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SPEAKERS

SPORTING CHANCE SUMMIT 2023 GUEST SPEAKERS

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AMA AGBEZE

Ama Agbeze has been dubbed 'a marvel of the modern netball world’, having played in Australia, New Zealand and England, and across five positions on the court. She made her international debut in 2001 and has won 100 England caps to date.

 

A great orator and motivator, Ama was named England captain in 2016 and led the Vitality Roses to their historic gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She was inducted into the England Netball Hall of Fame in testament to her contribution to the sport in England.

Since 2001 she has committed herself to England Netball with one driving ambition; to reach the very pinnacle of her sport regardless of the sacrifices she has had to make. Along the way there have been moments when she has been dropped from the squad and had to battle her way back in, there have been moves to Australia and New Zealand to take advantage of the higher level of club competition, and there has been the challenge of being apart from her Kiwi husband when her career brought her back to the UK.

 

Throughout all of this there has also been the need to maintain her income through work outside netball – with Ama practicing as a lawyer alongside her sport. In 2016 Ama was named as England captain, a position that allowed her to motivate the team to their victory on the Gold Coast in 2018, turning around the disappointing 4th place finish at Glasgow 2014.

 

Having observed the approaches of many captains before her she made the conscious decision to be an empathetic leader – someone who wasn’t the loudest in the room or the team superstar, but who was able to motivate each person as an individual by giving them her time, understanding what each person brings and selecting the right person for the right situation.

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ABBE BRADY

Abbe Brady is the Head of Department for Psychology and Pedagogic Science at St Mary’s University and has held this position for 3 years. Before joining St Mary’s, Abbe was Head of Postgraduate Studies at the University of Gloucestershire. Abbe is an HCPC registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist and has 20 years of experience as a BASES accredited Sport Scientist. Abbe is also an ICCE International Coach Developer graduating from the Nippon Coach Development Academy in 2019 and having 20 plus years of coach developer experience with Sports Coach UK and UK Coaching.

Abbe is the Director of the SWIFT (Sport, Well-being, Inclusion, and FaiTh) Research Centre launched in 2019. Abbe achieved her HEA fellowship in 2012. Abbe's research interests fall broadly into three areas: athlete/coach well-being, mentoring and social learning in coach development, and positive psychology interventions in sport and business settings.

Presently Abbe is leading two contracted research projects with the Football Association. The first is a follow-up study of effective coaching in the women’s and girls’ game which draws upon the success of an earlier FA project which has informed an innovative coach and coach developer programme. The second project is an evaluation of the FA’s Coaching Excellence Initiative during 2021-2023.

Abbe has 15 years of experience as a guest reviewer for a series of journals, publishers, and funding organisations for work in the areas of sports coaching, sport science & sport psychology and safeguarding in sport. Abbe is presently co-editor of a Frontiers Special Edition 2021-22 for the topic of Wellbeing and Quality of Life in Elite Sports: Towards Evidence-Based Approaches for Psychological Health Promotion and Proactive Support.

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DREWE BROUGHTON

Drewe Broughton retired from professional football in 2011, aged 33. Drewe’s career spanned 15 years, scoring 106 goals over 560 professional games, across 3 of England’s 4 Professional divisions and representing 20 clubs.

 

“No longer was I able to perform. A career spent dogged and undermined by soul searching and fear. At the same time my agent died, my marriage broke down and I was homeless. It culminated in me going into rehab for addictions. What I discovered about myself during my darkest hours, in Sporting Chance Clinic I will be forever grateful for.”

Since retirement, Drewe has used his experiences to become a Performance Coach. Drewe combines his 1:1 coaching with athletes and business owners, alongside consultancy around the world. Since 2019 he has taken over 200 leaders through his education in Advanced EQ whilst hosting a growing community in his App; Sweat & Courage. His hard-earned wisdoms aligned with vast experiences and high emotional intelligence has enabled him to unlock the potential of a huge diversity of people from around the world. From Founders of businesses, to management teams, PGA golfers, International Footballers, Tennis players. 

 

Drewe has appeared in and on, an array of media platforms including The New York Times , Sky Sports, BT Sport, The Guardian, The Times, BBC, ITV discussing fear and the ongoing lack of understanding around human performance and coach education.

 

“I have found that the leaders and performers who have contacted me all have the same traits. That strong moral compass, sensitive, yet fiercely driven, relentless ambition to the point where nothing is ever enough. Traits that I hugely relate to, having had to battle that myself in a public and merciless industry for nearly two decades.”

