At New Directions Rugby, we’re delighted to introduce our new chairperson, Adrian Canale-Parola. We celebrated the beginning of his journey, and the end of our previous chair, Wendy Back’s service, here at New Directions at our annual general meeting on the 15th of November 2022.  

Celebrating Wendy Back 

Wendy Back, our previous chair, stood down from our board of trustees after dedicating an outstanding 14 years as a trustee of our charity. Wendy led the board through a variety of challenges, changes, opportunities, and growth over the last 14 years, and worked incredibly hard to shape New Directions Rugby into the supportive, inclusive, diverse, and committed charity that we are today. We’ll be forever grateful for all the work that Wendy has done for us as an organisation and all of the people we support on a daily basis. 


Introducing Adrian Canale-Parola  

Adrian Canale-Parola has been a board member since May 2021, having previously worked for over 30 years as a GP Principal in Rugby. During this time, Adrian was appointed as Clinical Assistant for Learning Disability, and he spent 20 years or so working as part of a multi-disciplinary team providing community service locally. Having worked in the local area for over 30 years, Adrian is the perfect candidate for chair of New Directions Rugby.  

For many years, Adrian has also been involved in clinical commissioning and from 2013 to 2018, he was appointed chair of the Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group and was responsible for the commissioning of health care for the population of Coventry and Rugby. Adrian is also a long-standing trustee for Rugby High School, and is responsible for overseeing Safeguarding, Special Educational Needs and Disability.  

When appointed the new chair of New Directions Rugby, Adrian said: 

“I’m pleased to be able to bring my skills and wide experience to New Directions, to continue to work locally to support some of the most vulnerable members of our society in maintaining their independence and maximising their potential.” 

Adrian’s extensive experience within the local community gives us every ounce of confidence that Adrian will achieve great things for New Directions and we’re very excited to discover what’s in store for us.  


If you’re interested in making a change to people’s lives you can apply to become a trustee for New Directions Rugby. Simply submit a trustee application form on our website. If your application form, DBS, criminal record and references are of sufficient standard, you’ll be invited to observe our next board meeting to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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