UK Sport has today announced a group of 16 talented individuals from across the entire sport sector in the UK who have been chosen for the inaugural Event Leaders Programme.
Aimed at growing the number of world-leading event directors in the UK, the 16 individuals came through a competitive application process for the inaugural Event Leader Programme, which began in March, and represent the widest breadth of sports from table tennis, triathlon and taekwondo to rugby league, netball and football.
It is the first of its kind to collaboratively pool events and people development expertise from the entire sport sector and industry partners and will develop and empower these individuals to be more effective and purposeful leaders, who can strategically and impactfully drive a world-leading events programme for their sport.
The Event Leaders Programme will also provide an opportunity for them to build upon existing leadership skills, learn new approaches, consider the ethical challenges major events have a responsibility to address and crucially, understand how to apply and embed them in the context of their own events. The 16 participants are:
- Stephen Brown, Chief Operating Officer, Rugby League World Cup 2021
- Victoria Clutterbuck, Head of Operations & Events, Pentathlon GB
- Ben Cummings, Director, Commercial & Major Events, British Triathlon
- Rachel Dulai, Event Director of the World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprint Finals 2022, British Rowing
- Jonny Hamp, Head of Events, British Triathlon
- Lindsay Impett, Head of Events, International Netball Federation
- Rebecca Leach, Director, ARC Event Consultancy
- Matt Marshall, Event Manager, British Taekwondo
- Susan Murrin, Head of Operations, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships
- Tracy Power, Social Impact Director, Rugby League World Cup 2021
- Lucy Roberts Hartley, Marketing and Communications Lead, UEFA Women’s EURO 2022
- Neil Rogers, Head of Competition & Events, Table Tennis England
- Jo Smith, Head of Events, BUCS
- Chris Walker, Director, CW Event Projects
- Bev Ward, Senior Host City Manager, UEFA Women's EURO 2022
- Gemma Wiggs, Head of Events & International Affairs, British Canoeing
Beyond the inaugural edition of the Event Leaders Programme, those working in the UK Sport events network will have the opportunity to join UK Sport’s major event knowledge transfer programme and continue to access learning and development opportunities, such as attending observer programmes, webinars and peer learning groups.
Esther Britten, Acting Deputy Director of Major Events at UK Sport, said: “It is really exciting to be able to announce the first cohort of our inaugural Event Leaders Programme. Our ambition is to host some of the world’s biggest sporting events over the next decade and to do this well will need impactful leaders who understand people and culture, the successes and challenges of event delivery and the power of sport to drive societal change. We look forward to supporting this group on their leadership journeys.”
Bev Ward, Senior Host City Manager at UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, said: “I am delighted to be offered a place on the Event Leaders Programme. It has always been a passion of mine to deliver meaningful social impact through sport, with major events providing an important platform to achieve this. I hope by being part of the first cohort I can help UK Sport to deliver its strategy of attracting and hosting world-class events and showcasing the UK as a global event leader.”
Matt Marshall, Event Manager at British Taekwondo, said: “The Event Leaders Programme is an incredible opportunity for me to improve my leadership, learning from the rest of the cohort and in my role as I lead on the delivery of three international taekwondo events in the next two years. Beyond this, I would love to be part of a UK-hosted world championship and to play my part in in giving Olympic and Paralympic athletes the best platform to perform.”
Rachel Dulai, Event Director of the World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprint Finals 2022, British Rowing, said: “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be part of the Event Leaders Programme, particularly from such a well-respected and world leading organisation as UK Sport – it just had to be seized! I hope to take inspiration from mentors and share and learn from the rest of the cohort, especially on discussion around the shape of sporting events in the future.”