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Experts in Sport: Leadership in sport

Strong leadership in sport is vital for success but in practice how does this look and how is it achieved?

In the latest Experts in Sport podcast host Martin Foster (Applied Sport Management Lead) sits down with John Steele, Loughborough Sport’s Executive Director of Sport, to unearth leadership secrets that drive high-performing teams.

John has enjoyed a varied and fruitful sporting career – from playing professional rugby versus the likes of the New Zealand All Blacks, Australian Wallabies and the South African Springboks – to leading large organisations at board level.

After retiring from playing, John moved into coaching and led Northampton Saints to their first major cup competition victory as they became European Champions in the year 2000.

His vast experience in rugby union also saw him serve on the England Rugby Board during the victorious World Cup campaign of 2003.

John also held the position of CEO of UK Sport and has since been Chair of the English Institute of Sport, Group Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, and will be the next Chair of the Commonwealth Games England Board.

John is also a former army officer trained by the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

During the podcast episode, John touches on many elements of leadership, including the difference between leadership and management and the importance of embracing a varied team of leaders that achieve results.

Listeners of the podcast can subscribe and download the latest episode by visiting iTunesSpotify, and TuneIn. All subscribers will receive an alert once new episodes are published.

The Experts in Sport podcast is a regular series that brings together experts from across Loughborough University with external thought leaders to discuss the latest research and hot topics in sport and academia with new episodes launched regularly. 

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 22/120

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, and 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2022 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.