19th June 2019Twickenham Stadium London
20th June, 2018 London
20th June, 2018London
Vice Captain @ England Women's Rugby League
Director @ Sisu Sport Management
Chairman @ Lewes FC
Offensive Coaching Assistant @ Buffalo Bills
Menna and Jen
Paralympic and Double World Alpine Champions | Britain’s Most Decorated Winter Paralympians
Chief Executive @ Rugby League World Cup 2021
Campaign Manager @ Equality FC
Rugby Development Director @ RFU
Board Member @ UN Women and The FA Inclusion Advisory Board
Presenter @ Sky Sports
CEO @ Sporting Equals
Head of Upshot @ Football Foundation
Vice President, Head of Technical Operations, Media Rights & Distribution @ IMG
Head of Programme Design @ British Cycling
CEO @ Rowing New South Wales
Founder @ Janette Cardy Fitness
Founder and CEO @ British Esports Association
Director @ Inclusion in Sport Ltd
Crista Cullen MBE
Olympian @ Field Hockey
Els Kolster & Lesley Sackey
Founders @ WEBOX
Athlete and Founder @ TrailBlazers
Mindset Coach @ Make Life Simple
Partner Manager for Sport @ Twitter
Chair @ Muslim Women's Sport Foundation
Founder @ This Mum Runs
Crew Member @ Girls Who Dare
Triathlete & Triathlon Coach @ Team OxygenAddict
Senior Project Manager and Wellbeing Coach @ JT Anomaly
Group Brand Director @ McLaren
Materials Engineer @ McLaren Racing
Jodie is the women’s ambassador for RLWC 2021 and plays for both St. Helens and England Women.
Jodie’s love affair with Rugby League began at school when, Emily Rudge (now fellow England teammate), pushed for the school to have a girls team. Jodie thought she’d give it a go too and hasn’t looked back since.
Jodie went to Leeds University and studied Biomedical Science. Her studies meant juggling the 2013 Rugby League World Cup with her final exams. Her job now allows her to shape her schedule and find the right balance - Rugby League is her life!
Lindi Ngwenya set up Sisu Sports Management in 2013 with a mission to mentor and manage talent from underserved and overlooked areas. This has seen her focus on women’s football and on African football where she has organized talent identification tournaments and negotiated a number of international transfers for both malec and female players.
Prior to embarking on a career in sports, Lindi served as an Army Officer in the Royal Engineers where she was one of the first female officers to serve in a combat support role and this was followed by a career of over a decade in the financial markets as a credit trader where she was a Vice President at Barclays and Credit Suisse. Her experience has given her a good understanding of some of the highs and lows in business and life. Lessons that she is happy to pass on to anyone polite enough listen!
Stuart is the Chairman of Lewes Community Football Club, one of the most forward thinking and respected Football Clubs in England. In July 2017, Lewes FC hit the headlines with their announcement that they would be paying their Women's side the same as their Men's side, becoming the first semi-professional club in the world to do so.
Stuart also holds positions on the board of directors at The Isthmian League and Supporters Direct as well as being a published author on Football Tourism. He is also an expert on intellectual property matters including the cause and effect of counterfeiting & digital piracy.
Phoebe Schecter is Britain’s first female NFL Coach and one of only three females worldwide coaching at that level. Born and raised in the States, she only took an interest in American football after moving to the UK in 2012. This interest lead Phoebe to trial for the Birmingham Lions Women’s tackle team and consequently the Great Britain women’s American football team. Since then, she has become captain of the National team, captain of the England Kabaddi women’s team, and a member of the GB flag football team. Schecter uses her company, The UK Dukes, to help support, encourage and steer the growth of the game in the UK and Europe. The company aims to serve the whole community with Phoebe taking a keen eye to creating opportunities and internships for women, build a network, and share experiences.
Ever since she had the opportunity to hold Steve Redgrave’s gold Olympic medal, Menna Fitzpatrick wanted one of her own. “What would winning gold mean?” she was once asked in interview. “Everything,” she said, without pausing for a second.
Before she’d even reached her 21st birthday, Menna realised her ambition at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. Her trophy cabinet is heaving with two silver and one bronze medal from the same Winter Paralympics, plus a host of other awards from the World Cup and the World Championships - and yet Menna has only 5% vision.
