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Board Members

Members are appointed to Sport Wales’ board by the Welsh Government.

As the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and physical activity in Wales, Board Members are appointed to:

  • promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and the positive benefits they have for Wales’ diverse society, in line with Sport Wales’ vision as a main deliverer of Government policy on sport;
  • challenge Sport Wales to ensure it meets its aims, objectives and performance targets;
  • act in a way that promotes high standards in areas including protection of public finance;
  • have an appreciation or understanding of the importance of corporate responsibility and risk management to ensure that Sport Wales’ activities are conducted effectively and efficiently.

As the main adviser on sporting matters to the Welsh Government, Sport Wales is provided with a Remit Letter detailing budget priorities. 

Who are the Board Members?

Our Board comprises of highly experienced individuals from all walks of life, including education, health, business and,  of course, sport.

Chair - Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, DL

Tanni’s term of office as Sport Wales Chair began in July 2022.  Tanni had formidable achievements as a world record-breaking Paralympian and World Champion from 1988 to 2004.  Since 2010 Tanni has served as an Independent Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords and is involved in various All-Party Parliamentary Groups and debates on a range of issues including Accessibility, Assisted Suicide, Equality, Welfare Reform and Sport.

Vice Chair - Pippa Britton OBE

Pippa is a double Paralympian and former Chair of Disability Sport Wales who competed on the Welsh and GB archery teams for 15 years and achieved podium places at 6 World Championships and 24 International events. She curently contributes to organisations within and beyond the sphere of sport towards greater inclusion, improving equity and increasing disability awareness.

She is a member of the Sports Honours Comittee, the Board of UK Anti Doping, the British Paralympic Association Classification Advisory Group and the International Paralympic Committe as well as being the first para-archery athlete committee member at World Archery. 

She is an alumnus of the UK Sport International Leadership Programme and was previously a member of the Archery GB Board and Sport Wales Elite Sport Sub Group.

Ashok Ahir

Ashok has an extensive background in communications, media and public administration. He is the Director of Communications and Engagement for Qualifications Wales, President of the National Library of Wales and Chair of the National Eisteddfod. He has worked as a senior leader in the UK Civil Service and for the BBC. He also established a successful communications agency that worked across the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Ian Bancroft

Ian was the Chief Officer for Organisational Change at Flintshire County Council but was appointed Cheif Executive of Wrexham Council in the summer of 2018. Prior to this he was Area Relationship Director at Knowsley MBC, Executive Director at Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, Principal Policy Officer at Wrexham County Borough Council and Business and Strategy Manager for Nottingham City Council's Leisure Services Department.

He was previously a board member for the Heritage Lottery Fund - North West.

Alison Thorne

Alison held executive board and leadership positions in the retail sector with Lego Retail, George at Asda, Kingfisher and Otto UK and has a range of non-executive and committee roles. She spent over two years as a partner in an executive search firm, and set up a business atconnect that supports companies to deliver through their people. She has also developed talent leading Post Graduate program and developing the Fashion MBA at the London College of Fashion. 

She now  combines these experiences to mentor individuals at transition points in their careers. Alison is also Chair of the leading equality charity Chwarae Teg and is the Lead in Wales for Women on Boards.

Judi Rhys MBE

Judi has a background in health, education and social welfare and initially worked in the NHS as a Health Promotion Specialist in the south Wales Valleys. She was an academic staff manager at the Open University and at Cardiff University, before moving into the third sector.

Judi is currently Chief Executive of Tenovus Cancer Care, and has held previous CEO roles at Arthritis Care and the British Liver Trust. Judi is a non-executive director of Public Health Wales, a Senior Independent Panel Member for Public Appointments in Wales and is also on the Board of Trustees at Alzheimer’s Society. Judi was awarded MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours for her work in the voluntary sector. She was born and raised in south Wales and now lives in Cardiff.

Professor Leigh Robinson

Professor Leigh Robinson is the Pro-Vice Chancellor: Partnerships and External Engagement at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She has a global reputation for her research and knowledge exchange in the development of competitive advantage and governance in developing sport nations. She has worked with a range of organisations, such as the International Olympic Committee, the British Olympic Association, Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee and the Malaysian Government, providing governance management training and consultancy. She is a member of the MEMOS network, a global network of academics responsible for delivering executive management education on behalf of the International Olympic Committee. Leigh has been a member of the Board of Commonwealth Games Scotland and Sportscotland, and is an advisor to Olympic Solidarity, the Education Commission of the Olympic Committee on their management education programmes.

