Loughborough Speakers

Adam Blaze - Chief Executive at Activity Alliance

Adam Blaze

Physical Activity and Health

Adam is the Chief Executive of Activity Alliance, the leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity. He began this role in January 2023. 

Adam has dedicated his career to changing attitudes towards disabled people in sport and activity. Prior to his current role, Adam spent 15 years at Sport England and has also worked for The FA, and Loughborough University. 

He has a wealth of experience in leading teams in equality, investment management, and impact measurement. This is crucially strengthened with lived experience of disability within his family. 

His passion lies in creating meaningful and sustained change so that everyone can access opportunities to be active. Adam has a strong focus on developing people and is a qualified coach and mentor.  

Adam sits on Moving Communities Board and the Sport & Recreation Alliance EDI Committee, essential roles in ensuring disabled people are at the heart of decision making.  

Away from work, you will find him playing and coaching football, or supporting one of his six children with their sporting activities. 

Andrew Shepherd - Performance Nutrition Lead at Loughborough Sport

Sports Nutrition

Andrew leads the Performance Nutrition team at Loughborough Sport, supporting the development and delivery across internal and external services.  

He leads on relationships with key partners both on and off campus. Leading the delivery for swimming and the Centre of Excellence for Boxing.  

Having previously held roles at Swim England, British Diving, England Athletics, Sheffield Hallam University, and worked extensively in boxing, triathlon, and athletics. 

Anna Nelson - S&C Coach at Table Tennis England & University of Nottingham

Strength & Conditioning

Since Graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2017 Anna has worked with multiple organisations including Scottish Rugby, Loughborough Sport, the ECB, GB Table tennis and the University Of Nottingham. Currently working with the University of Nottingham's racket sport squads and GB table tennis, Anna's current area of focus lies in racket sports. However, as an ex-international 400m hurdler and MSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition graduate her true passion lies with strength and power development, and how nutrition can impact adaptation and performance.

Charlie Baxter – Women's Head Coach at Loughborough University & Loughborough Lightning Football

Sports Coaching

Baxter has enjoyed a varied career in football with successful spells most recently at Ipswich Town FC as Women’s Assistant Manager and under-21 WSL Academy Head Coach, Cheltenham Town FC Boys Academy, and Birmingham City FC, where over a five-year span he held coaching positions within the Girls RTC, before being promoted to the Women’s First Team as an Assistant Coach in 2017. In 2018 Charles was promoted to Assistant Manager, serving the club in that role until he departed the club in October 2020. 

Aside from club football, Charles has also worked with the FA on several FA Girls Regional Hubs and Camps as part of the FA’s Girls National Development Programme.  

Charles is an UEFA A Licenced Coach and has completed a MSc in Sport Coaching at Loughborough University, graduating in the winter of 2014. 

Charles is now the Women’s Head Football Coach at Loughborough University & Loughborough Lightning Football. 

Chris Howe – Research & Innovation Lead at ai.io

AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Sport

Chris is the Research and Innovation Lead at ai.io. Headquartered in London with offices in the US, ai.io is an award-winning technology company that develops technology solutions to generate and analyse amateur and professional sport data, providing real-time analysis and reporting, creating valuable insights and outcomes. 

Chris has a PhD in which he investigated the physiological, metabolic, psychological and nutritional factors that contribute to successful ultramarathon performance. Chris has published extensively with peer-reviewed research outputs and presented academic research at various international conferences, as well as various media outputs and appearances.

Previously, Chris has over 13 years’ experience in the field of exercise physiology and exercise performance testing working across academic and private sector settings ranging from children, and young adults, through to elite athletes, and sporting National Governing Bodies.

Chris previously managed a high-performance laboratory and successfully delivered a distinguished sport and exercise science consultancy service for sports performers and athletes where his primary roles have been to deliver, develop and research performance and analytic measures designed to improve human performance.  

Ed Sully - Director of Customer solutions at Hudl

Performance Analysis

Edward has 23 years of professional football experience and joined Hudl after a successful 11 year period at one of the fastest growing global sports organisations, City Football Group (CFG), working with 7 clubs in Manchester, New York, Melbourne, Yokohama, Girona, Montevideo and Chengdu.

His diverse experiences and qualifications span Coaching, Performance Analysis, Sports Science, Medical, Scouting, Recruitment, Research, Innovation, Strategy, Project Management and Leadership. During the last 5 years, his main focus at CFG was to design and implement a football strategy for their clubs in Japan and China, leveraging best practice knowledge.