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LUCIE CLEMENTS

Lucie is a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist and Psychological Coach who has lived experience of mental ill health. Lucie specialises in psychological health and wellbeing of people in the performing arts industry, with expertise in dancers.

She delivers evidence-based workshops and consultancy to performing arts schools, companies and producers, and has worked with clients including Equity, Sadler’s Wells and the British Army Band.

Lucie is a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist and Psychological Coach who has lived experience of mental ill health. Lucie specialises in psychological health and wellbeing of people in the performing arts industry, with expertise in dancers.

 

She delivers evidence-based workshops and consultancy to performing arts schools, companies and producers, and has worked with clients including Equity, Sadler’s Wells and the British Army Band.

 

'My expertise lies in the psychosocial underpinnings of optimal dance performance - which means the role of the training environment, teachers, parents, and peers in nurturing healthy dance engagement. Research helps me to understand the role of psychology in achieving both technical and creative excellence, and to develop coaching, consultancy and workshops that are grounded in the latest science.

I love my job and still can’t believe that I get to work with such incredible dancers and organisations. Whether working with an individual coachee or advising on systemic changes - every piece of work is of equal importance to me and the push for better mental health support in the performing arts sector.'

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LEE DIXON

Lee Dixon is a former English professional footballer who played as a right-back for Arsenal, Burnley, Bury, Chester City and Stoke City, as well as gaining 22 caps for the England national side.

 

Like his long time team mate Tony Adams, Lee is revered by fans at Arsenal where he spent the majority of his career.

His stay in north London spanned 15 years and 619 appearances - fourth in the all-time list of Arsenal players - until his retirement in 2002 after winning the Premier League and FA Cup double at the age of 38.

 

His stay in north London spanned 15 years and 619 appearances - fourth in the all-time list of Arsenal players - until his retirement in 2002 after winning the Premier League and FA Cup double at the age of 38.

 

Following the end of his playing career he has concentrated on several business interests in addition to extensive work as a football pundit and columnist, working for the BBC on their Match of the Day and Football Focus programmes before a move to ITV Sport in July 2012.

 

From 2013, he has been the co-lead commentator for the Premier League on NBC Sports in the United States. Alongside this, he has actively supported several charitable causes, including joining former England rugby union captain Lawrence Dallaglio on long distance sponsored bike rides in 2010 and 2012, the latter a 1,700-mile journey from Greece to London that raised over £986,000 for Sport Relief.

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STEVEN FINN

Capped 126 times across all formats for England, Steven made his international debut aged just 20 in 2010, becoming the 647th man to play test cricket for England. By the end of that year, Steven had become a key part of the test side, and took 14 wickets in the Ashes series down under that England won 3-1 – their first victory in Australia for 24 years.

Steven’s international career continued to grow, going on to become the youngest ever bowler to take fifty Test wickets for England, as well as becoming a part of both the ODI and T20 sides, featuring in the 2012 T20 World Cup and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.

Capped 126 times across all formats for England, Steven made his international debut aged just 20 in 2010, becoming the 647th man to play test cricket for England. By the end of that year, Steven had become a key part of the test side, and took 14 wickets in the Ashes series down under that England won 3-1 – their first victory in Australia for 24 years.
 

Steven’s international career continued to grow, going on to become the youngest ever bowler to take fifty Test wickets for England, as well as becoming a part of both the ODI and T20 sides, featuring in the 2012 T20 World Cup and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.
 

But during the 2013/14 Ashes tour, Steven was sent home, with then coach Ashley Giles stating “Steven is not selectable at the moment”. Steven had a period of confidence rebuilding, but successfully made a return to the national side with a player of the match performance v Australia in 2015, and continued to play a key role in the Ashes series that England went on to win 3-1.

 

Steven has spoken candidly about the pressures he faced, and how this leaked into his personal life and the difficulties of how your mental state can affect your performance.

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DR KATE HAYS

Dr Kate Hays is The FA’s Head of Women’s Performance Psychology. Vastly experienced in performance psychology and being part of multidisciplinary teams for 20 years, she has worked across a range of different sports and supported title winning athletes and teams competing in major global events including World Championships, Olympics and the professional equivalent – most recently among the team behind the team at the Women’s Euros 2022. 

Kate joined The FA after more than seven years in a similar role with the English Institute of Sport [EIS], where she led and managed the delivery of the national psychology strategy during the Rio and Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Dr Kate Hays is The FA’s Head of Women’s Performance Psychology. Vastly experienced in performance psychology and being part of multidisciplinary teams for 20 years, she has worked across a range of different sports and supported title winning athletes and teams competing in major global events including World Championships, Olympics and the professional equivalent – most recently among the team behind the team at the Women’s Euros 2022. 

