The It’s Great Out There Coalition has confirmed the appointment of its first policy officer.  Margo de Lange will join in September and will lead the day to day management of the coalition.  For the last five years, she has been working at the European Network of Academic Sports Services (ENAS) and she brings extensive knowledge and experience in European public affairs to her new role.

Founded by the European Outdoor Group, the It’s Great Out There Coalition is an International Non Profit Association that has been initially funded by membership fees from many of Europe’s leading outdoor businesses and has a clear mission: ‘Get Europe Active Outdoors’.  With a base in Brussels and led by a small executive team and voluntary board, the coalition runs the #itsgreatoutthere campaign to encourage more people to lead healthier lives by getting active in the outdoors.

Margo de Lange holds dual Belgian and Dutch nationality and two master’s degrees in international law.  As policy and project officer and then development manager at ENAS, Margo was responsible for motivating students and staff to get active.  During her time with the organisation, she helped transform it from a purely voluntary structure to one with employees, while helping to build membership from 80 to 130.  Margo has been working closely with European policy makers and has developed a network of key contacts within the European Union.  She has a lifelong love of the outdoors and will combine that with her skills and experience in the new role at the It’s Great Out There Coalition.

Margo de Lange comments: “At various moments during my time at ENAS, we have shared the stage with EOG and the It’s Great Out There Coalition, to motivate, activate and advocate for physical activity together.  I have come to know how this ambitious coalition has a clear mission to mobilise the masses by (re-)connecting them to the pleasures and benefits of being outdoors.  Now, bringing together my passion for the outdoors, experience in the field of sport and building on my connections, I am ready to take on the challenge to lead the It’s Great Out There Coalition to new frontiers.”

It’s Great Out There Coalition secretary general Andrew Denton adds: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Margo de Lange to the it’s Great Out There Coalition.  Margo’s track record is excellent and when we met, she demonstrated real passion and vision for what we are aiming to achieve with #itsgreatoutthere.  She has a deep understanding of the challenges we face, and, crucially, an appreciation of how to meet those, particularly through working closely with public and private stakeholders.  I’m very much looking forward to supporting Margo as she leads the It’s Great Out There Coalition into a new and exciting phase.”

Margo de Lange will have responsibility for the day to day general management of the It’s Great Out There Coalition, working closely with colleagues at the EOG and from among the volunteer board of directors.  As well as Andrew Denton and the EOG’s general secretary Arne Strate, the board consists of coalition president Jan van der Leeuwen (The North Face), and board members Michel Gogniat (Ternua) and Andy Schimeck (Equip Outdoors).

Working independently, Margo will use an office in Brussels, close to the heart of European decision making.  As well as managing other areas of the coalition’s work, a large part of Margo’s role will be to build awareness of the benefits of promoting outdoor participation at the European Commission and among NGBs, NGOs and other stakeholders.  She will also work closely with coalition members to continue the development of the public facing #itsgreatoutthere campaign.  Margo will officially start work for the coalition on 1 September and from then can be contacted on margo.delange@itsgreatoutthere.com.

To find out more about the It’s Great Out There Coalition and #itsgreatoutthere campaign, visit www.itsgreatoutthere.com.