Francesca Kelly - Director of Sport and Performance at Commonwealth Games England

Women and Girls in Sport Panel

Francesca is Commonwealth Games England’s Director of Sport and Performance, which involves working closely with National Governing Bodies to ensure the team and athletes are best supported in the lead up to and at the Games.  

At Birmingham 2022, Francesca was the Deputy Chef de Mission for Sport and Athletes, and most recently lead the team as Chef de Mission at the Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games. 

Francesca was the Chef de Mission for Team Great Britain at the Winter World University Games in Russia in 2019 and oversaw the development and delivery of Team England’s preparation camp for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.  

Fang Yuan - Head of Hyrox China at Infront Sports & Media AG

Working in Sport in China

A passionate sports marketer with 10+ years working experience and specialises in Chinese market development for international sports businesses.  

Successful work experience:  

  • Launching and management of the Asian platform for GlobalSportsJobs, a global recruitment company in the sports industry.
  • A China social media consultant to various International sports assets: French Football Federation and All England Badminton etc.
  • Account and relationship management for Wanda Group as the top tier partner with international governing bodies such as FIFA & FIBA.
  • Sponsorship activation and on-site operation for international major tournament, including 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup, 2019 China Basketball World Cup and 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup.
  • Introduction and management of International mass participation Franchise HYROX in China.

Harriet Eastham - Senior Data Analyst at ai.io

AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Sport

Harriet is Institute for Sport Business alumna, having studied her master's degree at Loughborough University London. Harriet completed an MSc in Sports Digital and Media Technologies at the institute in 2017 after completing her undergraduate degree at Loughborough’s main campus.

Having kicked off her career at sports publisher GiveMeSport, Harriet then went on to have a five-year stint with Southampton Football Club both on the pitch and off, starting in Research and Insights, before transitioning over to Sports Performance as a Data Analyst within the Player Insights Department. Here she worked alongside medical practitioners, coaches and scouts. More recently, following retirement as a player for the Women’s Team, Harriet was appointed to the Women & Girl’s Board as an Executive Director – tasked with ensuring the development and sustainability of the club’s women and girls’ pathway.  

Following a period of freelancing within the data space for professional sports organisations, she is currently working for ai.io as a Senior Data Analyst. Headquartered in London with offices in the US, ai.io is an award-winning technology company that develops technology solutions to generate and analyse amateur and professional sport data, providing real-time analysis and reporting, creating valuable insights and outcomes.

Jack Tompkins - Director & Producer at Netflix, Amazon Prime & BBC

Sports media

Jack Tompkins is a director and producer working primarily on sports documentary content. 

 His recent productions include ‘Game On – The Unstoppable Rise of Women’s Sport’’ on Netflix and ‘Prep to Win: Harlequins', 'No Woman No Try' and 'Everybody's Game' for Amazon Prime. 

 He is a partner in a London-based production company, specialising in sports content that brings a spotlight to social issues. 

Jen Malings – Assistant Director of Sport at Sedbergh School

PE Teaching

Jennifer studied at Loughborough University and graduated in 2017 with a BSc Honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science. As part of her degree, she took a ‘year in industry’ and worked at Millfield School in Somerset specialising in hockey coaching, PE teaching and working in the boarding environment.

Since gaining her degree, Jennifer has worked as a graduate assistant at the British School Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Bishops Stortford College, working across a range of subjects and sports with pupils from pre-prep through to 6th form, before embarking on her Physical Education PGCE with QTS at Edge Hill University.

Upon qualification, Jennifer moved to London to work at Alleyn’s school, a co-educational day school, where she gained experience teaching PE, being a pastoral tutor, coaching within a varied games programme and taking a lead running the Girls’ Hockey programme. Jennifer took up her current position as Assistant Director of Sport at Sedbergh School in September 2023. Within this role she is responsible for co-organising the sports programme, managing Heads of Sport, supporting the graduate staff in their roles, teaching PE and contributing to the full-boarding school environment.  

Keerthana Swaminathan - Sports Psychologist and President of Indian Sports Psychologists' Association (INSPA)

Sports Psychology

Keerthana Swaminathan is an esteemed sports psychologist known for her exceptional skills and dedication in Chennai, India. Holding a Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Loughborough University, she has established herself as a prominent figure in the field. Her expertise spans across various sports, including cricket, tennis, and badminton, where she assists athletes and teams in cultivating the necessary mental and emotional attributes essential for achieving excellence in their respective disciplines.

