About me

ISCA Move Congress 2021

I am a consultant and educator specialised in responsible decision-making in sport. I have almost 15 years’ international experience advising governing bodies, non-profits, sports organisations, and brands, in areas such as sustainable event management, impact measurement, and sustainability reporting. 

I also conduct educational workshops at sport organisations and academic institutions to broaden individuals’ understanding of sustainability, CSR, and other concepts related to responsible decision-making. I see this as an essential component of the work that I do to sensitise future sport managers to the topic and stimulate cross-departmental support to drive effective integration.

View the slide deck below for more details on my professional experience.

A bit more about me…

One of my most treasured memories, one of my go-to happy places, was this: I’m at primary school – can’t remember precisely how old – and I’m darting out of class with a football in my hands, I’m racing towards the field with all the other kids for the first time that summer. We set up the goal posts with piles of freshly mown grass – that blissful smell, oooh I can still smell it now – and pick the teams, then we go about playing football for what seems like hours under the warm summer sun. And then, whenever I feel like it – no need to stop the game – I run over to the porcelain drinking fountains that sometimes had really stiff stainless-steel buttons, meaning you had to use two hands to press them down, and I gulp down huge amounts of fresh cold water. 

It might sound odd for some but, for me, that memory alone makes life worth living. I’m sharing it with you because I think it tells you more about me than I could manage in a whole book. 

As a kid, I was sport mad. Football was my number one sport, and I idolised every one of the Queens Park Rangers players – certainly from around 1986 to 1994. I would often daydream about taking my football boots to the stadium with the chance that I might be asked to fill in for one of the players on match day. 

I understand the potential that sport has to change lives. I have often felt it. At one point, as a youngster attending a football camp I was told by one of the coaches that eating healthily wasn’t necessary to sustaining a long career as a professional player. The coach told me that Paul Parker – one of my idols at the time – often ate fish and chips and was clearly in great shape. “Who needs salads? Not football players.” That stayed with me for a while. Thankfully, I learned a bit more about human and sport nutrition at university. Afterwards, as a coach, I even got a chance to put right that wrong when one of my players turned up to training after having just finished eating fish and chips himself.     

I have learned that the influence of supposed role models in sport is not to be under-estimated. That the importance of having safeguarding measures in place is also no small matter. And the potential effects of unconscious bias is something that absolutely has to be picked up as a coach, but also more widely at club, association, and federation levels.

The first thing I learned when I embarked upon this career is that sport is a priori neither good nor bad. Sport is the tool. It has just as much potential to do bad as it has to do good. What matters is how we can harness sport and its inherent values for the benefit of society and the environment. And also how sport organisations can live by these values. 

Sport has an unparalleled reach into many pockets of society. It also has a considerable impact on the environment, primarily through associated travel. Given that the current climate emergency can be likened to looking down the barrel of a loaded shotgun, these two reasons make prioritising environmental impact a given. I used to work with someone who lived and died by UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action. He likened SDG 13’s role among the other SDGs to football teams where one player more often than not makes the winning difference. His insistence on this led us to joking about it – all in jest, and to his face I hasten to add – but the growing importance of climate action soon put us in our place. According to the World Meteorological Organisation, 13 of the 17 SDGs are linked to climate change in one way or another. The root of so many social issues is increasingly becoming an environmental one.

So in a round about way, I’ve told you that I’m passionate about sport and its potential to make the world a better place. I am driven by the opportunity to collaborate with others who share my passion – and those that care to listen to me make the case – and are committed to using sport’s unique power to inspire change.

%d bloggers like this: