North East’s new sport and physical activity chair vows to push legacy

A well-known Sunderland sport's chief has been appointed as interim Chair of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) board in the North East.

Dr Michael Cassop Thompson is taking up the position with immediate effect and has vowed to help keep the legacy of the London 2012 Games alive through sport and physical activity in the region.

Dr Cassop Thompson who has worked in the industry for more than 25 years, said it is vital for future generations that the North East delivers a legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed as interim Chair of CIMSPA North East.  

CIMSPA has an important role to play in securing talent for the future and I am really pleased to be driving the CIMSPA North East team.

 As the unified voice of the workforce CIMSPA has a critical role to play in ensuring a lasting legacy from the Games. The institute will be doing this by raising the standards of the workforce, of the future, to increase profitability in the sector and contribute to UK plc.

CIMSPA North East is committed to ensuring the sport and physical activity industry continues to thrive along with encouraging more people in the region to become active.”

Passionate about the sector, Dr Cassop Thompson has worked both on the frontline – as a manager of multiple leisure facilities – and most recently conducting academic research in the Sport and Physical Activity sector - looking at how value is sought by customers in health and fitness clubs.

He is the author of a number of professional journal publications.

Welcoming his new role, Chief Executive Officer, Sean Holt, said:

“CIMSPA is thrilled Dr Cassop Thompson is stepping into the role as interim Chair for the North East.

Dr Cassop Thompson is taking up the position from the CIMSPA North East management board, which is made up of high calibre members with an excellent mix of skills and expertise.

With his support and guidance I know CIMSPA North East will continue to play a fundamental part in representing the sport and activity sector, while ensuring the region’s workforce of tomorrow is focussed on achieving even greater standards of delivery.”

Mr Holt also thanked former North East Chair Ian Gray who recently stepped down as Chair, because of work commitments.

CIMSPA North East will be holding a seminar on December 17 at Sport Central, Northumbria University, titled 'Are low cost gyms the perfect business model?'.

For more information about the event, and to book your place, please log on to


For more information, please contact Donna Roddy on 0121 710 4482.


Dr Michael Cassop Thompson

  • Former general manager of multiple leisure facilities including Newcastle Road Baths, Community North Outdoor Sports Complex and Downhill Indoor Sports Centre.
  • Assistant Director of Sports Facilities (multiple facilities) including Falmer Outdoor Sports, Cockcroft Sports Centre, Eastbourne Sports Centre.
  • Director of Service Management: training and consultancy (Cassop Thompson Ltd).
  • In the past he has been part of project teams, which have achieved awards in Investors in People, ISO 90002 and delivered high profile global events, such as the World Karate Championship and World Championship Boxing.
  • Dr Cassop Thompson is an award-winning writer for written publications (William Francis Award).
  • He was awarded Fellowship for his contributions to the Chartered Institute of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) in 2010.


  • Launched in 2011, CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector.
  • CIMSPA provides leadership, support and empowerment for professionals working in sport and physical activity and a single unified voice for the sector. It also aims to drive standards of professional practice, which in turn will support increased participation, outcomes and profit.
  • CIMSPA has been awarded Chartership status by the Royal Privy Council, which came into effect at the start of January 2012.

Donna Roddy, Citydesk Sport, on behalf of CIMSPA

The Fireworks, 3-6 The Old Fire Station, 68 Albion Street, Birmingham B1 3EA

office    0121 710 4482

direct    00 44 121 710 4482

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