Keerthana has honed her proficiency in key areas such as motivation, goal-setting, and performance enhancement, gaining recognition for her innovative and impactful approach to sports psychology. Her involvement with an IPL team in the previous season further showcases her commitment and effectiveness in this domain.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Keerthana is a passionate advocate for the transformative potential of sports psychology, emphasizing its role not only in enhancing athletic performance but also in enhancing overall quality of life. Her collaborative efforts with NGOs reflect her dedication to promoting mental health literacy and providing psychological first aid to athletes, coaches, and parents.

Presently, Keerthana serves as the president of the Indian Sports Psychologist Association (INSPA), where she endeavors to foster the development and promotion of culturally competent and ethically sound practices among both aspiring students and established sports psychologists in India. Her leadership role in INSPA underscores her commitment to advancing the field of sports psychology and ensuring its ethical and professional standards in the Indian context.

Laura Hillyard - Sports Events Operations & Production Consultant

Sports Events and Operations

Laura Hillyard is the Founder and Director of Yaura Management Agency specialising in Athlete and Talent Management and Global Sport Event Operations and Production.  

With a focus on ensuring performance remains paramount, Laura passionately builds platforms for sport and sportspeople to showcase their personality. 

Studying Sports Science at Loughborough between 2010 and 2013, Laura remained at the University to lead on the early inception of the Coach and Volunteer Academy. With initial hopes to achieve as an athlete, through volunteering Laura discovered her passion for sport events and instead has worked on a myriad of global events. From Olympics, UEFA Champions League Finals, Cricket World Cup to Commonwealth Games. 

From her experiences at these events, she now combines this with consulting to sports teams to effectively enhance their operations and production. Most recently she has been instrumental in the overhaul of the game night operations and production of British Basketball teams she has worked with.  

On an athlete management level, Laura manages Paralympic Champions and Commonwealth Medallists. Managing their PR and maximising their commercial opportunities. 

Laura Myers - Lead Consultant at Two Circles

Data Driven Sports Consulting

Laura spent 5 years at Loughborough combining playing hockey for England and Great Britain U23s with a BSc in Sports Science and Masters in Exercise Physiology. Having been a Deloitte Scholar prior to and during university she decided to combine her passion for numbers and sport and joined global sports marketing agency, Two Circles after graduating.

Over the last 6 years, she’s worked with clients such as:

  • Wimbledon

  • British Cycling

  • Southampton Football Club

Laura now leads the agencies marketing and consultancy relationships with Marylebone Cricket Club and England Netball alongside transitioning this year to work more closely with the rights management team who help Arsenal secure new partnership deals.

She also started the Two Circles athlete programme which gives current or recently retired full-time athletes a chance to gain work experience to aid their transitions out of the sporting arena. 

Lucy Roach - Head of PE at South Nottinghamshire Academy

PE Teaching

Lucy studied BSc Sport and Exercise at Loughborough University and graduated in 2018. Alongside her degree, she undertook a variety of roles with the Coach and Volunteer Academy including Student Sport Ambassador, Social Leagues Coordinator and Chair of the CVA.

She also became a Team Leader for Youth Sport Trust and supported on a variety of their camps, such as the Girls Active camp. Following gaining her degree and long aspiring of becoming a teacher, Lucy completed her Physical Education PGCE with QTS at Loughborough University in 2018-19. Lucy successfully secured her first Teacher of PE position at Fullhurst Community College in Leicester where she completed her NQT year that got cut short due to COVID-19.

Following this, Lucy was fortunate enough to gain a Teacher of PE position at the De Ferrers Academy, a large split site school in Staffordshire, the secondary school in which she attended as a pupil. In this role, she was responsible for teaching PE to students from KS3-5, being a form tutor and supporting the extra-curricular programme. Whilst in this position, Lucy completed her MSc in Education at Loughborough University where she undertook a research project looking at adolescent girls’ experiences in PE, focusing on their perceptions of PE and possible barriers to engagement.

