Joanna Adams, CEO, England Netball
As Chief Executive of England Netball, Joanna Adams is responsible for the strategic plan of the sport across the country. Under her leadership, England Netball have secured the rights to host the Netball World Cup in 2019 and were awarded the National Governing Body of the Year at the Sport Industry Awards in 2014. Joanna has been involved in netball for seven years having joined the organisation as Commercial Director in 2010. Over this period the sport has seen record figures for participation, sponsorship and ticket revenue. Under her guidance, netball has proudly become the fastest growing female team sport in the country.
Joanna started her career in sales and marketing, specialising in sport. Having worked on projects such as the UEFA Champions League, Six Nations and Natwest Cricket with Empics sports photography, her attention turned to football. She became Commercial Director of the Football Conference and was appointed onto the board of Notts County FC before setting up her own media agency as family commitments grew. Her 20+ years in working with brands, rights holders and the media have helped establish Joanna as one of the most highly regarded and innovative Chief Executives in British sport.
Tony Allcock MBE, Chief Executive, Bowls England
Tony Allcock MBE, born in Thurmaston, Leicestershire, began playing bowls at the age of 10 under the watchful eye of his parents Ernie, a Leicestershire Middleton Cup player and Joan, an England International.
It was as a 30-year-old in 1986 that Allcock won the first of his 15 world titles with the last coming in 2003. Allcock was awarded an MBE for services to bowls in the 1989 New Year Honours.
He was Performance Director for the England Lawn Bowls Team at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 before being appointed Chief Executive of the English Bowling Association in 2003. Allcock was an influential figurehead in merging the English Bowling Association and the English Women’s Bowling Association to create Bowls England in 2008.
Philip Bernie, Head of BBC TV Sport
Philip Bernie is the Head of BBC TV Sport – responsible for all TV Sport output on the BBC.
Philip joined the BBC in 1984 as a Production Trainee after leaving university.
He became an Assistant Producer on Grandstand, later becoming Editor of Football Focus and then Match Of The Day.
He has also been Assistant Editor and then Editor of Grandstand.
He was Editor of Sports Personality Of The Year from 1999 to 2005, during which time he won a Royal Television Society Award for the show, and since then has been Executive Editor of that programme.
He was Editor on the Olympic Games from 1992 to 2004, and on the Commonwealth Games from 1994 to 2002.
He was Editor of the World Cup in 1990 and 1994 as well as Euro 96, and was Executive Producer of the World Cup in 2002.
He was Editor of Wimbledon from 2003 to 2007 and founding Editor of both the BBC One series On Side and the BBC Two series Match Of The Day 2.
Prior to his current role, Philip was Head of Programmes and Planning in BBC TV Sport from 2005 to 2007 and then Head of TV Sport Editorial from 2007 to 2009.
Before joining TV Sport in 1987, Philip worked in various areas of the BBC including spending a year in Radio Sport and a year at the Breakfast Time TV programme.
Nick Bitel, Chairman, Sport England
Nick Bitel has been the Chief Executive of the London Marathon Events since July 1995 which, as well as staging the iconic London Marathon, also puts on the world’s largest cycling festival, RideLondon.
Since 2013 Nick has also been the Chair of Sport England and continues to act as consultant at Kerman & Co Solicitors.
As a lawyer, he has represented a number of leading sports events and organisations including The Wimbledon Championships, Ryder Cup, PGA European Tour, UEFA, Rugby Football Union and the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Nick is also currently a Board Member of the London Legacy Development Corporation and UK Sport and a trustee of Wembley National Stadium Trust.
He is a previous Chair of the Sports Rights Owners Coalition and of the British Association for Sport and Law.
Paul Blanchard, CEO, Commonwealth Games England
Paul Blanchard is the Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games England, the organisation responsible for leading and managing the participation of Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games.
With a career spanning more than 25 years in the sports industry, Paul has extensive experience of working for some of the country’s best known organisations, including the Scottish Premier League, the NFL, Southampton FC, Harlequins Rugby League and The Oval. Prior to joining Commonwealth Games England, Paul was the Chief Executive of the Surrey Sports Park, an elite training and event facility based at the University of Surrey. He was also Chair of Active Surrey, the county sports partnership.
Lawrence Dallaglio, Former England Rugby Player
Lawrence Dallaglio, OBE (born 10 August 1972) is a retired English rugby unionplayer, former captain of the English national team, and 2016 inductee of the World Rugby Hall of Fame.He played as a flanker or number eight for London Wasps and never played for another club, having arrived at Sudbury as a teenager. He was capped in all three positions in the back row, and captained England. He is a regular pundit on BT Sport rugby coverage.