Menna was born with congenital retinal folds. She has no vision in her left eye and limited sight in her right. However, her parents raised her alongside her sighted sisters without many concessions and then, at the age of 5, took Menna on a family ski holiday. She learned to ski by following closely behind her dad - heading off-piste, into powder snow, the works!
Menna was spotted at Chill Factore in 2010 and started regular training with the British Para Snowsport team.
Jen is a serving Officer in the Royal Engineers. She is fully supported by the Army to train as a full-time athlete and guide for Menna.
Jen's long-standing love of skiing began when her family moved to Switzerland when she was 9. She started her ski racing career at the Royal Engineer Ski Championships in 2010, aged 26. She was spotted as a potential sighted guide while racing for the Army ski team. She and Menna hit it off immediately; Jen says they’re like sisters but without the fighting!
Originally rejected by the Royal Navy for being too short-sighted, Jen is vocal about not allowing her vision, or anything else, to hold her back. She has sailed competitively, completed a tour of Afghanistan and won medals galore for her country. Following the success of the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics, Jen is passionate about sharing her story with others to inspire them to achieve their dreams.
Having led England's successful bid to host RLWC 2021, Jon was appointed Chief Executive of the tournament; leaving his position as Rugby Football League Director of Projects and People.
A sports management graduate with over 20 years’ experience. Jon has previously worked for the PGA European Golf Tour, Manchester FA (with a secondment to UEFA) and ran his own sports consultancy company.
Jon is also a member of UK Sports Major Events Panel, a specialist advisory body. Its main purpose is to represent the interests of UK Sport by making major event investment recommendations to the UK Sport Board.
Karen Dobres has previously worked in the fashion and music industries, and is a writer and a trained counsellor. She manages the Equality Campaign for Lewes FC working to unearth a new market of female fans for women’s football who come not only to watch a great performance on the pitch, but also in solidarity with Lewes’ campaign for equality within football.
Karen Dobres was a 49 year old living in Lewes, minding her own business and not in the least interested in football. Two years later she’s one of the key activists in Lewes Football Club’s gender pay parity campaign. She’s still wondering what happened….
Steve Grainger joined the RFU as Rugby Development Director in June 2011 from his CEO position with the Youth Sport Trust
With a strong background sport development, he had huge success in building the Youth Sport Trust (YST) into a vital part of the sport infrastructure over his sixteen years there, the last six as Chief Executive. Prior to that he spent three years at the National Coaching Foundation, having started his career in sports development and management in Mansfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council. In 2007 he was awarded an MBE for his contribution to school sports.
Grainger’s role has responsibility for all grassroots rugby development ensuring that the nation’s clubs, colleges, universities and schools have the capacity and capabilities to sustain and grow the game. He serves as part of the RFU Executive team and a member of the Community Game Board.
Nuala is the Founder of MindEquity, a strategic brand, behaviour and reputation consultancy. With almost three decades of leadership experience, globalising and commercialising some of the world's largest financial services brands, her previous positions include former Chief Marketing Officer at Standard Life Aberdeen and various strategic roles at Blackrock, Merrill Lynch and PA Consulting Group.
Named among FN’s Top100 Most Influential Women in Finance (2017) and the Top 50 Most Innovative CMOs. Within sports, Nuala has managed a diverse portfolio of high-profile sponsorships across tennis, rugby, golf and racing, including the Ryder Cup, the British & Irish Lions, the Champions Tour and Andy Murray. In 2018, her team was awarded the prestigious BT Sports' Partnership of the Year for the Lions Tour to New Zealand, a first for asset management. Current appointments include member of The FA's Inclusion Advisory Board and the IAAF Gender Leadership Taskforce; Nuala is also Vice-Chair of UN Women (UK); a member the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investments' Ethics Committee and the EBRD's advisory panel for small business.
Nuala holds a 1st-class MBS from Trinity College Dublin and is currently completing an Msc in Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics.
Orla Chennaoui is a multilingual TV sports presenter, host and journalist with over 18 years experience working in both hard news and sport. Orla specialises in cycling and the Olympic Games and has presented on location from nine Tours de France, two Giros d'Italia, two Olympic Games (London and Rio) and one Commonwealth Games (Glasgow). She has anchored on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports rugby and cycling coverage and co-hosts a monthly cycling podcast, The Cycling Podcast Feminin. In 2018 Orla launched her own podcast 'When Orla Met...': a conversation with people from the world of sport, about sport.