In 2023, Lucy took up her current position as Head of PE at South Nottinghamshire Academy; she leads the PE department including organising the PE programme of study, leading on the teaching of GCSE and A Level PE, facilitating the extra-curricular programme, and supporting the development of teaching and learning. Lucy’s specialises in examination PE, and enjoys learning about cognitive science, retrieval strategies and digital pedagogies; more specifically, she specialises in A Level PE, where she also works for OCR as an Assistant Examiner and completes large marking duties during the summer exam periods.  

Lynsey Pennie-Douglas - Head of Client Strategy at Nielsen

Women and Girls in Sport Panel

Lynsey works for Nielsen Sports as Head of Client Strategy, providing commercial insights and measurement to major brands and rights holders in sports and entertainment  including Formula 1, World Athletics, City Football Group, PepsiCo and Expedia. Lynsey also leads Women's Sport globally to drive forward Nielsen Sport's focus on supporting the industry to develop Women's sport through data. 

Lynsey has over 15 years experience in the sport's industry, both rights holder side with Williams F1 and on major brand's sponsorship activation, including Land Rover and Lucozade Sport. Outside of her career, Lynsey achieved 30 caps for Scotland including playing in two Rugby World Cups, was previously chair of Wasps Ladies FC and captain of Waltham Forest 1s Hockey team. 

Matt Andrews - Digital Consultant & Senior Account Manager at IMG

Sports Marketing

Matt is a Digital Consultant at IMG, which is a global leader in sports, fashion, events, and media. In his current role, he works with rights holders in the sports industry advising them on their digital strategy. 

He graduated from Loughborough University in 2014 with a degree in Sport Management and then completed a Master's degree at the University of Tennessee in Recreation and Sport Management. 

Matt first worked at IMG in 2015 joining their licensing division. A couple of years later he moved to a role at Nielsen Sports, working with clients in the football industry. Matt re-joined IMG in July 2023, taking up a position in their digital team.

Matt Annals - Senior Exercise Physiologist in Cardiac Rehabilitation at University College London

Sports Psychology

Matt has been working in Clinical Exercise Physiology for around 14 years, predominantly within the NHS. Throughout this time he has lead rehabilitation programmes in Cardiac, Pulmonary, Cancer and Covid rehab respectively. In 2023 Matt became a registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist with the AHCS and in conjunction with CEP-UK.

He currently work at University Hospitals of Leicester in a Band 7 role. As part of this Matt also is the Health Inequalities lead for Cardiac Rehabilitation, focussing on patient engagement particularly with lower represented groups and people who decline rehab.

Matt Waugh - Exercise Psychology, NHS and LiveMore

Exercise Psychology

Matt is a mental health nurse & fitness instructor on a psychiatric intensive care unit. Matt founded LiveMore, a company that implement gyms in mental health services. 

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Rajwardhan Buttepatil - Media Manager & Board of Control for Cricket in India. ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, India

Working for an international sports federation

Rajwardhan worked as a media manager for the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), in the Men's Cricket World Cup Nidia 2023 as the lead manager for Media and Broadcast. He also completed a bachelors degree in Computer Science from the Symbiosis International University, Pune, India. Later, Rajwardhan then pursued a post-graduation degree in Sports Management from Loughborough University. 

Since graduating in 2020, he has been working actively in the sports industry across different fields for the past 3 years. Rajwardhan has worked as a Live broadcasting Associate in the Indian Premier League 2023 season for Viacom18 Sports (Sports Broadcasting). He has also worked as an Operations & Hospitality Executive in the Indian Premier League (both Men's and Women's) for the 2022 season, and has also represented the Maharashtra Cricket Association as Venue Operations Coordinator for the Indian Cricket Team (Men's) in the India V Sri Lanka limited overs series in 2022.  

Simon Bayliff - Sports Agent at Arete

Sports Agents

Over a 26-year career, Simon has represented several of the biggest names in global sport in the talent representation industry. Those athletes included, in men’s football, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Dwight Yorke, Jamie Redknapp, Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe, Jack Wilshere, Oliver Skipp; in women’s football, Ruby Mace, Aggie Beever-Jones, Jess Naz, Khiara Keating and Mia Ross; in cycling, Mark Cavendish and Jasper Philipsen; in F1, Daniel Ricciardo; Hayden Wilde in Triathlon plus others in Olympic / Paralympic sport, Hockey, Netball, and Trail running.

As a former Senior Vice President at global agency Wasserman for over a decade, he started ARETÉ (ah-ret-tay) in 2015 as Founder and CEO working across Talent Representation, Sponsorship Sales, Content Production and Brand Management.

