The role of the expert panel is to identify 3 finalists in each of the award categories.
The winners will be selected by public vote (30 April – 13 May), and announced at the #BeAGameChanger Awards event on May 24th.
Expert Panel Members 2018
Darren is an ex-International Hockey player for England and Great Britain and is now the Belgian U23 Women’s Assistant Coach as well as a Higher Performance Coach and Coach Educator for FIH; Hockey’s World Governing Body. He also oversaw the programme that helped Ghana Women qualify for their first ever Commonwealth Games this year and climb to their highest ever position in the World Rankings.
A passionate advocate for equality and diversity; it is important to Darren to speak out and do work that supports people that traditionally struggle to get access to resources, support, and opportunities, whether that be due to ability, ethnicity, gender, financial situation, or anything else.
“I would love to be part of the panel as it’s a great chance to join other likeminded people who are passionate about opening opportunities to people who may not traditionally have them and celebrate the people who are making the most of those opportunities.”
Rachel Choong; 24 years old; born, raised and based in Liverpool, and born with an undiagnosed condition of dwarfism. Active athlete currently competing in SS6 (short stature) women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles in para-badminton. Ambassador for Asian Sports Foundation and Sporting Equals. Major achievements include being the world’s first and only double triple world para-badminton champion; double double European para-badminton champion; Sporting Equals Sportswoman of the Year nominee, and UK Sport Inspirational Performance of the Year at the BEDSAs 2016, and Royal Navy Sportswoman of the Year nominee at the 2018 awards; Outstanding Achievement at the BADMINTON England National Badminton Awards 2016; Female Sports Personality and Disabled Sports Personality of the Year at the Sefton Sports Awards 2016; BWF Female Para-Badminton Player of the Year 2015 and 2017 nominee; and BEC Awards Gala 2015 and 2017 Best European Para Player of the Year nominee (currently awaiting the results).
“I love working with the Women’s Sport Trust and to help them by being on their expert panel is a huge privilege. I can’t wait to celebrate women in sport with them at the #BAGC Awards, and all the inspirational and empowering work that sportswomen in this country do.”
Ali is the founder and editor of Scrumqueens.com, the award winning international women’s rugby website.
She 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, balancing a high profile and busy day-job at Downing Street, with delivering quality content for the website, which she runs as a volunteer, and its social media feeds. She is also Head Coach for the Teddington Women’s Team.
“With the profile of women’s sport in the UK at an all time high, these awards are a brilliant way to shine a light on the achievements of some of the fantastic leaders and influencers who make such a huge difference all over the country. I am honoured to be involved as a judge and hugely look forward to assessing what I know will be outstanding candidates and entries.”
Lynsey joined Nielsen Sports in 2016, providing strategic advice and reporting to many of the company’s major brand & agency clients, such as HSBC, JLR and Aberdeen Standard Investments. Recently Lynsey has also taken on the role of Women’s Sport global lead, driving forward Nielsen Sport’s focus on supporting the sports industry to develop Women’s sport through data.
Lynsey has over 10 years experience in the sports industry, both rights holder side with Williams F1 and on major brands sponsorship activation, including Land Rover and Lucozade Sport. Outside of her career, Lynsey achieved 30 caps for Scotland including playing in two Rugby World Cups and was previously chair of Wasps Ladies FC.
“I’m excited to be part of the Women’s Sport Trust Be a Game Changer awards panel as I’m passionate about changing women’s sport. I think the awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise those who are making a real difference and I’m looking forward to finding out more about all the nominees.”
Sally has over twenty years extensive and diverse experience of the sports, music and entertainment industries. She is currently Interim Chief Executive Officer at the British Athletes Commission and has been an Independent Board Director at Triathlon England since 2013. Sally is also Chair of the European Triathlon Union Marketing and Commercial Commission and a Business Mentor for Sported.
As Managing Director of a sports marcoms agency Sally has worked with major sports events (Olympics, Commonwealth Games, World Championships, Wimbledon); sports brands (Nike, adidas, Reebok, Kappa, Lotto); sports sponsors (Coca-Cola, Virgin, Microsoft, Cadburys, Prudential); leisure operators (David Lloyd Leisure) and both commercial and not-for-profit sports organisations. Sally was also Managing Director of an independent sports television production company.
She enjoys playing tennis, the gym, mountain biking and swimming.
“Having been the recipients of the National Governing Body of the Year award for British Triathlon in 2017, I am delighted and privileged to join the panel for the #BeAGameChanger Awards in 2018. The Women’s Sport Trust are true advocates of change, they challenge the status quo and always push the boundaries. I am looking forward to another incredible awards evening celebrating the very best in women’s sport.”
