Intellectual Powerhouse Group (I.P.G.)
“This week sees the first of several critical meetings with the RFL and IMG regarding the future of the game. On Thursday, there will be a meeting at Huddersfield Giants to understand and discuss the grading criteria proposals from IMG. I cannot emphasis strongly enough how critical this Project is for both our Club and also the game as a whole.”
“With that in mind, I have set up a focus group to concentrate solely on this hugely important Project and I am pleased to announce that Callum Irving; Damian Clayton M.B.E. and Vicky Atkinson will be focussing their undoubted experience and talents on moving this forward and creating a strategic plan for our Club as well as contributing to the RFL/IMG focus groups along the way.”
“These people are highly respected people in their particular professional areas and we are very lucky to have them supporting the Halifax Panthers with their intellectual prowess and network connect etc.”
“A hugely significant time of change is looming and we will all be working very hard to ensure Halifax Panthers are at the forefront of professional input and contribution to ensure our future growth, as well as that of the game.”
Introducing you to the members of the Intellectual Powerhouse Group
Squadron Leader Damian Clayton MBE RAF
Born in Brighouse, he began his rugby league journey at the age of eight, playing for Brighouse Rangers in the Pennine League. After joining the Royal Air Force in 1987, he embarked on a crusade to have the sport he loves be played and officially recognised in the Armed Forces. He captained the Royal Air Force for 15 years and also represented Combined Services; most recently he was the Head Coach of the UK Armed Forces side that competed in the Defence World Cup in Australia.
He is currently the UK Armed Forces Rugby League Chief Operating Officer and the Armed Forces representative on the Rugby Football League Community Board, who are charged with establishing policy and shaping the future of the Community Game in the UK. He was awarded the MBE for Services to Armed Forces Rugby League in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2002.
Regarding his recent appointment to the Halifax Panthers Intellectual Powerhouse Group (IPG), Damian said: ” I am delighted to join the IPG and look forward to helping develop Halifax Panthers strategic intent while being mindful and engaged with the intricacies of IMG’s Reimagining of Rugby League. With the new Board of Directors now firmly established at the helm, it is an exciting time for the club and a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate proactive thinking and considered planning to help place us at the forefront of future IMG initiatives and ultimately gain competitive advantage over our opposition.”
Callum currently works for FIFA as a High-Performance Specialist, advising FIFA Member Associations on their strategic plans in the area of high-performance. This incorporates their national teams, management and competition structures, licensing, talent development, education and talent identification. Additionally, Callum worked as a Project Manager in the creation and delivery of the FIFA Performance Analysis and Insights metrics for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, in which the team delivered the largest ever football data set to the competing teams and media rights holders.
“I am delighted to be working with the Panthers on this important piece of work, the club have set out bold ambitions but have also adopted a long-term and sustainable vision to achieve them. This is not only an important time for the club but also for the game and I cannot wait to contribute.”
“I hope with my experience of developing sustainable, long-term strategic plans with sporting organisations I am able to support the club in it’s ambitions.”
Vicky Atkinson is a chartered accountant and Director of Riley & Co Ltd. A well respected person in Calderdale financial circles and at the Club. She is a long term supporter of the club and Riley & Co Ltd have sponsored the Panthers for many years and prepare their year end financial accounts.
Vicky commented: ” I am delighted to join the focus group to help formulate and implement the strategy needed to obtain the highest possible RFL grading and secure an exciting future for the Halifax Panthers.”
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