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About The BGA

The British Gliding Association is the governing body for the sport of gliding in the UK. Our members are the 80 clubs that provide gliding facilities for their members – clubs that are spread throughout the UK from the north of Scotland to the SW tip of England and which range from small, member-run clubs through to some of the largest gliding clubs in the world. Through these clubs we represent and provide services to some 7000 UK glider pilots.

Our roles are many and varied. We provide advice and assistance to clubs on a wide range of topics, including finance, regulation, operations, and marketing and take a leading role in the development and promotion of gliding, including with young people.

We are committed to safe practices. We provide oversight of a variety of self-regulated activities and where externally regulated, we hold various CAA-issued approvals, for example for pilot training and and continuous airworthiness management.

We work in close collaboration with the Royal Aero Club (which represents all of UK airsports) and with other pan-sector bodies such as the General Aviation Safety Council and the GA Alliance. Internationally, through the European Gliding Union we partner with Europe Air Sports to protect the rights of the UK glider pilot and, in the wider arena, with the FAI International Gliding Commission.

The BGA is responsible for gliding competition in the UK and for the British Gliding Team, one of the most successful teams in international gliding competition.

The BGA Vision

Our vision for gliding is an exciting, rewarding and sustainable air sport for all and associated recreational activity facilitated nationwide to a high standard by gliding clubs on airfields whose future is secured, and in partnership with others including non-gliding activity.

To achieve this vision, the BGA aims to provide the membership with leadership and support to achieve:

A gliding operation within a 1-hour drive for 95% of the UK population.

Gliding club membership above 7000 and increasing.

A demographic profile of membership that converges closely with that of the UK population.

Training and coaching for development seen as a continuum across the full spectrum of gliding activities and   experience levels.

Competition and award processes which reflect evolving glider and pilot performance, as well as changing perceptions and measures of achievement.

Healthy and stable supply of instructors, with appropriate qualifications and a balanced age distribution.

An ethos of, and appetite for, volunteering amongst club members.

Awareness that gliding is an equal and responsible aviation and airspace stakeholder.

Maximum autonomy and minimum external regulatory involvement.

Wide public perception of the appeal, the value, and the success of British Gliding.

Some BGA key facts

Formed on 27th March 1930

80 clubs

7000 pilots

2100 gliders

1100 instructors

Around 230,000 flights pa

More than 1.5m kms flown each year

Numerous competitions organised each year

British Gliding Team with multiple recent World and European championship medal successes


The BGA employs a small professional staff, based at our offices in Leicester. You can find contact details for these here.

For many years, the BGA was honoured to have the late HRH Prince Philip as its President. The Vice-Presidents are:

  • Roger Q Barrett
  • Ben Watson MA FCA
  • David Roberts OBE B.Com FCA
  • Patrick Naegeli
  • Peter Harvey

The Association is led by an elected Executive Committee and much of the specialist work is carried out within volunteer committees. The committee leads are:

Airspace – Pete Stratten
Competitions & Awards – Alan Langlands
Development  – Dave Latimer
Flying Operations – Peter Moorehead
Instructors – Colin Sword
Safety – Tim Freegarde
Technical – Howard Torode

In addition, we are fortunate to have the services of specialist advisers, for example:

Child Protection – Karon Matten
Medical – Drs Frank Voeten and Tracy Ashton

Contact details for all committee chairmen and specialist advisors can be obtained by contacting the BGA office.

Executive Committee

  • Andy Perkins - Chairman

    Andy flies from Bidford GC and is an active cross country pilot, instructor and regional examiner.

    He has  three Diamonds, 2,500hrs gliding and is a tug pilot. He loves mountain flying and engaging with glider pilots the world over.  His mission: to positively develop and protect the three key pillars that result in support gliding; people, airfields and airspace.

    In his spare time, Andy is a senior first officer and training pilot with British Airways.

  • Matt Page

    Matt flies from Aston Down having taken up gliding in 2010 whilst at university. He actively supports the BGA’s junior development projects through UK Junior Gliding, and enjoys flying regional competitions in his ASW20. He is an active instructor and occasional winch driver at Cotswold Gliding Club. In his day job, Matt is a software developer in the engineering sector.