Claire has worked in the sport industry for over 15 years, spending eight years at Nike in both European and UK Communications Director roles.
Here she worked with elite athletes, clubs and federations from the world of football, launching industry-defining footwear, apparel and digital innovations for World Cups, European Championships and Champions League Finals.
Claire also worked on the launch of Nike’s NFL and NBA partnerships as well as brand campaigns for – amongst other global sporting moments – the Olympic Games, the Rugby World Cup and the World Athletics Championships.
Prior to joining Nike Claire worked at Hill & Knowlton Sport delivering strategic communications for clients including adidas, Carling, Robinsons and Procter & Gamble.
Claire is now a Senior Communications and Marketing Consultant – and as a mother to a one year-old daughter she places huge importance on governing bodies, brands and organisations providing inspiration and opportunities for young girls to play and love sport.
“It is a privilege to be a part of the judging panel for 2018. This year has been an incredibly exciting one for women’s sport, with much to look forward to. Celebrating those who have supported and championed its growth will no doubt continue to help drive this momentum and showcase the opportunity and value in women’s sport.”
Lisa Marie Rae
As Director of Entertainment Content EMEA, Lisa Marie leads Getty Images’ European Entertainment team. In this role, Lisa Marie oversees the editorial team including assignment editors, producers and the company’s roster of award-winning entertainment photographers and videographers – ensuring Getty Images maintains its industry-leading position as the premier producer and distributor of entertainment imagery and video. This includes the comprehensive coverage of major EMEA events such as the Film Festivals and Fashion Weeks. Lisa Marie ensures her team work creatively and innovatively to generate compelling imagery and video, used by brands to engage audiences across their communication channels.
Lisa Marie has been with Getty Images for over 10 years and most recently instigated the first female sports photographer internship program which has seen fresh talent joining the team for a year experiencing what it is like to shoot, edit and create world-class coverage across a diary of sporting events, including The Winter Olympics.
“It would be a privilege to join a panel of leading figures from the worlds of sport, business and the media to recognise and celebrate those individuals and organisations who work to progress women’s sport. I work hard in my own profession to increase the equality of our storytellers and raise their voices and would bring knowledge to the panel around the representation of diversity in the media, including in sport.”
Jo joined The Telegraph in December 2017, as Managing Editor.
Jo has spent over 15 years in leadership roles across both print and digital media, and brings that experience to The Telegraph across content, commercial, strategy and innovation.
In 2014 she left the corporate world to became a founding director The Pool UK, a disruptive and now multi-award-winning media start-up focused on the delivery of quality content, where she was Chief Commercial Officer.
Prior to the launch of The Pool, Jo was Managing Director of Future plc, Managing Director of Bauer Media, and she has also held directorships at BBC Worldwide and Haymarket Media Group.
“So honored to be asked to join this panel. Sport can have such a positive influence in so many lives in so many ways. It’s important to recognise those who are leading the way using their own talents to encourage and support others.”
Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE
Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist, Helen debuted in 1999, going on to represent England and GB hockey over 17 years and in four Olympic Games. Amassing 19 medals in total, she finally achieved her career goal as part of the team that beat the Netherlands in the Olympic Final in Rio 2016, being one of only two players to score during a tense penalty shootout.
Having stepped away from international hockey, Helen continues to support the things she feels passionately about. Seeing first hand the importance of diverse teams working together, understanding individual strengths and valuing their unique contribution in order to thrive, Helen supports campaigns and delivers speeches in schools and businesses to positively influence societal stereotypes and to create space for conversations to embrace our differences.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of the #BeAGameChanger Awards expert panel and hearing the stories of some amazing women and teams from the sporting world this past last year, along with recognising those companies and campaigns that are helping women’s sport go from strength to strength.”
Richard is Managing Partner of Econsultancy and specialises in accelerating Marketing performance & Digital transformation.
Richard has worked internationally with The Coca-Cola Company, domestically with McDonald’s restaurants heading Adult and Family Marketing, and before Econsultancy was one of the four equity partners of Oystercatchers. In addition to working clientside Richard has worked for Publicis Worldwide where he led the agency’s P&G business in EMEA whilst leading Publicis Groupe’s African expansion in parallel.
Richard is an award-winning diversity advocate and has been recognised as a ‘Male Agent of Change’ by the Women’s Business Council & Management Today, as well being ranked in the top 12 men championing women in business by the Financial Times. Vice-Chair of The Ideas Foundation, Board Member of Creative Equals, Token Man, BAME2020 and the first male SuperMomma for SheSaysUK.
When time allows Richard is a remarkably slow marathon runner.
“I’d like be involved because I am inspired by high performance and high achievers.”
We would like to acknowledge the invaluable shortlisting help from our Board of Trustees