Sue Tonks - Finalist Networking Session

Finalist Networking Session

For the past 18 years Sue…Sue Tonks has gained praise as an International Trainer and Speaker on “Networking”, where her regular clients include London Business School, Bath MBA Programme, SAID Business School Oxford, Durham Business School, University College London and a host of top legal firms, banks and accountancy firms, CIMA, AAT, and ACCA. Sue’s energetic and fun approach creates long lasting impressions and people take away many invaluable skills to help them be more confident and successful at all social occasions, life and in business.

Sue…Sue Tonks delivers NETWORKING workshops with unforgettable comedy moments. Her knowledge and tips on how to get the best from your NETWORKING experiences have given her international acclaim. Her fun and practical style enables delegates to vividly remember key points and develop long lasting skills.

Thomas Barnden - Head of Sport Science at Southampton Football Club

Sports Science & Performance Support

Tom is currently Head of Sports Science at Southampton Football Club where he is responsible for the 1st Team, Academy and Women & Girls programme. He has previously held similar roles at Swansea City, Nottingham Forest, Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Tom studied an undergraduate degree at Oxford Brookes University before completing a postgraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Loughborough. 

Furthermore, Tom is an accredited UKSCA strength & conditioning coach, BASES HPSA accredited, holds a UEFA B coaching license, and is currently studying an MBA, again at Oxford Brookes University. 

Wendy Sly MBE - Managing Director at Athletics Weekly

Women and Girls in Sport Panel

After graduating from Loughborough in 1981 with a degree in English Literature Wendy went on to be one of the first British women to have a career as a full-time athlete.

During her time at Loughborough she had gained her first senior GB vest, but knew that a career in the sport would require full focus, and would be hard to combine with working. She then went to live in the US where she found success on the road running scene. This enabled her to train full time and compete in the summer months on the track.

Success followed; with several British records at the Mile and 3,000m and a World best over 10km on the road. Also a Commonwealth silver medal in 1982 followed by a win at the inaugural Women’s World 10km Road Running Championships in 1983. In 1984, Wendy won a silver medal in the 3,000m at the Los Angeles Olympics; the first time women had been able to compete at a distance longer than 1500m at the Games. She also completed in 1988 in Seoul, but injury forced retirement soon after that.

Since retiring Wendy has had a successful career in publishing, working in senior marketing roles at various publishers including Readers Digest, and is currently MD at Athletics Weekly which covers the sport of track and field and running across multiple channels. This includes the magazine AW which has followed athletics since 1945. She was awarded an MBE for services to athletics in 2015, and currently sits as an NED on the board of UK Athletics.

London Speakers

Abigail Irozuru - Olympian

BIS: Allyship in the Business of Sport

Abigail is a Team GB Olympic Finalist (2021 Tokyo Summer Games) and a Team England Commonwealth Games Finalist (Birmingham,2022). She has represented Great Britain and England teams consistently since 2006. Her notable achievements include a 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games’ gold medal and becoming three-time British Long Jump Champion (2015, 2019 & 2020).

In December 2022, Abigail was elected by her Olympic peers, across the Summer and Winter Games’ sports, to the Team GB British Olympic Association Athletes’ Commission. As one of thirteen elected representatives, she represents the athletes’ voice to the BOA, nationally and internationally.

Abigail is also a UCL Law graduate, entrepreneur, speaker and coach, delivering talks and workshops to produce positive personal and organisational change, designed based on lessons learned from her experiences as a world-class athlete and her study of NLP and the high-performance mindset. Her other interests include: French and Italian language study, podcasting and sports governance.

Abigail’s mission is to inspire and equip people to live healthier, happier, higher-performing lives through:

  • Delivering keynotes and workshops on the high-performance resilient mindset at events across the UK and globally, in-person and online;
  • Delivering 1-2-1 and group coaching and consulting (resilience, performance and wellness) with schools and businesses.
  • Hosting her podcast - Define Your Success - to share advice on living with excellence and resilience from an Olympic athlete’s perspective!

Ali Donnelly - More than Equal

Rising Stars in Sport Panel

Ali Donnelly is the CEO of More than Equal, an organisation dedicated to finding the first female Formula 1 world champion. She joined More than Equal with wide experience in sport, communications and marketing.  