Niels de Vos, Chief Executive, UK Athletics
Niels de Vos is a British sports businessman and chief executive. De Vos came to prominence as the Chief Executive of Sale Sharks, a professional rugby union club. De Vos helped the club move to a larger stadium in 2003, leaving Heywood Road in favour of Edgeley Park. In January 2007 he became the Chief Executive of the sporting governing body UK Athletics. De Vos modernised the athletics body, cutting jobs and aiming to move sponsorship money away from headquarters costs and towards training centres athletics club. De Vos also cut down the number of athletes going to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, minimising the number to those who would still be young enough to perform at the 2012 London Olympics. He has a strong anti-doping stance, favouring a lifetime ban for athletes caught using banned substances. After attempting to ban Dwain Chambers from an athletics comeback, he underlined the damage Justin Gatlin caused to United States athletics as an example for his reasoning.
John Feehan, CEO at 6 Nations, British & Irish Lions
John Feehan was educated at CBC Monkstown and then in the College of Marketing and Design, and Trinity College Dublin, He graduated from TCD with a B.Sc Management, and Computers in Education. John played as a tight-head prop for various teams including Trinity College, Old Belvedere, Old Wesley, the Irish U21’s, Irish Universities, and Leinster. Coming from a sales/marketing, and a commercial background, he has worked with a variety of multinationals, including Oakhill Group plc, Beamish & Crawford (formerly part of Scottish & Newcastle), Smithkline Beecham and CPC Foods (now part of Unilever).
In April 2002 he was appointed Commercial Director of the Six Nations and the British & Irish Lions. Appointed Acting CEO six months later, he was officially appointed CEO in February 2003. In 2010 John was also appointed CEO of Celtic Rugby for a five year period. John has worked very successfully in a diverse range of business categories he has an excellent track record of achievement.
John is married and has two daughters and lives in Dublin.
Alex Gough, CEO Professional Squash Association (PSA)
The PSA is responsible for the organisation and coordination of the official international men’s squash circuit, called the PSA World Tour.
Alex first joined the organisation as a Board Director in 2002 when he was still an active squash professional on the tour. Shortly after his retirement as a player, Alex became the COO of PSA in June 2008, dedicating his time to furthering the growth of the sport that has played such an important role in his life. In February 2009 Alex was appointed CEO of PSA.
As a player, Alex was on the professional squash circuit for 15 years. He was ranked in the world’s top ten for over 28 months and achieved his highest world ranking of 5 in July 1998. During his career he won a total of 10 World Tour titles and a Bronze Medal in the men’s singles event at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. He also represented Wales well over 150 times, the highlight being when Wales narrowly missed out to Egypt in the final of the World Team Championships in 1999 after beating England in the semi-finals.
Alex also holds a 1st Class Honors degree in Mathematics from the University of Wales in Cardiff.
Sally Gunnell, World Champion Athelete
Sally Gunnell OBE; the Essex Girl who captured the hearts of a nation. She remains the only woman ever to hold four major track titles concurrently – Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth.
Sally’s rise to the pinnacle of her sport was hard won. She blew the chance to be World Champion in 1991, stormed back to win Olympic Gold in 1992 and defied incredible odds to become World Champion in 1993, setting a new World Record in the process. She contended with injuries, athletes that she saw as more naturally gifted and a relatively modest support infrastructure compared to her peers.
Following her retirement from international athletics, Sally developed a new career as a television presenter and motivational speaker. She has written four books on fitness, health, self-fulfilment and well-being. She is married to Jon and is mum to three young sons; Finley, Luca and Marley.
Andy Hunt, CEO, World Sailing
Andy Hunt is the CEO of World Sailing, having taken the helm of the International Federation in early 2016. With a lifelong passion for sailing and sport, Andy is the former CEO of the British Olympic Association and Chef de Mission for Team GB which achieved its best performance in 104 years at the London 2012 Games. Hunt was a non-executive Director of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games and is currently a non-executive Director of England Hockey and Gloucester Rugby and has had a highly successful career across both sport and business over the past 30 years.
Colin Jackson, World, Commonwealth and European champion hurdler
Before retiring in 2003, Colin Jackson was an outdoor World Record holder for 13 years and still holds the World Indoor 60m Hurdles title. Bursting onto the scene, setting a European junior record of 13.44 in 1986, Colin ranked in the world top 10 for 16 years, and for the last 7 of his career, he was never out of the top 3.
