A tribute to David Morby, FCIMSPA

David Morby

Many will remember David from when he worked for Kirklees Council, based in Huddersfield, rising up to be Assistant Director. He was also well known as both a Past President and Trustee of the Institute of Sport and Recreation Management (ISRM) and a Trustee of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

He had many roles in Kirklees across the whole spectrum of sport and recreation management, sport and physical activity development. Together with his wife Alison (Ali) he pioneered much of the early work acknowledging the major role that sport and physical activity would play in the development of the profession. It was therefore most appropriate that David played a key role in the formation of CIMSPA.

He joined the ISRM Board of Trustees in 2006 at a time when crucial discussions were commencing between ISRM, the former Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management (ILAM) and the National Association for Sports Development (NASD) to try and form a new institute for the profession. Many members will remember that these discussions became very difficult and the merger issue created major debates for the bodies involved over a long period.

David played a vital role during these discussions, he was the Trustee that didn’t need to speak on every point but when he did speak everyone listened. He was the archetypal Yorkshireman; not short of an opinion and not afraid to express his opinion in any kind of forum. In saying that, he always made his points with dignity and eloquence – quick to the point and with total respect for his audience.

It was quite fitting that David went on to be a member of the first board of the merged body – IMSPA – which then quickly achieved its Royal Charter later in 2011 – creating a chartered professional body to build a recognised profession for the sector.

He was an active member of ISRM, initially at local level in the Yorkshire and Humberside region, and in 2008 he became National President. David was a keynote speaker at several ISRM national conferences – talking with great authority based on actual experience of delivery. He was particularly concerned about the value of sport and physical activity to young people in deprived areas and was always able to give actual examples of initiatives that he had been personally involved with, both on a professional and voluntary basis.

David was a great supporter of Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL), the local charitable leisure trust operating in the Kirklees area, initially as the trust’s Client Officer before “jumping ship” and becoming a KAL Trustee when he left the Council in 2015. David was very popular with fellow Trustees and KAL staff alike, never shy of voicing his opinion and making sure that the organisation remembered it was a charity.

Proud of his Yorkshire roots, hailing from Dewsbury, he was a keen follower of rugby league. He was an enthusiastic endurance runner and together with Ali set many “challenges” as he liked to call them. To say that he would never make these challenges simple is a complete understatement and for those that knew David or followed him on Facebook you will know exactly what we mean.

David Morby served in the armed forces in Northern Ireland, Germany and Cyprus pre his local authority career. Following his 65th Birthday, on New Year’s Eve, he had set a series of personal challenges for 2020 based on the number 65 to raise sponsorship for Combat Stress, the mental health charity for veterans. He recently summarised his interests to Tara Dillon – completely selfless to the last:

“I’m still a Trustee at Kirklees Active Leisure, a part time lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and I still do some work through Summit14*. I also do some international volunteering projects with young people. So still busy. Need to keep out of my better halves way whilst she completes her PhD.”

All in all, one of the really good guys who made a difference and will be sadly missed from all of those who had the very good fortune to cross his path.


Funeral arrangements

Halifax, Tuesday 28 January 2020, 9:45am

Members who wish to attend should contact Alison Morby for full information.
Email: alimorby@hotmail.co.uk

Family flowers only please. Donations to Combat Stress

*The leadership and mentoring organisation founded by David

Incorporated by Royal Charter Charity registration number 1144545

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