At Sport England she was an Executive Director, looking after marketing, communications, digital and innovation. In her time there, she led communications for some of the most high-profile moments in UK sport including the publication of the Whyte Review, which explored abuse in British Gymnastics, while she also oversaw major campaigns including the award winning This Girl Can which encourages women and girls to be more active.  

Prior to this she held senior communications roles for the UK Government, where her positions included Deputy Official Spokesperson and Head of News for Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street and Head of News at HM Treasury.  

She has also held senior communications and marketing roles at Premiership rugby club Wasps and BBC.  

She is heavily involved in women's rugby in a variety of roles, including founding the award-winning website Scrumqueens.com and she has recently published the first book exploring the 100 years + history of the game.  

Ali started her career, after graduating with a degree in politics, as a journalist at the Evening Echo newspaper in Ireland. 

Ama Agbeze - Commonwealth Champion, Broadcaster

The Unstoppable Rise in the Business of Women’s Sport

 Ama Agbeze MBE holds 100 caps for her country, and received an MBE for services to netball in 2019. Appointed England Netball captain in 2016, Ama led the team to triumphs including Team England netball gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, victory at the 2016 European Netball Championship and success in the 2017 Fast5 Netball World Series.  She was also part of the bronze medal winning team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.  

Beyond her athletic achievements, Ama is a qualified lawyer, broadcaster, keynote speaker, non executive director, trustee, ambassador, and a specialist in diversity & inclusion.  Her expertise spans cultural development, organisational change, leadership and mental health. Ama studied for a Masters in Finance and Management at Loughborough University and recently served as an independent Board Member of the Organising Committee for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

Cécile Flavin - CSM Live Assistant Project Manager

Sustainability in Sport Panel

Cécile is a Project Manager for the Formula E account at CSM Live, and she is also the Sustainability Lead on the account.  

Cécile entered into this role off the back of her Master’s dissertation at Loughborough University London, which was in collaboration with Formula E looking at ways to improve their methods of branding. She has been in this role for just over a year, and in this time she has: learnt skills in managing different teams on-site; expanded her knowledge on substrates and materials; and also looked at ways to increase sustainability efforts at the events. Cécile is looking forward to implementing what she has learnt to make Season 10 even more successful for the team. 

Çiğdem Türkân - Education & Player Care Auditor

Black in Sport (BIS) and Sports Interactive present, Allyship in the Business of Sport Panel

Having graduated from Loughborough University, I have worked 12-seasons within football, spanning international sports management, youth development, stadium/event management & CSR roles. I’m currently an Academy Auditor, assessing the standard of provision/categorisation across boy’s/men’s academies licensed to operate by the PL, EFL & the FA. Additionally, I’m the project lead for a new contract which will see PGAAC audit the women/girl's academy/ETC system. I also have a Matchday role at Arsenal FC as a Licensing & Compliance Officer and I’m the Chairperson of an amateur Men’s team. I sit on various boards/advisory panels as a Trustee and committee member. I have a strong interest in player development, welfare & pathways, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and Sustainable Development. 

Dr Susie Tomson - Sustainability team at Think Beyond

Sustainability in Sport Panel

Susie is one of the world’s leading proponents of sustainability in sport. She has been involved in establishing and delivering sustainability transformation across the world of sport, pioneering industry-leading sport sustainability strategies and delivery programmes and has developed carbon emission inventories and carbon reduction plans for sporting clubs, NGBs, federations, and leagues. Whilst at thinkBeyond she has developed and delivered sustainability programmes for SailGP, Liverpool Football Club, World Athletics, European Athletics, World Lacrosse, and St Andrews Links Trust amongst others.  

Susie led the UK Sport research project into environmental support for NGBs and the roll out of the pilot programme and British Cycling’s sustainability support and brings hands-on experience to any sustainability project. Susie also co-chaired the UN Sport for Climate Action working group on Measure, Reduce, Offset helping signatories (over 300) to shape their understanding of how to define scope, measure carbon emissions, and develop reduction plans. This now underpins thinkBeyond’s approach to climate action.  

Hannibal Morris - Sport England

Black in Sport (BIS) and Sports Interactive present, Allyship in the Business of Sport Panel

Exploring and designing the future of sport – currently as the Head of England Talent Development Pathways at Sport England. 

Hannibal has spent the last 14 years working at the intersection of sport and culture across research, strategy, design, creative and innovation. Helping brands and sport organisations to solve problems in new ways: Infiltrate, understand, interfere.  