 

Kate joined The FA after more than seven years in a similar role with the English Institute of Sport [EIS], where she led and managed the delivery of the national psychology strategy during the Rio and Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. She was appointed as the TeamGB HQ psychologist for the Tokyo Olympic Games where TeamGB won more medals across a wider number of sports than ever before, making history on the back of the most complex, challenging and difficult environment faced in recent times.

 

Kate’s current remit within the technical directorate at St. George’s Park includes working closely with elite England players in an on-camp role as a key part of head coach Sarina Wiegman’s support team. Day to day, she will also ensure a consistent approach is introduced across all development sides as part of a commitment to strengthening the women’s player pathway

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NICK LITTLEHALES

Nick is recognised as the world’s first and leading Elite Sport Sleep

Coach, probably the world’s first Sleep Coach and regarded as a

leading human recovery innovator. He has over 35 years’ experience within the sleep and sleeping product industry and over 24 years dedicated to elite sport.

Having developed a successful consultancy practice following on from roles as the International Sales & Marketing Director of the Slumberland Group and also Chairman of the UK Sleep Council, Nick has conducted many practical and clinical research projects into the varied sleeping habits adopted by the modern-day sleeper and athlete.

Nick is recognised as the world’s first and leading Elite Sport Sleep Coach, probably the world’s first Sleep Coach and regarded as a leading human recovery innovator. He has over 35 years’ experience within the sleep and sleeping product industry and over 24 years dedicated to elite sport. His unique, passionate, and proven approach, is endorsed by leading sport science professionals, managers, coaches, organisations in sport and now business, health, and education worldwide.

Having developed a successful consultancy practice following on from roles as the International Sales & Marketing Director of the Slumberland Group and also Chairman of the UK Sleep Council, Nick has conducted many practical and clinical research projects into the varied sleeping habits adopted by the modern-day sleeper and athlete.

Nick is an experienced International keynote speaker, joint presenter and has appeared on numerous television shows and radio programmes. As well as being recognised as a leading sleep recovery commentator continuing to be featured by all of the leading media titles and podcasters.

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DR SALLY HILTON

Dr Sally Hilton is a Counselling Psychologist and Psychotherapist specialising in supporting mental health in sport. She works with sports people around issues that affect sports performance and emotional and mental well-being.

Sally completed research into mental health in elite sport contributing to a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology and is currently undertaking a PhD in Sport Psychology exploring resilience, fear of failure and psychological safety in football.

Sally has worked with clients from a variety of sporting backgrounds including football, swimming, athletics, cycling, golf, tennis and MMA amongst others.  

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Sally Hilton is a Counselling Psychologist and Psychotherapist specialising in supporting mental health in sport. She works with sports people around issues that affect sports performance and emotional and mental well-being.

Sally completed research into mental health in elite sport contributing to a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology and is currently undertaking a PhD in Sport Psychology exploring resilience, fear of failure and psychological safety in football.

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Sally has worked with clients from a variety of sporting backgrounds including football, swimming, athletics, cycling, golf, tennis and MMA amongst others.  

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NICK MERCER

Nick Mercer is an experienced psychoanalytic psychotherapist and addictions counsellor who has written, managed and established total abstinence programmes in a wide variety of locations. Alongside his consultancy work and a private practice, he has adapted and successfully delivered a 12 step programme for young offenders in Reading HMYOI and Aylesbury HMYOI and was instrumental in delivering the first 12 step easy access day programme in Liverpool.

 

His mission is to extend to clients the same opportunities for spiritual and personal growth that were extended to him.

"When I was 37 years old I reached university via an access course and gained a BA and an MA in English. After a number of years working in harm minimisation for Turning Point, Addaction, Richmond Fellowship and the Blenheim Project I completed my counsellor training and spent the next 7 years working in prisons for RAPt. As a manager I customised and delivered the first 12 step programme for young offenders in Reading and Aylesbury prisons. In 2005 I helped deliver the first easy-access non-residential 12-step programme in Liverpool (SHARP) and went on to manage SHARP London. In 2007 I worked on a similiar programme in Oldham incorporating all that we'd learned previously re the efficacy of recovery communities.

 

I then returned to RAPt (now Forward Trust) as a treatment consultant for HMP Everthorpe and led the clinical team in the successful establishment of the HART day programme in Hull. During this time I completed a long and arduous training at the Philadelphia Association of which I am a member and a trustee. I have a small practice in London where I see individual clients and couples. 

