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Ep 47. Paul Blanchard – delivering in a multi-sport environment

Today I’m delving into the multi-sports arena and have traveled to Holborn in London to meet with the Chief Exec of Commonwealth Games England, Paul Blanchard. The Commonwealth Games England is primarily responsible for delivering Team England to the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. In this interview, we talk about how he was brought on board to strengthen the commercial operation, the importance of building the Team England Brand and the opportunity that a games on home...


Ep 46. Paul Elliott CBE – adversity as the catalyst for success

I’m back at Wembley today to talk to with former professional footballer Paul Elliott CBE. Paul's playing career began at Charlton Athletic in 1979, and he went on to represent Luton Town and Aston Villa before becoming the first black English footballer to play in Italy when he joined Pisa in 1985. On his return from Italy, he joined Celtic and finally Chelsea, where he became the club’s first black captain in 1991. He’s had a 30 year career tackling discrimination in football, holds a CBE...


Ep.45 Joanna Stimpson - on what it means to be a referee

Today I travelled to Wembley to speak to Joanna Stimpson The FA’s women’s refereeing Manager. Right now, we’re in the middle of an exciting women’s football world cup. But the Lionesses aren’t the only one’s on the pitch. In this interview we explore what it means to be a ref. How refereeing has changed and what the ambitions are for refereeing as the women’s game continues to grow and develop.


Ep 44. Tim Hollingsworth OBE - on leadership in the sports sector

Episode 44 is an interview with the CEO of Sport England, Tim Hollingsworth. Tim’s worked at a senior level in a number of high-profile roles in sport – including seven years as Chief Executive at the British Paralympic Association, Secretary General for ParalympicsGB at the PyeongChang 2018, Rio 2016, Sochi 2014 and London 2012 Paralympic Games and Chief Operating Officer at UK Sport. We talk about his views on leadership, what challenges that brings, how he copes with criticism and what...


Ep 43. John Alder – Leaving a positive footprint

Episode 43 is an interview with English Institute of Sport's Head of Performance Pathways – John Alder. John is a people development practitioner whose life mission is to help individuals, teams and organisations flourish while promoting culture-driven leadership. We talk about leadership, the complexity of the sporting landscape, and the challenge of prioritising particularly when you are managing multiple stakeholders.


Ep 42. Adam Sills – Keeping ahead of the game

Episode 42 is an interview Adam Sills. Adam is Head of Sport at The Telegraph, leading their coverage across all platforms and disciplines. Adam joined The Telegraph in 2010 as Sports Editor of the daily paper before his promotion to head up the department five years ago. He has overseen its transformation into a digital-first, progressive team, most recently founding and launching the Telegraph Women’s Sport initiative. He supports Southampton and runs his son’s football team, with family...


Ep 41. Nigel Walker – giving athletes the performance advantage

Episode 41 is an interview with English Institute of Sport National Director – Nigel Walker. We talk about the importance of an equitable system, thoughts on how funding will change and also how high performance is evolving. Nigel joined the EIS in September 2010 having previously been Head of Change and Internal Communications at BBC Wales. A former international athlete and rugby union player, he represented Great Britain as a high hurdler before switching to rugby, earning 17...


Ep 40. Joanna Adams - on making the business deliver

Episode 40 is an interview with the CEO of England Netball – Joanna Adams. With more than 20+ years of experience working with brands, rights holders and the media, Joanna is one of the most highly regarded and innovative Chief Executives in British sport. We talk about what she is doing to actively grow their market, the significance of their partnership with Sky, and why it’s so important that netball stays on the school curriculum.


Ep 39. Alex Willis - combining innovation and tradition

Episode 39 in an interview with the Head of Communications, Content & Digital at the All England Lawn Tennis Club – Alex Willis. We talk about how innovation and tradition work together, creating change within a championship cycle, the challenges of being an annual event, and the importance of remaining relevant in the future.


Ep 38. Kat Copeland MBE - after Olympic gold

Episode 38 in an interview with Olympic Rowing Gold Medalist Kat Copeland MBE. "I used to think success was an Olympic Gold Medal" We talk about loving her sport, coping with self-doubt, what made it possible for her to achieve Gold and also the unexpected effect that had on her. Katherine was part of the Great Britain rowing team for 10 years and went to the Rio and London Olympic games, winning a gold medal in the lightweight women’s single scull in 2012. Katherine has also broken five...


