Director of Operations
I grew up in rural Devon. Here my parents’ mantra of “just give it a try” and the vast array of sporting opportunities combined, and the seeds of my sporting passion were sewn. Whilst growing up I sampled virtually every sport available, and soon cycling, rugby, and white water kayaking dominated my free time. These passions stayed with me through to Aston University in Birmingham. Here I combined an International Business and French degree with being Chairman of the University Canoe Club, and led trips both on and off the water across the UK and the French Alps. Given my early experience selling Christmas trees on my parents’ market stall, a career in sales was never far away. After stints as a successful charity fund-raiser before and after my travels, in 2002 I settled for a career in the City as a ‘Headhunter’, for niche company, SBR Europe. Whilst there I re-kindled my love-affair with rugby by playing for my local side ‘The OldStreetonions’, and shortly after I helped to found the clubs’ junior section: The Old Street & Shoreditch Sharks. Set in Shoreditch Park, amongst some of the most deprived estates in London, this was a powerful lesson in the importance of local community sports clubs, for both young people and adults alike. This became the major source of inspiration for SportInspired.
In 2007 (with my 30th birthday looming!), I chose to follow my passions – realising life’s too short to do otherwise – and simultaneously resigned from my job to re-train to be a secondary school teacher, and started telling anyone who would listen I was going to organise a “huge” Community Sports Festival. Three months later, with unbelievable support from friends and family “SportInspired, Hackney 2007″ was born. It was designed to inspire Hackney’s young people as to all the amazing sports available on their doorstep, whilst promoting the local clubs themselves. And the following summer, I gained my PGCE and became a “swiss army knife” of teachers, teaching French, ICT, PE and Business for Oasis Academy Coulsdon in South Croydon. In the summer of 2010 I faced my toughest career choice so far, and put teaching on hold to become as I am today, a full-time Co-Managing Director of SportInspired. I’m resolute in two beliefs:
- There is a sport out there for everyone
- With passion, anything is possible
We work with SportInspired because they know how to deliver for the community and for corporates.
When I did 10 metres I felt great. I felt really happy when I did my 250. Everyone says “Well done” and “That’s great Lewis” and that makes me feel happy. It’s like an achievement of my life. It’s one of the best things I've ever done.
SportInspired’s Games aren’t just about having a fantastic day. It is great for business and delivers a foundation for promoting sports participation and accessing sport in the community, leaving a tangible and sustainable legacy we can all be proud of.
You see the kids coming in and some of them are as quiet as anything, withdrawn, and they go out and they are maybe six inches taller than they were when they came in, you know, just on a complete high.
SportInspired’s approach has provided the Council with a platform that brings all key stakeholders together and helps us to align our projects and initiatives. In a recent Games programme, 92% of the 900 young people stated they were more likely to take up sport, had improved their team working skills, and had more confidence.
I want to say how pleased me and my husband are about all the opportunities you have given my boy. He is really proud of himself and we are really proud of him as well.
Through working with SportInspired, I have gained many local contacts with schools, community clubs and local community. SportInspired has played a key role in helping to lay down a clear pathway to the community that will help further develop and inspire our children. Thames View Junior School has welcomed this with open arms, and so have many other schools in the Borough.
The games are great! It gives young people the opportunity to try a number of different sports and that is key. It has really raised the awareness of basketball in the community and has helped our school programmes grow from strength to strength.
I had fun with my friends and it was the best day of my whole life!
I deal with a lot of difficult customers on the phone, and whenever I get a difficult customer I just think of the day I was there and how happy the kids were.
Thanks for the amazing opportunity, the students loved it, and will remember it for a long time.
“SportInspired has become a key partner in the delivery of a lasting legacy of sports with our School Sports Partnership and its member schools. They clearly understand the needs of schools and young people when delivering their programmes, which are of the highest quality. We welcome any future involvement with the organisation and its employees, in helping to inspire a generation.”