  • Nick Garland

    Nick learnt to fly at Booker and now flies from Dunstable via a brief stopover at Bicester. He has been flying since 2001, and also holds a PPL. In his spare time he juggles being a corporate lawyer with being a diligent father to his three young, mostly well-behaved, children.

  • Bill Brittain

    Bill flies from Milfield and has been an active member of Borders GC since 1992.  He was a Basic Instructor for several years and is currently Vice Chairman, Data Protection Officer and a tug pilot. Professionally, Bill works as an SME and Project Manager specialising in Strategy Implementation and Knowledge Management for a major US Corporation and lectures at several universities in the UK and Europe.

  • Peter Hibbard

    Pete started gliding with his father and brother at Anglia Gliding Club based at RAF Wattisham in Suffolk after having his first flight at 6 months old.
    He first went solo at 16 at Essex and Suffolk Gliding Club in 2000 and started cross country flying in the Junior Nationals in 2001. He flew his last Junior Nationals in 2009 and now supports young pilots with his work with UK Junior Gliding.
    Pete is a full rated instructor and tug pilot at Anglia Gliding Club. He is an active cross country pilot and flies an SHK in local and regional competitions.

  • Richard Brickwood

    Richard took up gliding in his late 40’s as an antidote to a career in the City but rapidly became hooked. He took early retirement in 2007 to concentrate on gliding – except it hasn’t worked out as quite as simply as that.

    Richard is a member of the Cambridge GC Management Committee, where where he has had several roles over the years, and is also a club Director, is an instructor, and a co-owner of a Shark FeS ‘which usually gets him home for dinner!’

    Richard describes himself as predominantly a flat land flier, has flown in the mountains in several countries, and he finds the whole gliding experience totally challenging and absorbing.

  • Rebecca Bryan

    Rebecca flies her ASW19B from Cambridge Gliding Centre, is an active Basic Instructor,  enjoys cross country flying and  is actively involved with the promotion of women in gliding. Rebecca is an experienced marketing and corporate relationship professional with a strong background in systems engineering.

  • George Metcalfe - Vice Chairman

    George began gliding in 1976, entered his first competition in 1979, and in 30+ years of “Nationals” has occupied almost every position in the results! He continues to fly cross-country frequently in UK, and hopes to resume expeditions to Europe when the ‘new normal’ permits. George’s past experience includes instructing and examining and he also served for 5 years as chairman of his home club, Lasham.

  • Lucy Wootton

  • David McGrath

Other Officials

  • Pete Stratten MBE - Chief Executive Officer

    Pete, the BGA’s CEO, has worked professionally in gliding since 1990. He is an active instructor and examiner, tug pilot and inspector, and flies an ASW27.

  • Tony Smith - Treasurer and Company Secretary

    Tony flies at Mendip and is a relative newcomer to gliding, going solo in January 2009. He holds a GPL and also an SLMG licence. Tony had a share in a Ka6e for a while and now owns a share in an SF 25C. He is a qualified accountant and runs his own practice.


The BGA has a number of awards that can be made to those who have given exceptional service to gliding, either at club or national level.

The BGA Diploma may be awarded to any individual serving a BGA club or the interests of UK gliding who has been nominated by a BGA club or by the BGA Executive Committee.

Instituted in 2004, the BGA Medal may be awarded to any individual serving the BGA or the broad interests of UK gliding who in the view of the BGA Executive Committee has rendered exceptional service to the British Gliding Association or to UK gliding. A list of recipients is here.

Past Chairmen

The BGA has benefited from the leadership of many outstanding and inspirational chairmen throughout its 85 year history.

  • 1930 EC Gordon-England
  • 1933 The Master of Semphill
  • 1934 CE Hardwick
  • 1934 Captain Latimer-Needham
  • 1935 PA Wills
  • 1935 D Brunt
  • 1946 D Hiscox
  • 1949 PA Wills
  • 1968 Sir P Scott
  • 1970 KG Wilkinson
  • 1972 C Simpson
  • 1976 RQ Barrett
  • 1980 TS Zealley
  • 1986 B Watson
  • 1990 D Spottiswood
  • 1996 R Dixon
  • 2000 D Roberts
  • 2006 P Naegeli
  • 2012 P Harvey

Philip Wills BGA Chairman 1935 and 1949-68

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