Skip to main content
28 Jan 2022 | 2:02

The Sport for Development Coalition has welcomed a group of executives and leaders from across its network who will formally help to drive and shape the outcomes and deliverables from its ‘collective action’.

The Collective Action Leadership Group is drawn from different roles across a wide variety of organisations, reflecting the diverse mix of national and local sport for development organisations across the Coalition’s UK-wide network. Encumbents will chair the groups for an interim period of one year.

More than one third of the Coalition's 200-plus member organisations are currently involved in its governance and collective action through participation or support for its Board, sub-committees, and working or advisory groups. The Coalition is a growing network of VCSE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) groups, networks and sports bodies over-arching thousands of projects and programmes intentionally using sport to generate positive social outcomes across the UK.


Andy Reed OBE, Chair of the Coalition, said: “We are pleased to welcome this new group of members and executives from across the Coalition’s growing network, who will ensure the delivery of specific shared objectives and outcomes remains central to its collective action. The Board is mindful of the time and resources that these individuals and organisations across the Leadership Group are dedicating to our collective ambition and priorities, and remain focused on maximising the return on their input as we seek to increase influence and awareness for the UK’s sport for development movement.”

Emma Atkins, Collective Action Manager for the Coalition, added: “We have a busy schedule of events and group activities throughout 2022, and our priority is to ensure this action contributes directly and meaningfully to the growing body of evidence influencing key decision-makers and policy-holders on the value of sport for development in Covid recovery and tackling inequalities across our most deprived communities.”

The Collective Action Leadership Group comprises:

Policy Advisory Group Co-chairs

Zenna Hopson and Mark Lawrie

Zenna Hopson – Zenna is CEO of Dallaglio RugbyWorks, the national charity founded by former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio. She has previously worked as Chair of Ofsted, the children and learners’ inspection and regulation body, and was a non-executive director on the board of the Royal Navy for 10 years.

Mark Lawrie – Mark is CEO of StreetGames. He originally qualified and worked as a primary school teacher and moved into sports development in 1999, working for Reading Borough Council. Mark has almost two decades of experience in leadership and management in the sports and education sectors and was the founding Chief Executive of Get Berkshire Active, the new Berkshire County Sports Partnership established in 2011.

Mental Health Steering Group Chair

Prof Andy Smith

Professor Andy Smith – Andy is Professor of Sport and Physical Activity at Edge Hill University, and Programme Leader for the MSc Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health. His research focuses on the links between sport, physical activity and mental health, and inequalities in local communities, and in professional sport settings. He was a co-author of the ‘Moving for mental health’ report co-produced by the Coalition, Mind and Edge Hill and Loughborough Universities.

Employability Steering Group Co-chairs


Gary Laybourne – Gary is CEO of the CoachCore Foundation, the national charity which supports young people into education and employment outcomes. He led the development of CoachCore as pilot project on behalf of The Royal Foundation between 2012 and 2015, and oversaw its expansion to 2019 before managing its transition to a stand-alone charity.

Kelly Dummer – Kelly is Head of Programmes at London Youth, overseeing programmes with a particular focus on sports, employability and mental health. Previously she managed the Hitz National Programme for Premiership Rugby, overseeing development of the scheme across 13 clubs, and before then worked as Community Development Manager for the Palace for Life Foundation, the charitable arm of Crystal Palace Football Club, and Project Manager for the national charity Sport Inspired.

Employability Youth Advisory Group Co-chairs

Azi Mohammed and Amber Campbell

Amber Campbell – Amber is a gymnastics coach with Glasgow Sport, having come through the CoachCore Apprenticeship programme in the city.  She also serves as a Youth Board member for CoachCore.

Azi Mohammed – Azi is Deputy CEO of Salaam Peace, a London-based community organisation that uses sport and social education to bring communities together, tackling socio-cultural problems including the engagement of marginalised groups, violent crime, racism, low levels of mental/physical wellbeing, offender rehabilitation and employability. Previously Director of Operations, he has also worked in part-time and internship roles at Sport England.

Impact Working Group Co-chairs

Marc Leckie and Nav Sira

Marc Leckie – Marc is CEO of The Harlequins Foundation, the charitable arm of the Premiership Rugby club. He previously spent more than 14 years at Charlton Athletic Community Trust, including as a Director and as Head of Youth and Social Inclusion.

Navjeet Sira – Nav is Director of Design & Impact at the Change Foundation. She joined the charity in 2010 as a volunteer and since then has transformed its impact measurement approach and is a multi-award-winning creative in designing sport for social change programmes.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group Co-chairs

EDI co-chairs

Stephanie Hilborne OBE – Stephanie joined Women in Sport as CEO in October 2019 from The Wildlife Trusts, after working in nature conservation for over 25 years. She is dedicated to changing opinions and behaviour around inclusion and equality, and believes strongly in the power of sport to transform lives.

Halima Khan – Halima is Area Director for StreetGames (Yorkshire and Humber) and has worked in sport for development for over a decade championing equity in and through sport from community to national and international level. She has devised and delivered training around diversity and inclusion to ensuring organisations develop good practice and effective action planning, leading to greater diversity in workforces and community engagement.

Communications Working Group

Rotating Chair – the Coalition’s Communications Working Group is currently reviewing its ‘rotating chair’ model, where group members volunteer on a meeting-by-meeting basis. The group remains open to new members throughout the year and therefore this model will continue to drive shared leadership and action across the network, and in particular across the Coalition’s shared messaging framework.

Find out more about the Coalition's collective action and how targeted sport-based interventions contribute towards 'levelling up' - watch the video.