Arun is widely recognised as a leading authority on diversity, inclusion and community engagement and secured his status having graduated with a Masters in Promoting Equality and Managing Diversity. Arun has worked in diversity and inclusion for over twenty years. He is the Chief Executive of Sporting Equals an organisation working nationally to promote ethnic diversity in sport and physical activity. During his time at Sporting Equals Arun founded the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSAs), created the Inclusive Club model to affect cultural change in sports organisations. Arun has also pioneered the faith centre physical activity model as well as securing a six year partnership with Age UK to deliver the Fit as a Fiddle project.
Arun formally chaired the Public Health England National Physical Activity Implementation Framework for Inclusion. He is a visiting lecturer for the University of Birmingham, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, lead member for sport for the World Entrepreneurship Forum and a Mentor for the European Social Innovation Academy.
Preeti is the Head of Upshot at The Football Foundation, the UK’s largest sports charity funded by The Premier League, The Football Association and the Government. Upshot, The Foundation's online performance management system to over 750 organisations across the UK and internationally. Preeti focuses her efforts on proving the difference sport makes to people's lives through impact measurement and evaluation.
Preeti has worked in the sport for social change space for over 10 years, starting off at BBC Sport and working for various national and international NGOs and brands. She has an undergraduate degree from Goldsmiths and a Masters from Birkbeck, University of London. A well-respected figure in the sport for development space, Preeti was named one of The Sport Industry Group Next Generation Leaders in Sport in 2016 and co-chairs the BOND International Sport for Development coalition.
Melissa Payne, boasts 23 years’ experience within the Sports television industry, working in the production, technical and commercial sector.
Melissa has covered many of the biggest events in the world of sport, from: Tennis ATP/WTA Grand slams, Football, Commonwealth Games, IAAF Athletics, Rugby, The Open Golf … to name a few on the ground sports.
Melissa has also overseen many nautical disciplines such as the H20 series: F1 powerboats, Class One and Aqua-bikes, Sailing offshore to inshore, round the world and fleet racing - The America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, World Match Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series from a production and/or Television distribution stand-point.
Jill Puttnam, British Cycling Head of Programme Design. Jill joined British Cycling in 2010 and has been instrumental in leading the organisation’s women’s strategy work including the development of Breeze, British Cycling’s award-winning women’s cycling programme. Prior to joining British Cycling Jill worked in sport and leisure consultancy. Prior to this she had over 10 years’ experience working on increasing participation in sport and physical activity across the private, public and voluntary sectors.
Margot is first female to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer for Rowing New South Wales. Margot’s role is to lead the sport of rowing in the state of NSW from a participation and commercial perspective. Previously Margot was the Head of Consumer Business at the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs, both foundation clubs of Australia’s National Rugby League where she was responsible for driving commercial outcomes across various consumer departments.
In 2015 Margot joined the Inaugural National Rugby League Women in League Committee which lead the development and implementation of a female engagement strategy across the code, guided by post-graduate female leadership research undertaken and published by Margot herself.
Margot is extremely passionate about sport and the role that women can and do play in it both as participants and as executives.
Janette has run her own successful fitness Company for 20 years. Besides coaching as a British Triathlon Coach, running overseas training holidays and UK retreats, Janette is a motivational speaker sharing her story of suffering 2 strokes, Graves disease and losing her ability to speak for a number of months to then setting goals and winning international medals for GB in triathlon. She also has won Sports Woman of the year award in 2014. She works with Companies to help them develop their skills on resilience, dealing with adversity, goal setting, reducing stress and overall mindset coaching. She also works as a mentor for a Pro Racing Female Cycling Team.
Recently, Elizabeth was leading the redevelopment of a stadium for a high-profile women’s Premier League football. She is currently leading arena and airport design projects in Europe. Elizabeth has been involved in the conception of numerous stadium projects, arenas and training grounds in Europe and in the Middle East. Her previous experience includes work on the 60,000-seat Groupama Stadium together with a new training centre for Olympique Lyonnais football club and the design of the Southern Development for the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium including the Tottenham Experience.
Chester founded the ‘British Esports Association’ in March 2016 with authority from the UK Government, as the national body for esports.
