Women’s Sport Trust is run by an operational board of trustees comprised of committed volunteers. We are keen to be a diverse and inclusive organisation and are actively looking to expand our board. Please let us know if you’d like to find out more.
Tammy Parlour, Co-founder
Master Tammy Parlour is a 5th degree black belt in the Korean martial art of Hapkido, having practiced for over 30 years. She founded Chang’s Hapkido Academy UK, a full-time martial arts and meditation school in central London. Tammy specialises in the relationship between martial arts and personal development. She has written a book on meditation, lectures at organisations like The Wellcome Trust, and has just completed an MSc in Strength & Conditioning.
“I am embarrassed to admit that it’s not until recently that I ever fully considered the impact of being a sportswoman in a predominately male environment. I have dedicated my life to practising and teaching a martial art and had never really openly considered my gender. London 2012 changed that.
The Olympics brought women’s sport and images of women athletes to the fore. I realised that I enjoyed watching sport much more when there were women playing. I started to feel differently about myself and seemed to be standing a little taller as a result.
I remember walking down the Embankment in London and I felt a huge pride in what I do. I realised that though I love playing sport and run my own martial arts school, sometimes I’ve felt not totally understood by others. I’ve often had to field comments about it not being a ‘proper job’ or that it was a strange thing for a women to do.
The Olympics changed me. I came out! I am a full-time female sports person, and the strength, the dedication and the perseverance of other female athletes inspires me. I don’t want to lose that; I don’t want to go back to a world full of men’s football.
This is why I founded Women’s Sport Trust – but the concept will only work if we all get involved.”
Jo Bostock is the founder of Pause Consultancy, a leadership development business that advises global businesses, leading media organisations and influential third sector clients on inclusive leadership. She believes that it’s vital for senior leaders and top team teams to understand the values that drive them and what it means in practice to be authentic. Through coaching, workshops and conferences, Jo is keen to stimulate critical reflection and debate about how people can exercise influence about the things that matter to them. She is also an Associate Director at Stonewall and has published research into the value of diverse role models. Jo specialises in gender progression in the workplace and is currently writing a book for Cambridge University about the different ways in which women see themselves as successful.
“The main driver for my involvement in the Women’s Sport Trust is a determination to create more opportunities for women and girls to engage in sport if they want to. When women can’t see other women actively participating in sport, getting funded to do so and receiving media coverage when they excel – that’s a problem.
I am also utterly convinced about the value and importance of visible, diverse role models. They send a message about what is possible, the different ways you can look and the range of ways of being successful. I am excited about the potential for the Women’s Sport Trust to actively support the emergence of strong female role models through access to funding.
On a more personal note – whilst I love my job, my head can get fried and the rest of my body feel somewhat neglected. The squash court is where I go to reconnect, re-energise and be myself. I love watching and playing sport but don’t love that it can be infernally difficult to even read about women playing sport, never mind see it live. I hope that the Women’s Sport Trust will help to change this.”
Sue Day, Treasurer
Sue Day is a former England and Wasps rugby player. She represented England from 1997 to 2009 and captained both the 15s and the 7s sides. Sue is also a Chartered Accountant. She worked part-time for KPMG throughout her England career and is now a (full-time) Associate Director in KPMG Corporate Finance. She is also a keen climber, walker, camper, CrossFit-er and occasional rugby player and hopes to complete her first triathlon in May (having first learned to swim more than a single length).
“As I write this, the England Netball team have just secured a historic, first-ever series victory against Australia. In the Autumn the England (Women’s) Rugby team secured a historic, first-ever series whitewash against New Zealand, the World Champions. The England (Women’s) Cricket Team, World Cup holders, are in India, favourites to defend their title. The England (Women’s) Hockey team just won an Olympic Medal! And that is just (some of) the team sports.
If this were happening in men’s sport it would be incredible, hyperbolic, breath-taking front page news. Unfortunately for women it is not even back page news but rather is tucked away on a small paragraph on the inside pages.
This is why the issues that the Women’s Sport Trust aims to tackle are so close to my heart. We need to be able to inspire the next generation of Eboni Beckford-Chambers’ and Charlotte Edwards’ and Nolli Watermans. We also need to inspire the next generation of women’s club and county players and the next generation of girls who just want to play sport for fun and fitness and to keep active.
To do all of that we need coverage, we need role models that girls can actually see and read about and we need funding. The Women’s Sport Trust aims to help women and women’s sport achieve all of those things and I for one am very excited about it.”
Lynsey Hooper is a freelance Sport Broadcaster – one of her most recent appointments was as the first ever female football reporter to work on national radio station talkSPORT. Lynsey also works for several television networks including Sky Sports, BBC and ESPN and has previously presented Sport for ITV Central News. She worked as a presenter for LOCOG at the London 2012 Games and also anchored a world sailing tour that took her around the globe in 2012. Lynsey launched an all-female weekly football podcast called The Offside Rule (We Get It!) last year which has been widely received.
“I’m often asked what career I would have chosen had I not entered the world of Sports Broadcasting and the answer for me is an easy one –my dream was always to be a professional Sportswoman. I had to settle for the next best thing: watching sport instead of playing it. My ability was probably capped at county-level sport, but I can’t help thinking had there been more women role models across more sports when I was growing up then maybe I would have at least had the inspiration to pursue my original career goal. The only sports that seemed to promote professional careers for women at that time (we’re talking the 90’s by the way!) were tennis and golf.
