Meet the judges

Our Judging Panel brings together a host of leading figures from across the sport sector. Our ten judges will come together on January 31 at Twickenham Stadium to decide the shortlist and winners of our eight Award categories.

Leon Mann, Founder, BCOMS and Co-Founder, Football Black List 

Leon Mann is a broadcaster, film-maker and sports consultant. He has interviewed some of the biggest stars in sport – including David Beckham, Michael Jordan and Shelley-Anne Fraser-Pryce. As a film-maker he has made two critically acclaimed documentaries on Usain Bolt for the BBC. Leon also has a successful sports consultancy advising a range of athletes on how best to communicate. Away from the day jobs, Leon is a co-founder of the Football Black List, an initiative that highlights the achievements of the black community in the sport. He is also the founder of the Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS), a networking group for black sports journalists, as well as a board member of the Sports People’s Think Tank. Leon also sits on the Sports Journalist Association committee

Arfan Akram, East London Cricket Coordinator, Essex County Cricket Club

I currently work in the cricket industry for Essex County Cricket Club and the University of East London. I have also recently worked for the Marylebone Cricket Club. I am a former cricketer at Essex Cricket and play recreationally for Wanstead & Snaresbrook Cricket Club. I am very passionate about sport and the role it plays to inspire as well as unite people from different backgrounds. Outside of working in cricket I am an Arsenal and Leyton Orient fan and follow most sports as well as enjoy travelling.  

Jack Connors, Manager – ActiveLab Program, ukactive

Jack leads ActiveLab, ukactive’s global launchpad for innovation in physical activity. ActiveLab exists to develop the latest physical activity technology and digitally transform the physical activity sector, in order to help people of all abilities and backgrounds get active in new ways relevant to them, and help businesses deliver their services in more efficient and engaging ways. With a background in environmental sustainability, Jack worked with the University of London to develop new ways to engage students in sustainable lifestyles. Whilst working with Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Jack managed various programmes focusing on how technology could create smart, sustainable districts, whilst ensuring the sustainability standards of the most sustainable modern Olympic and Paralympic Games ever were upheld. This included working with international partners to develop technologies in areas such as sustainable fashion technologies, autonomous mobility, wildlife sensing and sustainable communities.

Michelle Weltman, Sports Development Consultant & Coach, London Marathon

I have been involved in sports development, coaching and event management for over 30 years across London. I have worked in local government, charity and the private sector on sports projects and events specialising in disability sports. I am also a coach educator and volunteer in sports. I have been involved in exciting projects that try to engage with people from all walks in trying to become more active I currently work for London Marathon Events as their Athletes with Disabilities Lead. I am also head coach of the biggest LGBT+ swimming club in the country and am Chair of the London disability Swim Club and Access to Sports.

Susie Rodgers, Communications Officer, British Paralympic Association

Susie Rodgers MBE is a multiple Paralympic medallist from London 2012 and Rio 2016, where she won Gold in the 50m Butterfly event. She won 30 international medals throughout her swimming career and holds multiple European and British records. Susie retired from sport in 2017 and now works at the British Paralympic Association as well as a portfolio of board and ambassador roles for various organisations. Susie advises international organisations on equality and diversity, specifically disability. She has a degree in three languages and continues to swim and practice yoga in her spare time. She is a convert to open water swimming.

Neville Graham, Leisure Client Contract Manager, Haringey Council

I’m an avid Arsenal fan with over 15 years’ experience in the Sports and Leisure Industry spanning across sports coaching (football and basketball), personal training and gym management. With a keen passion for getting people fit, healthy and active; sports and community development has been a natural progression for my career. I work on projects aimed at getting more people engaged in sport and physical activity. I currently work as a Leisure Contract Manager ensuring the local communities leisure centres are open accessible places of residents to enjoy. I also oversee responsibility on a range of projects including capital redevelopments geared to towards getting more people more active.

Kelvin Walker, Director, Ealing Half Marathon, London Sport Board

Kelvin is the founder of the Ealing Half Marathon, an award winning social enterprise and is currently a non executive independent Director of London Sport. A qualified accountant by trade, he now advises charities and social enterprises on finance and governance, having recently completed a Masters in Grant-making, Philanthropy and Social Investment. He is a passionate advocate of parkrun and is a qualified athletics coach at Ealing Eagles Running Club. He has been a season ticket holder at Spurs for over 30 years and hopes they move into their new ground before the London Sport Awards 2020 are announced! 

Alice WilcockAssistant Director – Team London, Mayor of London

Alice Wilcock is Assistant Director of Team London (volunteering) and Sport at the Greater London Authority. Alice’s team covers volunteering and social action and using volunteering as a way of bringing Londoners together. She is also responsible for the Community Sports programme. Alice joined the GLA in 2016 from the Community Development Foundation, where she was Director of Partnerships and Innovation. Her role included working with community groups on local social action, managing multi-million-pound programme Community First for Office of Civil Society and delivering training and consultancy to a variety of clients from the public, private and voluntary sector. Prior to joining CDF Alice worked for Barclays, where she headed their Community Affairs programme, covering community sponsorship and staff volunteering. 

Tove Okunniwa
Tove Okunniwa, Chief Executive Officer

Former Chief Executive of Havas Sport and Entertainment and Head of Marketing for BBC Sport, Tove joined London Sport as Chief Executive Officer in 2017. Tove also serves as Deputy Chair of England Boxing. A passionate advocate for diversity and equality, Tove brings substantial commercial acumen and a firm belief in the importance of empowering people’s lives through physical activity and sport.

Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director, RFU

Steve Grainger joined the RFU as Rugby Development Director in June 2011 from his CEO position with the Youth Sport Trust (YST). A leading expert in sport development, he had huge success in building the YST into a vital part of the sport infrastructure over his six years as Chief Executive. In total, he had 16 years’ experience working with a range of national governing bodies at the YST and prior to that spent three years at the National Coaching Foundation. In 2007 he was awarded an MBE for his contribution to school sports.

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