CEO of Heart Valve Voice
Wil Woan runs his own funding consultancy that looks after several elite athlete foundations and a range of charitable organisations within the sports sector. He is also CEO of Heart Valve Voice a charity that supports people with heart valve disease across the UK. He spent over a decade working for the largest lottery distributor as an assessor, outreach officer and policy manager. He is a life-long Lancashire Cricket fan and a Preston North End supporter.
Assistant Publishing Editor and writer
Chris Ostick is Assistant Publishing Editor and cricket writer at the Manchester Evening News, where he has worked for the last 16 years. He has covered Lancashire for the paper since 2006 and reported some of the biggest stories in the club's history, including the 2011 County Championship win. He also co-wrote a book chronicling that historic season. A sports fan from a young age and a former Lancashire junior member, Chris graduated from Coventry University and worked as a reporter on the Buxton Advertiser, Sale and Altrincham Messenger and Derby Evening Telegraph before joining the M.E.N. in 2000 as a sub-editor on what is one of the busiest regional sports desk in the country. Two years later he became Assistant Sports Editor and in 2006 combined the role with that of cricket writer covering Lancashire and England. Since 2014, Chris has been Assistant Publishing Editor, playing a role in the drive to the MEN becoming a digital first company as well as regularly editing the paper and being part of the management team which oversees the company's print publications.
Health improvement specialist
Liz Johnston is a health improvement specialist with Bolton Council, working in their Public Health department. Liz has over ten years’ experience in public health, previously working with Salford Council project managing a Smoke Free Homes project before moving on to Bolton Council where she took on a tobacco control role. Liz also completed a Master’s in Public Health at Salford University in 2013. Liz is passionate about improving health inequalities and about getting more children and particularly girls , involved with sport. Liz is also a parental advisor for British Tennis. Liz lives in Bolton and spends her free time playing tennis or taking her children to their cricket, netball and tennis practise.
Green End Primary Headmaster
Jeff Harriott is the Head of School at Green End Primary in Burnage, Manchester, where he has been since 2010. In that time he has seen the school go from strength to strength, culminating in the school achieving outstanding status in all areas from Ofsted in July 2015 and being named primary school of the year at the 2016 Manchester Evening News Greater Manchester School Awards. He believes passionately in the role sport has to play in education to help change lives.
Local Relations and Relationship Manager at Sport England
Ben has worked in the public sector for 30 years. Previously a senior officer in Local Government and currently working for Sport England sport and physical activity development has been ever present throughout his career. Ben is passionate about the difference sport can make to people’s lives and still plays most sports (when the body allows!) including ‘social’ cricket. Ben recently established Buxton Basketball Club and the Peak & Plains Basketball League and is entering the 11th and final season of coaching his son’s Football team.
Jimmy Smallwood is the communications officer for the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS), based in Manchester, and a freelance sports reporter and journalist. Across a varied career in comms, television, radio and online Jimmy has covered Test series, top flight football fixtures and Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games. He strengths include press release and article composition and dissemination, social media and comms management. Outside of work Jimmy plays for Edgworth CC Tavs near Bolton and enjoys the cinema, theatre and walking.
Head of Partnerships and Communities at Trafford Council
Kerry Purnell has spent most of her career to date in public service. Initially in the police force Kerry finished her career as a Chief Inspector, District Commander for East Brighton, working closely with local residents and community groups to improve perceptions of crime and community safety and address inequalities that existed across the city. After 3 years running an international bistro in a rural mountain village in Southern Spain, she returned to the UK to take up a career in local government. Kerry currently works as Head of Partnerships and Communities at Trafford Council with her wide portfolio including crime and community safety, leading the Trafford Partnership as well as heading up the arts, culture, sports and physical activity agendas for the Council. She has excellent knowledge and connections across Trafford and wants to support the Foundation in maximising its impact in the local area. Outside of work Kerry is a keen sports woman, she ran the Manchester Marathon this year and is currently back in training for triathlon events next year. She understands the power sport can play and has supported her own children to achieve good standards in their chosen sports and has seen the personal skills and attributes they have developed through their participation in competitive sport.
Co-founder, Managing Director and Principal Consultant for Helmepark Ltd
Simon Penhall is the co-founder, Managing Director and Principal Consultant for Helmepark Ltd. Established in 2005, Helmepark Ltd has a successful track record of supporting clients with regards to insight driven performance improvement. Born in Oldham and a keen, but ageing sportsman, one of Simon’s few claims to fame is that he nearly scored a six at Old Trafford in 1984 playing for Rochdale Cricket Club u15s in the County Cup Final. Having enjoyed playing many sports in his younger days, Simon recently completed his first marathon. A graduate of UMIST (BSc Chemistry Hons) and Newcastle University (Master in Business Administration), Simon now lives in the North East of England with his wife and two teenage children. As Principal Consultant for Helmepark Ltd, Simon brings together his passion for performance improvement with a strong belief in the role of sport to inspire individuals and communities. Simon is a committed advocate of Theory of Change and his approach to performance improvement is based on a belief that an ever deepening understanding of the relationship between an organisation’s purpose and its practice provides the key to unlocking the organisation’s full potential.