Discovering the Women’s Sport Trust has re-ignited some dormant passions. I would like nothing more off the back of such a successful London Olympics than for young girls to grow up aspiring to represent their country or compete professionally without having to come across that word that haunts most sportswomen of the current day – sacrifice! I feel passionately that women shouldn’t have to sacrifice money, time or motherhood in order to be the best in their field. Those who are talented enough should not have to juggle full-time work with training, or supplement their costs for competing and receiving the best coaching. The elite in any sport should have the best possible facilities and support available to them to help get those gold medals or Championship titles.
I am sure there are many talented individuals that have slipped by the wayside and have been lost to the inequalities that exist in professional sport. I believe it’s time for change. I am looking forward to getting behind the Trust and helping to raise awareness going forwards and hopefully there will be countless women that will draw the benefits.”
Sarah is the Head of Organisational Effectiveness for BP’s Integrated Supply and Trading. She has over 13 years experience in developing and implementing talent management initiatives with a specific focus on the retention and development of top diverse talent. Sarah played lacrosse for England.
“Sport defined my childhood. Through sport I was provided a scholarship to a world class university; through sport I was afforded the opportunity to represent my country; and through sport I learned how to lead, how to follow, how to win and also how to lose. Sport allowed me to build skills that I would not have learned in a classroom – I believe all women should have access to these same opportunities.
I know I am one of very few women who were able to tap into resources to help fulfil my sporting dreams – this needs to change. All women who have a passion for sport should have access to both the people and the funding who can help them to realise their passion. This is why I’m involved in the Women’s Sport Trust.”
Sue Anstiss is the founder and Managing Director of Promote, a public relations agency which has specialised in the field of sport and active leisure for 19 years, and represent a range of clients including national governing bodies of sport, leisure operators, sports events, charities and suppliers to the sector. Sue is a non-exec Board Director with London County Sport Partnership PROACTIVE West and ukactive (formerly the Fitness Industry Association). A former volleyball player turned netballer, Sue took up triathlon last year (at the age of 46) and is ‘enjoying’ the enormous challenge of fitting training in around work and family life.
“I feel incredibly privileged to be a trustee of the Women’s Sport Trust.
I’ve been so lucky to work in sport for over 20 years, and it’s wonderful to see my three daughters now discovering the joys of sports like swimming, netball, athletics and hockey.
Sport can be so powerful for women on many levels – building confidence and self esteem, enhancing health, and enabling and sustaining lifelong friendships.
I want all women to have the opportunity to access sport throughout their lives, and believe that post London 2012 we have a superb opportunity to increase the profile and provision of women’s sport in the UK – from our inspirational elite performers through to grassroots participants.
The WST looks destined to make a significant difference to women’s sport and I am delighted to be contributing to this in my role as a trustee.”
Emily Cushion is a strength and conditioning coach with the English Institute of Sport and GB Badminton. She has experience working with numerous sports including hockey, rugby union & league, cricket and synchronised swimming. Alongside this, she is in her final year of a MSc in Strength and Conditioning. With a passion for sport herself, Emily took up the sport of weightlifting two years ago and regularly competes both in the UK and internationally.
“When I was first invited to be a trustee for the women’s sport trust I immediately thought this is something I want to be involved in.
Having come from sports that are very male dominate (rugby and weightlifting), I just accepted that it would be hard for women to be recognised the same way. However, coming off the back of the 2012 Olympic Games this is definitely the time to push women’s sport.
The success and achievements of all athletes should be recognised and encouraged to the same extent. The work from organisations such as the Women’s Sport Trust will aid in this exciting journey and I am proud to say I am a part of it.”
Suzy Levy is the head of Leadership, Diversity & Employee Engagement for Accenture UK and Ireland. In her role, Suzy is responsible for a suite of people programmes which enhance diversity, inclusiveness and people engagement in Accenture. Suzy is hugely passionate about the differences individuals bring to the world and creating an inclusive work environment where people are encouraged and supported in bringing all of who they are. Outside of work, Suzy is a passionate athlete, mother and wife, and has benefited from both individual and team sport throughout her life.
“There is much debate in the media about how to get more women on boards in the UK and across the globe. Similarly, we see focus on the lack of women in parliament and media. Sport plays an important role in leveling the playing field across all of those bodies. Sport creates positive role models, who are healthy, vibrant and active. Sport creates opportunity for women to advance their natural skills and at the same time operate in an environment where competition is healthy and good and where winning requires not just doing a good job, but smart thinking and intelligent play.
I firmly believe that when you touch a young girl’s life with sport, you enhance the possibilities in her future. As a business woman, athlete and mother to a young daughter, I am delighted to be part of the Women’s Sport Trust. It’s time to level the playing field”
Kathryn Dobinson is a Sports Content Editor for The Daily Telegraph. She writes about women in sport, fitness and adventure for the Wonder Women section of Telegraph Online and for the Life and Style blog at The Guardian. Kathryn is fascinated by the inextricable link between sport, business and leadership. She juggles sports journalism with her role as a Content Editor at Redactive Media Group and as the Founder of Pipeline, an adventure challenge agency for corporate women seeking to break the glass ceiling that will launch in 2014. Kathryn is a keen runner and rower, long suffering Arsenal fan and is chipping away at climbing each of the seven summits, one frost bitten finger at a time.
“I have long lived by the maxim that exercise solves everything. It sharpens the mind, enhances productivity, clears a rotten headache, sparks winning ideas, dulls stress…the list is endless. But more than anything, sport gives women the wonderful, rare opportunity to be themselves.
The Women’s Sport Trust is protecting this. It is not only investing financially in athlete’s career development but it is pushing the media to showcase the female role models that will make the girl in the playground wonder what would happen if she picked up a tennis racket or a rugby ball. Because no matter what the average male sports editor insists, there is an undeniable public appetite for women’s sport coverage, and the Women’s Sport Trust is going to get it.”