Colin has been an integral part of the BBC Athletics coverage since the Athens Olympics, covering every major event, including the London 2012 Olympics and most recently the Rio Olympics. Since retiring from athletics, Colin has expanded his role in TV by co-hosting the BBC1 live morning show Sunday Life, as well as dazzling us all with his dancing skills on Strictly Come Dancing. More recently Colin has appeared on ITV1′s Dancing on Ice Goes Gold, the BBC’s 24 Hours in the Past and ITV’s Drive, alongside the likes of Louis Walsh, Johnny Vegas and Ella Eyre.
2013 saw Colin launch his own mass participation event, Go Dad Run, to raise awareness of men’s health issues. After the success of the inaugural event, the last four years have seen the race expand to venues nationwide and to date, thousands of men have come together to help the cause. Colin has also joined forces with the Wings for Life World Run campaign, as an Ambassador and Global Race Director.
Chester King, CEO, British Esports Association
Chester King is a co-owner of the International Group of companies, which was founded in 1964. International Group has worked in 52 countries and completed 500 healthcare, leisure and sporting projects. Clients have included 24 Governments, 3 Royal Families, United Nations, the Football Association, the Miami Dolphins and Wanda Group.
Chester has over 24 years senior management experience within the advertising, marketing, sports, esports and leisure industries.
Chester is the CEO of the eGames Group, which created The eGames, an international esports competition where Pro Gamers represent their country for medals and not prize money. The eGames was showcased in Rio 2016 alongside the Olympics within British House (www.egames.org).
Chester also founded the ‘British Esports Association’ in 2016 – the national body for esports in the UK whose main aims are to help develop the UK’s grassroots esports scene and provide an infrastructure to nurture future British talent. (www.britishesports.org).
Hamish Mcinnes, CEO, British Shooting
Hamish is the Chief Executive of British Shooting, Director of 3forty3 Sports Consultancy and a member of the National Olympic Committee. He has been at the forefront of some of the most exciting and successful initiatives in sport in the UK over the past 20 years.
A former international athlete, he is also Non-executive Director of England Lacrosse, and has been a consultant and policy adviser to a range of national and international sports bodies. At Sport England he was Head of Governing Bodies, which followed two years as Head of World Class Programmes, and also served as a Director with the World Confederation of Billiard Sports for three years.
Hamish has played a part in the successful Team England set-ups of the last three Commonwealth Games including at the Manchester 2002 Games where he was part of the technical committee. He also assisted with the London 2012 Olympic Games’ venue and technical planning process.
Sally Munday, CEO, England Hockey
Sally has been working in hockey since 1998 and after five years as Regional Development Manager in the South, she moved into the Development Director role in 2003, when England Hockey began as the National Governing Body. In January 2009 Sally took on the role of Chief Executive of England Hockey and in addition to this role, she is the Chief Operating Officer for Great Britain Hockey.
As well as a social player, Sally was also a keen Team Manager, having managed England, Great Britain, Slough, Berkshire and South Juniors.
In addition, Sally previously worked for the Lawn Tennis Association and has also worked in local authority leisure facility management.
Sally has been instrumental in increasing the popularity for hockey in the UK with the vision to achieve ‘a nation where hockey matters’ and during the London 2012 Olympics, 30,000 people were encouraged to pick up a stick, through different programmes set up by England Hockey under Sally’s leadership.
Under the leadership of Sally England Hockey has been successful in winning the rights to host the following Major International tournaments:
- EuroHockey Championships, Men and Women 2015
- The Women’s Champions Trophy 2016
- The Men’s World League 2017
- The Women’s World cup 2018
In 2016 the Senior Women won their first ever Olympic Gold medal during the Rio Olympics making history for hockey in GB.
Keith Pelley, CEO, The European Tour
On Monday August 3, 2015, Canadian Keith Pelley became the fourth Chief Executive in the history of The European Tour. Prior to joining The European Tour, he was President of Rogers Media in Toronto where he was responsible for leading the overall operations of the company’s diverse portfolio, including Television, Radio, Publishing, Digital Media, The Shopping Channel, subscription-based content services, Toronto Blue Jays, and Rogers Centre. Before that, he was Executive Vice-President of Strategic Planning at CTVglobemedia, President of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium – which won a record seven awards for its coverage of Vancouver 2010 – President and CEO of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club, and President of The Sports Network in Canada, a company he first joined as an Editorial Assistant in 1986. He is a graduate of Ryerson University with a BA in Radio and Television Arts, and also received an ATCL diploma from Trinity College in London.
Keith Perry, Group Sport Managing Editor at Telegraph Media Group
Keith Perry is a Fleet Street veteran of more than 30 years’ experience. He is a former Daily Telegraph sports editor who now works across the Telegraph group as Managing Director, Sport and runs the Telegraph sponsorship and partnership business.