Jamie Dapaah - Fulham FC

Black in Sport (BIS) and Sports Interactive present, Allyship in the Business of Sport Panel

As the Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Fulham Football Club and a Community of Practice Ambassador for the Football Association, Jamie brings a unique blend of expertise in sports, music, and entertainment. With a rich background in recruitment within youth football and professional football settings, he is dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment within the football community. Jamies's passion lies in creating spaces that celebrate diversity and empower individuals to thrive. Leveraging his experience from both the entertainment industry and football, he is committed to driving positive change and ensuring equal opportunities for all. Let's collaborate to make strides towards a more inclusive and diverse future in football and beyond. 

Kate Chapman - London Marathon Events

Sustainability in Sport Panel

With over 20 years’ experience as a sustainability consultant, mainly within the sports and major events sector, Kate knows what actually works when it comes to developing and implementing sustainability strategies, and how to embed them within an organisation.  

Kate has worked in sport sustainability for the Royal Yachting Association, The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and for the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals).  She has been working with London Marathon Events since 2013 – firstly as an external Sustainability Advisor to the RideLondon cycling event and from 2018 helping LME to develop and implement its sustainability strategy.

Kate has now joined LME permanently as Head of Sustainability, working across their portfolio of running, cycling and swimming events to help deliver on an ambitious sustainability strategy.  She also plays a key role in the MSO (Mass Participation Sports Organisers) group – driving collaboration on environmental sustainability throughout the mass participation industry.  

Komal Ghai - IMG

Rising Stars in Sport Panel

Komal is an alumnus of Loughborough University LondonShe is now a Research Analyst, Sport and Digital at IMG Digital, the world’s biggest Sport and Entertainment Agency. 

Lenka Istrvanova - IMG

The Unstoppable Rise in the Business of Women’s Sport Panel

Lenka Istvanova is a Senior Consultant at IMG delivering major consultancy projects to some of the world’s biggest names in sport including Wimbledon, US Open, FIFA, UEFA, R&A, and more. She is extremely passionate about women’s sport, and together with her colleague Steph leads the women’s sport strategy. In 2019, Lenka was selected as one of the 30 under 30 leaders in the sport industry.  

Lydia Carrington - Sustainability lead at Edgbaston Cricket

Sustainability in Sport Panel

Lydia Carrington is Sustainability Manager at Warwickshire County Cricket Club leading on Edgbaston Stadium’s sustainability strategy and targets. Through educating and inspiring behaviour change, she takes pride in engaging with spectators, visitors and staff, whilst driving down the Stadium’s emissions.  

She led Edgbaston Stadium to become the first cricket ground in the UK to gain ISO20121 accreditation, highlighting their commitment to Sustainable Event Management. She also led on the  UK’s first sustainable cricket matchday, Go Green Game, in September 2023. The event aimed to reduce operational emissions, whilst engaging and educating spectators and viewers using the sports platform.  

Marcus Gayle - Brentford FC

Black in Sport (BIS) and Sports Interactive present, Allyship in the Business of Sport Panel

Marcus started his career as a Brentford schoolboy, and progressed through the youth set up and into the senior team.  

Nearly 200 matches played for Brentford before being transferred to Premier league Wimbledon in 1994.  

Represented Jamaica in the 1998 France World Cup.  

A career totalling over 700 matches and over 100 goals. Brentford FC’s first ever Club Ambassador since 2020. 

Olivia Eastwood - Commercial Partnerships Coordinator at the NFL

Rising Stars in Sport Panel

Loughborough London Alumnus, Olivia Eastwood-Gray graduated from Loughborough London in 2022 with a masters in Sport Business and Leadership. While completing her dissertation, she successfully gained a place on an eight-month internship with the NFL here in the UK. Whilst on this internship she worked across the commercial and consumer products business functions.

This experience allowed her to go on to work full time in the commercial team within the NFL UK, where she now works on new commercial business opportunities across the UK and Germany. Here, Olivia works on exploring new partnership opportunities for brands, with the UK and Germany International Games being a big part of her work. Within Olivia’s work, she also has been exploring and developing commercial Sponsorship opportunities for the NFL Academy based in Loughborough which houses the next generation of American Football stars.  

From a previous role in Community Sport to now working in Commercial Sport for one of the largest sports leagues in the world, Olivia has now been with the NFL for almost two years now and has developed a variety of skills and had a number of experiences she will be sure to share as part of this panel discussion. 