Ep 37. Sophia Jowett - influencing the future of sport

Episode 37 in an interview with professor of sport and exercise psychology at Loughborough University, Sophia Jowett. Sophia also worked as a consultant for the Greek Olympic team in Athens 2004. Over the past twenty years she has been a leader in her field, helping us to understand the intricacies of the interpersonal relationships in sport. In this interview she gives us an insight into her studies, her motivations, what she wants her research to achieve and in doing so reminds us of the...


Ep 36. Katy Daley-Mclean - "You can't rush experience"

Episode 36 in an interview with one of the UK’s most high profile Sportswomen, rugby star Katy Daley-Mclean MBE. We talk about the effect of winning a world cup, the transition to full-time rugby, changing attitudes towards her as a female athlete and what she thinks about the long term future of the game.


Ep 35. John Steel – On leadership in high performance environments

Episode 35 is an interview with John Steele, currently Executive Director of Sport at Loughborough University. Through the years, John has had some powerful sporting positions including CEO of organisations like the RFU and UK Sport. He’s been an army officer, an athlete, a coach, and as well as his role at Loughborough he’s also Chairman of The English Institute of Sport. We talk about the sporting system, creating high-performance environments, and how you go about maintaining a...


Ep34. Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE - From athlete to political influencer

Episode 34 is an interview with one of the most recognisable names in Paralympic sport and disability rights, Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE. We talk about how she measures her own performance, the importance of developing a hinterland as an athlete and also get an insight into her current life as a politician. It’s a fascinating interview about influence, impact, and how to leverage the profile you have. Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE has been a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords...


Ep 33. Lauren Briggs - From elite player to masters athlete

Episode 33 is an interview with over 35’s masters squash world champion Lauren Briggs. We talk about her time as an elite player, and how transitioning to the master’s circuit gave her hope that her career as a squash player could continue. It’s an honest and thoughtful interview about struggles, successes and finding renewed meaning in a sport you love. Lauren Briggs is a professional squash player who represents England. She currently holds all the major Over 35’s master’s titles, having...


Ep 32. Baroness Sue Campbell – changing the world through sport

Episode 32 is an interview about the extraordinary power of sport with – Baroness Sue Campbell. It’s an interview about culture and purpose, how you bring people together and how you create a cadre of individuals who believe in something bigger than themselves. It’s a conversation which reminds us about what’s important and gives an insight into the passion and purpose which drives one of the most influential women in sport. Sue Campbell trained as a physical education teacher, taught in...


Ep 31. Emma Mitchell – Managing the off pitch distractions

Episode 31 is an interview with Performance Lifestyle Advisor to GB Hockey - Emma Mitchell. Emma is also a former international rugby player and 1994 World Cup winner. We talk about the issues and challenges of her role, what it was like on the inside when England women won gold, and how she supports athletes to develop the skills and qualities needed to cope with the special demands of high performance sport. Emma joined the EIS as a Performance Lifestyle Adviser in February 2007 and has...


Ep 30. Laura Weston – Pushing the envelope in sports marketing

Episode 30 is an interview with the Managing Director of iris Culture, Laura Weston. As MD of a leading sport and entertainment agency she talks about how you can bring a brand to life with sport, the excitement of breaking conventions and why working on the Launch of FA Women's Super League (WSL) was one of her proudest moments. Twice nominated for the prestigious BT Sports Industry ‘Agency of the Year’ Award, iris Culture is known for its creative and innovative work for global brands...


Ep 29. Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE - Journey to Gold

Episode 29 is an interview with Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE. Over the course of her 17-year international Hockey career she amassed 19 medals including an Olympic bronze at London 2012, the European Championship title in 2015, World Cup bronze and Commonwealth silver, before finally reaching the pinnacle of her sport with an Olympic gold at the Rio Olympics 2016 We talk about how hockey has developed as a sport and what it’s like to play at an elite level. Helen also also talks openly about...


Ep 28. Ali Donnelly - "You work your life around your passion"

In episode 28 we talk with founder and editor of Scrumqueens.com Ali Donnelly. Ali is also a monthly contributor to Rugby World Magazine and regularly speaks across media outlets about the game. The website was given a special award by the Rugby Writers Association for its contribution to the women’s game and Ali was last year named by Rugby World Magazine as one of the most influential people in rugby. Away from Scrumqueens.com, Ali is the Deputy Spokesperson to the Prime Minister,...