance and feel they are looked after. We actively encourage learning and development and have introduced a coaching approach to performance reviews and have implemented a new recognition and reward framework

We’re committed to helping all of our team develop their skills and reach their full potential. From face-to face training to networking and volunteering – you’ll have all the opportunities you need to make the right moves for you. We know the postholder may not start with expertise in all areas described in the job description but we still actively encourage you apply as this can be developed in post.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A track record of developing and delivering successful communications plans and public facing campaigns to drive meaningful engagement.
  • A strong background in external affairs and experience of developing strategies to influence UK decision makers.
  • Experience of parliamentary engagement and strong knowledge of how Westminster and Whitehall operate.
  • Strong skills in networking and the ability to build and maintain effective relationships
  • Experience of successfully managing relationships with journalists and UK media contacts and good understanding of the UK media landscape.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, attention to detail and ability to read and understand complex documents.
  • Ability to respond flexibly to changing priorities, work autonomously, and manage a range of tasks and deadlines effectively.

An ideal candidate, though not essential, might also demonstrate:

  • Understanding of the Alliance’s and the sport sector’s key strategic policy objectives and how our policy and public affairs work supports these.
  • Understanding of the impact of social and fiscal policy on sport and recreation, and how investment in sport and recreation can in turn contribute to a healthy and prosperous nation.
  • Knowledge of the breadth of organisations that make up the sport and recreation sector.
  • Passion for sport and physical activity.

Please refer to the full job description to see more detail of the main tasks and responsibilities.

Benefits of working at the Alliance

  • 25 days paid holiday, increasing to 27 days after 3 years and 30 days after 5 years. Paid bank holidays. You also have the option to buy an additional 5 days leave per year.
  • In addition, we offer 3.5 privilege days which is taken between Christmas and New Year.
  • 2 moments that matter days to be taken each year which can be used for whatever is important to you - from celebrating a birthday to a movie day.
  • 4 volunteering days per year.
  • No long-hours culture. Our team work hard but we strongly discourage late working. We like our team to be able to enjoy their personal life as well as their time at work.
  • Centrally located attractive office in Holborn which includes collaboration spaces and is close to shops, cafes, bars, gyms and sport clubs.  
  • Hybrid working from day 1 – all the team do a mixture of working at home and office working.
  • Focus on learning and development. The team are encouraged to discuss their career paths with their line managers as our new approach to performance appraisals. We also tap into the expertise within the sector for employees to shadow with possible mentoring opportunities and a focus on learning from each other including our Board members.
  • Enhanced sick leave, maternity, paternity and adoption leave.
  • Special leave ranging from dependents and carers leave, household emergency, moving house through to bereavement leave for family members and pets.
  • Private healthcare with Vitality which includes a range of reward partners.
  • £250 annually towards gym, sports club or sports equipment purchases.
  • Choice of 2 pension providers.
  • Access to an employee assistance programme through Health Assured should you need additional financial or emotion support. We annually train members of our team to become Mental Health First Aiders.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity is valued within our team. More than just encouraging your application, we're committed to conscious inclusion that (we hope) cultivates an ethos of belonging, connection and shared purpose. It’s this philosophy that drove us to shape our values and behaviours and we open our doors to those who share those values.

Every role in the Alliance team is open to applications from all sections of society. We believe in the potential of everyone; regardless of race, religion or belief, ethnic origin, different physical ability, family structure, socioeconomics, age, nationality, marital, domestic or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other difference that makes you, well, you.

Our recruitment process anonymises your application at shortlisting stage. If you are invited to interview and you have a physical or mental medical condition which could impact on your ability to participate in the Alliance’s recruitment process, please let us know before your interview by emailing the recruiting manager who is recruiting for this position or HR.

How to apply

To apply, please send a CV with a covering letter outlining why you want the role and how you meet the role specification. Your covering letter should be 2 sides of A4 maximum. Please send your CV and covering letter to

If you would like an informal chat about the role, please contact the recruitment inbox and we will ask the recruiting manager to make contact to discuss.

The closing date for applications is 11.59pm on Sunday 3rd December. Should we receive a large volume of applications, we may decide to close the application process early.

Protecting your data

Prior to completing and submitting an application, please refer to our privacy notices on our website.

Equality and Diversity Monitoring

It would really help us if you were able to complete our equality and diversity monitoring survey found here. This is anonymous and does not form part of the recruitment process.

Recruitment Agencies - Please note we are only looking at direct sourcing for this role and if this were to change, we will contact our preferred agencies directly.

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