Chester is a co-owner of the International Group and has over 24 years senior management experience in the advertising, marketing, sports, esports and leisure industries. International Group owns Stoke Park, the UK’s leading Country Club, Spa and Hotel and International Hospitals Group (IHG).
Chester’s clients have included Wembley Stadium (2005 to 2017), the MCC and RFU. Chester is a special advisor to MARV Films - who created Layer Cake, Kick-Ass and the Kingsman films.
Chester is a tennis member of AELTC (Wimbledon) and supports the charity SportsAid.
Lyndon Roberts, Director of Inclusion in Sport Ltd, has a wealth of experience in equality, diversity and inclusion in sport. Lyndon spent 18 months supporting Premier League and EFL clubs with their equality, diversity and inclusion projects, including the Premier League Equality Standard. This included delivering training to 800 professionals working across professional football. Lyndon is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Derby on equality, diversity and inclusion in sport and has worked for organisations such as Cerebral Palsy Sport, Derby County FC, British Triathlon and England Netball on equality, diversity and inclusion projects.
Gold Medallist and Women's Hockey legend seeded only 7th in the world back in 2016, where Britain's Women's Hockey Team managed to beat the "untouchable" World Champions, the Dutch, in the Rio Olympic Games. Just a year ahead of this feat, Crista, was happily focused on her interests in Wildlife Conservation at home in Kenya following her "retirement" from sport after the team took Bronze in the 2012 London Games. A call from the GB Head Coach led her to reunite with the squad just 10 months ahead of the 16-strong group being selected. Crista never gave up the "day-job" all through her training, and even found time to set up a London-based Consultancy firm - CCKC Consulting and her much loved charity The Tofauti Foundation, meaning ‘difference’ in her native tongue of Swahili.
Lesley Sackey, former GB Boxing Champion and Els Kolster, former Googler and corporate athlete created: #IAMACHAMPION, an employee programme to help anyone to think, feel and perform like one by using the tools of boxing, the breath and a champion’s mindset.
When everyone feels like a champion, they are more collaborative, productive, creative and more inclusive at work. We worked with some of the 50 UK employers that have been recognised, by The Times Top 50 employers for Women 2018, for their leadership on workplace gender equality.
Sophie Radcliffe is an adventure athlete, blogger, motivational speaker and Founder of TrailBlazers; a youth empowerment initiative to help teenage girls develop the confidence, resilience, and skills to navigate their own path, live courageously and tackle mental health issues. She quit her job in the city 6 years ago in to blaze a new trail and pursue purpose and passion over the traditional career and life goals she had previously been chasing. Her mantra 'One Life, Live It!' coupled with a quest for self-awareness and self-belief, drives her to take on some of the world's toughest endurance challenges and adventures across the globe.
Susie supposedly reached the top of her game in global hi tech marketing in her twenties and yet she didn't feel good enough - she needed to transform her mindset.
Susie trained as a Performance Coach in 2005 and used it to enhance her leadership as well as her self esteem for a decade before starting her own coaching business. She is winning at her inner game, but the whistle is a long way off.
For four years she has been shifting the way professional women think to become better leaders and partners, without compromise, exhaustion or guilt. She also coaches tennis players - you can find her Mastering your Mindset for Tennis course on Udemy.
Elizabeth is a Canadian expat who relocated to the UK in 2017 to join Twitter’s Global Content Partnerships team, managing sport partnerships. She works closely with some of the UK’s largest broadcasters, leagues, teams, and federations including Sky, Eurosport, BBC, Wimbledon and the European Tour, as well as and global sporting organizations such as FIFA, IOC and IPC. Prior to her move across the pond, she was a Client Account Manager with Twitter’s advertising sales team in Toronto for 3+ years. She started her professional career in Sponsorship with the Canadian Olympic Committee, where she funneled her passion for sports and marketing and, specifically “ice” hockey, into her day job.
You can follow her at @estranges on Twitter.
Sahiba is the newly appointed chair at the MWSF; a charity that looks to socially develop muslim women through sport. As part of her first project, Sahiba is overlooking the All-Stars Basketball Campaign at the MWSF which has produced an exciting batch of fresh faced Muslim girls who will represent GB across the nation. Having identified a gap in the market for Muslim women in Sport, she identified and understood the various barriers towards participation. The work she does with the charity believe in a no excuses policy and eliminate any barrier, so that women can participate, regardless of their form. Sahiba is keen to increase the amount of female muslim role models in elite sport within the UK and internationally.