Rehanne Skinner - West Ham United Women’s Manager

The Unstoppable Rise in the Business of Women’s Sport

Rehanne Skinner is an English football manager who was appointed as the West Ham United women’s first-team manager at the start of the 2023/24 Women’s Super League season. With nearly 20 years of football experience behind her, Skinner became the first female manager to be put in charge of West Ham United women’s team in their professional era. Skinner is a seasoned professional having worked at both international and club level. In 2017 Skinner had a three-year spell at the Football Association, coaching the England development teams before becoming the assistant coach for the national team. She also spent nearly three seasons coaching Tottenham Hotspur Women, taking them to their highest ever finish in the WSL during the 2021/22 campaign. Skinner’s recent appointment at West Ham is seen as a positive development in the women’s game and she hopes to continue to drive and progress the women’s team going forward. 

Shrey Nilvarna - Lewes FC

Rising Stars in Sport Panel

Shrey is the Fan and Community Engagement Manager at Lewes FC, the world's first professional / semi professional club to have equal playing budgets for the men's and the women's teams. He graduated from Loughborough University, London in MSc. Sports Business and Innovation in 2021.  

Having worked for Lewes FC for over 2 years, Shrey has overseen the club achieve its first sell outs across both teams in 70 years. The women's team also broke the club attendance record and the Women's FA cup quarterfinal attendance record last year.  

Over the last 2 years, the attendances have grown by over 200% for the women's team, a lot of which is attributable to the community outreach of the club." 

Steph Bulfin - IMG

The Unstoppable Rise in the Business of Women’s Sport Panel

Stephanie is an experienced marketeer who joined IMG after eleven years at Chelsea Football Club, which included two years as the Women's team Operations Manager and over four years in senior marketing roles for Chelsea Women, where she was pivotal in the rebrand from Chelsea Ladies to Chelsea FC Women. She has extensive events management and campaign experience and has worked across a breadth of different clients, including Premier Women’s Rugby, England Netball and Minnesota Vikings. 

Sue Anstiss MBE - Fearless Women

The Unstoppable Rise in the Business of Women’s Sport

Sue Anstiss is an author, director, podcaster and entrepreneur who has driven change in women’s sport for over 30 years.

Sue is the director and producer of the Netflix documentary ‘Game On. The Unstoppable Rise of Women’s Sport’. Her book of the same name was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Sports Book Awards and longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year.

Sue is also the creator and host of The Game Changers, an award-winning podcast that celebrates trailblazing women in sport, co-founder of the Women’s Sport Collective, and sits on England Rugby’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group. She was a founding trustee of the Women’s Sport Trust.

In 2018 Sue received an MBE for her services to women’s sport, in 2021, she received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Loughborough University and in 2023, she was recognised in BBC Woman’s Hour Power List as one of 30 outstanding women in sport.

Zoiey Smale - Inclusion Activist

Black in Sport (BIS) and Sports Interactive present, Allyship in the Business of Sport Panel

Zoiey is a trailblazing inclusion activist who has made significant contributions to the world of sports. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, she has worked her way up from being an athlete to becoming a highly respected inclusion consultant. Zoiey's expertise is sought after by global brands and professional sports organisations, her guidance has helped many to develop strategies to become more inclusive and diverse.  

Zoiey's dedication cause has not gone unnoticed in the media. Her accolades, include awards for sports interventions and initiatives from prominent figures such as Theo Paphitis and Jaqueline Gold. She has been featured on the BBC, ITV, NBC, and Sky. In addition, she has had columns with Huffington Post, Forbes, Spotify and Cosmopolitan, where she has shared her insights and experiences on sports and body postivity In 2017, Grazia magazine recognized her as one of the top Black British influential figures in the UK. 

In addition to being an inclusion consultant and working in sports media, Zoiey is also a qualified sports coach and an adjudicating official. Her extensive technical knowledge and experience in sports have enabled her to teach and train some of the top athletes we see on the world stage today. 

Zoiey's dedication to promoting diversity and inclusivity in sports has earned her a well-deserved reputation as a change-maker. Her work has helped to break down barriers and create opportunities for people of all backgrounds to be involved in sports. Zoiey's impact on the industry is undeniable, and 2024 will see the launch of a new brand organisation designed to support and empower Black women in sport, with co-founder Brian Matovu.