Annamarie Phelps, Chairman, British Rowing
Annamarie Phelps CBE is Chairman of British Rowing, Vice Chair of the British Paralympic Association, Board member of British Olympic Association and a non-executive director of The Fine Art Society plc. Annamarie is Commonwealth Liaison for the international federation for rowing FISA. She is a former World Champion in Women’s Lightweight Coxless Fours and indoor rowing and represented Great Britain in the women’s eight at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. She played an active part in negotiating the sponsorship of the Oxford & Cambridge Women’s Boat Race and the move to be on the same day and course as the Men’s race from 2015. She is currently leading the Cycling Independent Review and involved with the DCMS Duty of Care Review.
Matthew Porter, CEO, Professional Darts Corporation
Matthew Porter has been PDC Chief Executive since January 2008 and has overseen the growth of the sport from £3million ($5million) prize money annually to double that figure through the continued expansion of the PDC.
During that time, Porter has overseen the introduction of major tournaments such as the European Championship and Players Championship Finals, the PDC World Cup of Darts and the European Tour, as well as the implementation of the PDC’s development structure with Qualifying School, the Challenge Tour and Youth Tour.
Porter has also been the Chief Executive of Leyton Orient FC in the UK, as well as serving on the board of The Football League. Porter joined Leyton Orient in 2001 as Press Officer, a role which he occupied for five years before being made the youngest chief executive in English football by O’s chairman Barry Hearn in the summer of 2006, aged just 26. His appointment as Chief Executive coincided with the Club’s promotion to League 1 and he oversaw their progression to an established side in the division which included narrowly missing out on promotion at the end of the 2013/14 season.
Derek Redmond, World Champion Athlete
One of Britain’s most famous athletes, Derek Redmond is a World and European relay champion. Having broken the British 400m record on two occasions, Derek was one of the country’s best athletes during the 1980s and 1990s. A key member of the relay squad that won gold at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, he competed at the highest level for over a decade.
He first rose to prominence in 1985 when he broke the 400m British record achieving a time of 44.82 seconds 12 months later he was selected in the 4x400m relay team for the European Championships in Stuttgart.
Great Britain won gold in what was a sure sign of things to come. A year later they won a silver medal at the World Championships in Rome. By the time the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo arrived Derek had established himself as one of Britain’s best athletes. Alongside Kriss Akabusi, John Regis and Roger Black he then stunned the sporting world as Britain triumphed over the favourites USA to win gold. Their run remains the second fastest 4x400m run in history.
Having now proved himself as a relay athlete, Derek went about trying to do the same as an individual runner. At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, representing his country he became part of one of the most inspirational scenes in Olympic history.
In the 400m semi-final Derek went into the race amongst the favourites but as he passed the 250m mark he tore his hamstring. Determined to finish the race he hobbled to the finish line with the help of his father as a 65,000-strong crowd cheered him on. This incident has since been voted one of the Olympics’ most inspirational moments by US network NBC and even referenced by Barack Obama in a presidential speech.
This injury signalled an end to his athletics career, but, committed to not letting his injury keep him down, he has since played basketball for England and played rugby 7s.
Phil Smith, Director of Sport at Sport England
As the Director of Sport, Phil Smith has responsibility for several areas of the Sport England business. He has represented Sport England as a Board Director of both the Football Foundation and UK Coaching.
Phil’s team manages long term investments of several hundred millions in various sporting bodies, and giving the subsequent advice to achieve results. The ultimate aims are to grow the number of people regularly engaged in sport, while maximising international and domestic sporting success and helping the sport sector to become more productive, sustainable and responsible.
Within these aims, Phil leads the organisation’s work in talent development and performance, club and workforce development, volunteering and coaching, equality and diversity and improved governance. Responsible for Sport England’s external reputation, he also oversees the communication, media and public affairs functions.
Phil joined Sport England in 2008 from The Football Association, where his professional career started after Euro ‘96 as the General Secretary of the County FA in Manchester. His football career took him through various roles in the game before becoming The FA’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, responsible for football industry policy in relation to Government in both the UK and international bodies.
Rory Tapner, Chairman of British Ski and Snowboard
Rory was, until recently, Chief Executive of Coutts, the wealth management arm of RBS Group. This business had operations in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, the Middle East and Switzerland. Prior to that he was the Chairman and Chief Executive of UBS Asia Pacific, responsible for the Investment Bank, Wealth management and Asset management in that region. He was also Chairman of Global Investment Banking.
Rory was instrumental in helping BSS in its first funding venture in early 2010 and has now offered his time, energy and passion for snowsports to help the organisation improve the programmes and support it offers to British snowsport athletes.