Sahiba is also a keen researcher having researched the barriers towards BME participation in PE, Sport and PA before. She was successfully awarded a scholarship in 2019 to study her Masters at the University of Birmingham to research and understand muslim women and their participation/ perceptions and attitudes towards Sports and Physical Activity.
This Mum Runs was started four years ago by Mel, mum to Lyla and Raffi, after she posted on a local mums Facebook group that, re-starting her running journey after injury and lacking the confidence to run alone, she was looking for a run buddy to join her. That night 75 mums turned up, hundreds came along the following week, and This Mum Runs was born.
This Mum Runs is a running movement with a purpose: to empower and enable mums, whatever stage of their fitness journey, to find physical and mental wellbeing through running, friendship and headspace and help mums become happier and healthier everywhere.
With a community of over 50,000 women and growing daily, thousands of runners take part in hundreds of free runs each week, held at parent-friendly times. Mel – a Facebook Global Community Leader – has built an inclusive and supportive community for mums on and off-line, inspiring women nationwide to find the confidence to transform their lives through running.
This Mum Runs communities are thriving in Bristol (where Mel lives), London, Bath, Cardiff and there’s a Military Mum group that is growing at pace, with more towns and cities coming soon.
At This Mum Runs everyone is welcome. To find out more visit www.ThisMumRuns.co.uk or find us @ThisMumRuns on Instagram and Twitter, or join our This Mum Runs community on Facebook.
Jess works in asset management for Insight Investment and is one quarter of Girls Who Dare, a four woman crew seeking to break the world record for rowing from California to Hawaii next June. The crew’s tagline is ‘dream, dare, do’ and she is passionate about encouraging girls and women to dream big, set goals, and have the courage to go out and pursue them. She firmly believes that pursuing any goal will involve some form of setbacks and it’s how you respond to them that will ultimately determine your success. She is no stranger to setbacks herself, having recovered from a life-threatening flesh-eating disease aged 20. She is confident that the lessons she learned while recovering will serve her well on her upcoming adventure.
Suzie races as a Professional middle distance triathlete. Is a qualified triathlon coach, currently coaching a range of athletes and owns a business, creating custom bicycle equipment. She is a former geography teacher and education coach on the TeachFirst training programme. She is passionate about self discovery, the power of coaching conversations and the strength of silence and stillness. Her biggest influences, were her former pupils, convinced she was taught more by them and their “This lesson is crap Miss, but you can tell you tried” brutally honest feedback. Her friends call her BigSuz, If you stood next to her, you would understand. You can find her at www.bigsuz.com @suzie_richards
I never really fit the 'cultural mould' or the gender stereotype. I was always curious and adventurous and loved taking on challenges, much to my parent's dismay. So, I did all the things that people told me I couldn't do.
So here I am, my own success story . . . a business coach with an extensive background in Banking and Financial Services, an entrepreneur with a growing property portfolio, and a strength athlete competing in powerlifting and bodybuilding.
The result of my overwhelming desire to teach what I have learned and share my knowledge has been an amazing journey. My motivation comes from my two beautiful children, my passion comes from the love for the things I do, and my success is driven by the lives I change for the better.
Lou has over 20 years’ experience working in sport across some of the largest sponsorship proprieties, including, Formula 1 and football, both national and pan-European.
Prior to joining McLaren, Lou worked for Vodafone Group heading up their global engagement and events portfolio for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, Manchester United and Champions League. Through her work she was nominated and completed Vodafone’s future leaders programme ‘Inspire’.
As McLaren Group Brand Director Lou is responsible for the delivery and governance of the McLaren brand across its Formula 1, Indy and, most recently, its cycling programmes, as well as the wider Group.
Originally qualifying as a Sports Scientist from Loughborough University, Lou lives in London and is mum to her daughter, Sienna.
Matilda McAleenan has pursued a career within McLaren’s F1 team as a materials engineer, she also contributes to the strategy team. Matilda is co-chair of Driven Women, McLaren Group's first women's network. As one of the founding members, Matilda is passionate about making sure that diversity and inclusion are discussed and considered in the technology industry. She is responsible for organising the engineering work experience scheme at McLaren Racing.
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