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MATT MUIJEN

Matt completed a Medical degree at the University of Amsterdam in his native Netherlands. His background is as a Psychiatrist and Epidemiologist, having trained at London’s Royal College of Psychiatrists, Institute of Psychiatry (Kings College) and School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

 

He is currently a Mental Health Policy Adviser and has worked as a consultant with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank, Swiss Development Corporation and with many countries and non-governmental organisations advising on mental health policy.

 

Matt completed a Medical degree at the University of Amsterdam in his native Netherlands. His background is as a Psychiatrist and Epidemiologist, having trained at London’s Royal College of Psychiatrists, Institute of Psychiatry (Kings College) and School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

 

He is currently a Mental Health Policy Adviser and has worked as a consultant with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank, Swiss Development Corporation and with many countries and non-governmental organisations advising on mental health policy.Matt had previously spent 13 years as the Programme Manager for Mental Health and Mental Disorders at the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Prior to that, he was CEO of the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health in London. His extensive knowledge, experience and status in the field of Mental Health made Matt the perfect candidate to become a trustee at Sporting Chance in 2021.

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STEVEN REID

Steven Reid made his professional debut at 17 for Millwall, before moving to Premier League side Blackburn Rovers in 2003, going on to make 399 club appearances in a 17 year career that included spells at QPR, West Brom and Burnley. In 2001, Steven made his international debut for Republic of Ireland, and was part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Squad, in all making 23 international appearances including 2 goals.

​Following his playing career, Steven stepped straight into a successful coaching career, with spells at Reading, Crystal Palace, AFC Wimbledon, West Brom and Scotland working alongside top level managers Steve Clarke, Roy Hodgson and Chris Hughton.

​Following his playing career, Steven stepped straight into a successful coaching career, with spells at Reading, Crystal Palace, AFC Wimbledon, West Brom and Scotland working alongside top level managers Steve Clarke, Roy Hodgson and Chris Hughton.

 

In 2022, Steven stepped away from his role as assistant manager to Steve Cooper at Nottingham Forest, following their promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years.

Despite his successful career as both player and coach, Steven has stepped away to pursue a career in counselling, to draw upon his own experiences of mental health in elite football, and support around mental well-being, confidence and leadership.

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SIMON SHEPARD

Simon has worked at Lord’s cricket ground for the past 30 years, firstly as a physiotherapist, thens as head of player health, wellbeing and sports science and currently he leads on organisational development across the club.

 

Alongside his work in sport, he delivers coaching and training to organisations that are serious about their people.

 

He is a faculty member for The National Leadership Centre and has won awards for his work in supporting The NHS workforce.  He is an Amazon Top 10 best-selling author and, if the truth be known, he is often described as a bit of a nuisance.

Simon has worked at Lord’s cricket ground for the past 30 years, firstly as a physiotherapist, thens as head of player health, wellbeing and sports science and currently he leads on organisational development across the club.

Alongside his work in sport, he delivers coaching and training to organisations that are serious about their people. He is a faculty member for The National Leadership Centre and has won awards for his work in supporting The NHS workforce.  He is an Amazon Top 10 best-selling author and, if the truth be known, he is often described as a bit of a nuisance.

 

With clients, from public and private sectors, based in locations around the world his message is consistent and clear – if organisations want to progress in a world of flux the leaders of today need to look after themselves, their teams and their communities.

To facilitate progress Simon uses an approach that he refers to as MAINframe (Measurement and Analysis to understand, Inspiration to ignite and Nurture to enable sustained success). This combination of data, talking and coaching addresses the Key Human Performance Indicators that are essential in delivering personal energy, focused teams and resilient organisations.

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ROB WOTTON

Rob Wotton is a familiar face to sports fans as both presenter and journalist. Rob has become a fixture on Sky Sports News as a presenter, having been part of the original team in 1998, and throughout his career has gone on to host most of the shows on the news channel.

Rob is a trained BACP counsellor and combines his work on television by helping clients on a range of emotional issues. Rob has been a long term friend of Sporting Chance, and helps run Scuba Diving lessons as a trained instructor to our residential clients as part of their varied schedule to recovery.

Rob Wotton is a familiar face to sports fans as both presenter and journalist. Rob has become a fixture on Sky Sports News as a presenter, having been part of the original team in 1998, and throughout his career has gone on to host most of the shows on the news channel.

 

Rob is a trained BACP counsellor and combines his work on television by helping clients on a range of emotional issues. Rob has been a long term friend of Sporting Chance, and helps run Scuba Diving lessons as a trained instructor to our residential clients as part of their varied schedule to recovery.

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