Two new Board Members join Spirit of 2012

Two new Board Members, Vikash Gupta and Swati Patel, have been appointed by Spirit of 2012 following a competitive recruitment campaign. The Board leads the organisation in delivering our vision and mission and ensures that Spirit fulfils its charitable objects. It includes public figures from sport, the arts the corporate sector and public life.  Vikash and Swati bring new, valuable legal and financial expertise to the table as well as great enthusiasm for the work of Spirit.

Vikash Gupta:

Vikash Gupta is a co-founder of VaR Capital, a financial advisory firm. He was previously a Director at Barclays, where he specialised in Wealth Management. He has been a frequent lecturer at law and business schools in the UK on the topics of M&A, Valuation and Wealth Management, and he holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon in the USA and a Bachelors in Engineering from Bangalore University.

Vikash is also a Black Belt and a former Indian Karate Champion. He is passionate about the topic of social mobility among young people and a keen believer in the legacy that sporting events can have, saying: “The legacy of an event should be measured not by the short term economic gains, but in terms of long term impact in engaging the local population, instilling a passion for volunteering and engaging young people in sports and arts activity. Spirit of 2012 has a critical role to play in ensuring the impact of the 2012 Games last beyond weeks and months. The trust should set an example for other countries to follow in how to ensure a lasting legacy of sporting events such as the Olympics and Paralympics.”

Swati Patel:

Swati volunteers her time as Club Secretary of her local running club, Crowborough Runners and is passionate about the benefits of sport and physical activity, saying: “I share Spirit’s vision and values and I am a firm believer in the power of community based-sport to bring together people of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs to combat isolation and promote social cohesion as well as physical and mental wellbeing. I hope to combine my passion for community-based sport with my professional skill set to help Spirit achieve its goals.”

A Finance and Restructuring lawyer with over 20 years’ experience advising companies, banks and financial institutions in Europe, Africa, Asia and the USA, Swati has been both an Equity Partner in international law firm Hunton & Williams and General Counsel to Arrowgrass Capital Partners. She has particular expertise and interest in risk awareness, ethical standards and governance.

"Swati and Vikash join the Spirit of 2012 Board as incredibly successful individuals in their respective careers. Their insight and experience will be a huge asset to Spirit of 2012 and our investment decisions." - Dugald Mackie, Spirit of 2012 Chair

Welcoming the two new members, Board Chair, Dugald Mackie, said: “Swati and Vikash join the Spirit of 2012 Board as incredibly successful individuals in their respective careers. Their insight and experience will be a huge asset to Spirit of 2012 and our investment decisions. They are also both passionate about the power of sport and community engagement to improve people’s lives, which is something we at Spirit are committed to supporting. I look forward to working with both of them.”

Stepping down from the Board is long-serving member John Gartside, OBE. John was a founder member of the Spirit of 2012 Board, having joined us from the national Big Lottery Board. John had a distinguished career in higher and further education and is an appointed Magistrate. He was also Chair of NHS Warrington and is a founder trustee of the Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Foundation for Peace, and the Warrington Wolves Foundation. He is a Member of the Grant Awarding Committee of the Cheshire Community Foundation and has been Chairman of the Warrington Disability Partnership since April 2015.

Paying tribute to John’s involvement with Spirit of 2012, Chief Executive Debbie Lye said: “John has been with Spirit from the very start, and his expertise, compassion and vast experience have been invaluable in helping to guide us through the big decisions that have come our way during that time. We will really miss having him on the Board. I’d like to express my personal gratitude to John for all he has done to set Spirit on the right path and join with all at Spirit of 2012 in wishing him all the very best for the future.”