Martin Veale JP

Martin is an Independent Member at Velindre University NHS Trust, a governor at Coleg Gwent, and a governor at his daughter's high school, and is a member of the Welsh Government’s Health and Social Services audit committee, the audit committee at Pembrokeshire County Council, and the standards committee at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. He is also a director of the Pen Y Cymoedd WIndfarm Community Fund, and is a serving magistrate.

Martin attended Ebbw Vale Grammar School, and holds a degree in finance and an MSc in audit and management. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and holds the Institute of Internal Auditors' Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership. His finance, audit, risk and corporate governance career covers local government, the NHS and Welsh Government, culminating as director of finance at Forestry Commission Wales and Head of Audit and Risk at Natural Resources Wales.  

Martin grew up in Ebbw Vale and now lives in Pontypridd with his wife and daughter. He is a supporter of Ebbw Vale rugby and Glamorgan cricket.

Phil Tilley

Phil has over 20 years experience of global technology marketing. He has been involved in developing new technology business cases for the world’s largest telecommunications service providers. Leading global teams in highly competitive markets and representing the company in forums and conferences. He is a lifelong sailor having been given the opportunity at school and works closely with the National governing body to help develop participation in the sport. He is a trustee for All_Afloat Wales, a charity set up in Wales to help make the sailing available to anyone close to the water. He previously held positions as chair of selectors for UK youth racing was on the UK youth racing committee and RYA Cymru Wales performance committee.  Married with three daughters and living in Monmouthshire. As an active triathlete you will frequently see Phil, cycling running or swimming, encouraging others to participate and enjoying the Welsh 

Rajma Begum

Rajma’s passion and dedication for working in sport equality stems from negative personal experiences and barriers to sport from a young age. Now working closely with other partners across the spectrum of equality and diversity, Rajma’s mission is to ensure all sports and physical activities are accessible and welcoming for all sections of the community. 

Rajma has over 10 years' experience in Project Management and currently she is the Strategic Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (Race) in Sport across Wales – Employed by Wales council for Voluntary action (WCVA). She has set up first BME Sport and Physical Activity Forum and Women and Girls Sport Forum in Wales as well as delivering the first conference in Wales  focused on Ethnic Minority communities in sport.

Rajma has won an award for her outstanding contribution to Sport, Arts and Culture at the 2021 Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association (EMWWAA) Awards. Rajma has a deep passion for women’s rights, social justice and equality and diversity and has been the Chair of Women Connect First for the past seven years. Rajma loves all sports and actively participates in swimming, cycling, walking (including Snowden) and completed the 2018 Cardiff Half Marathon. 

Dafydd Trystan Davies

Dafydd has vast experience of leading and achieving in the fields of organisation management. He is Registrar of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (Welsh National College) and Chair of the Advisory Board of Run Wales encouraging people to run socially, also founder and leader (LiRF) of a multicultural and multilingual running group.  His previous responsibility as Chief Executive of Plaid Cymru was managing the staff team, budget and implementing the political strategy.  Dafydd has been involved as Chair of award-winning social enterprises that includes Cardiff Bikes Workshop, which recycles in excess of 500 bikes per year, and TooGoodToWaste which recycles hundreds of tons of household furniture helping dozens of people into employment every year.

Hannah Bruce

Hannah is an experienced external affairs professional with established reputation within the sports industry. She is Head of Public Policy at the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), responsible for designing and leading the organisation's engagement with key external stakeholders including Government and external sporting agencies to enhance the ECB's reputation. Hannah previously was policy advisor to the UK Government Cabinet Office, responsible for advising departments on their deregulation strategy and was also a senior political advisor to the leader of the opposition based in the National Assembly for Wales.

Delyth Evans

Delyth is currently a self-employed consultant in the public policy sphere; previously she held the position of Chair and non-executive director at Volunteer Space, a technology start-up developing digital platforms for volunteering in charities and corporate sectors.  Delyth was a Member of the Welsh Assembly, appointed as Deputy Minister for Culture, Environment and Rural Affairs, and previously was a News and current Affairs journalist for the BBC and ITV providing extensive broadcasting reports for HTV Wales and Sky News. Delyth's previous voluntary roles were as a Board Member, Film Agency for Wales and as a Trustee, United Response (UK-wide learning disability charity).

Nicola Mead-Batten

Nicola is a Partner at law firm TLT LLP, specialising in public law and regulatory matters and judicial review. Nicola has been a trusted adviser to the likes of the British Medical Association, UK Anti-Doping, the Gambling Commission, Welsh Government, the Future Generations Commissioner, as well as her own regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority.