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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 - Lawrence Conway

Lawrence was born and raised in Cardiff and is married with four children. He joined the civil service in 1968 and had various roles within the Welsh Office, including a secondment to Cardiff Bay Development Corporation in the early 1990s as Assistant to the Chief Executive. Following that appointment Lawrence headed the Welsh Office division of sponsored arms-length bodies including the Welsh Development Agency. He became head of the Cabinet Secretariat and First Minister's Department in 1998 and held that post until his retirement in 2010.  Lawrence was awarded the Companion of the Bath in 2012.

Vice Chair - Pippa Britton

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 a communications and media background. He is the Director of Communications for the UK Government in Wales. He is also the Chair of the National Eisteddfod and provides leadership of their management board. Previously he was Executive Editor, Politics at BBC Cymru Wales, before becoming co-owner of a bilingual communications agency working across the private, public and third sector.

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 has over 10 years' experience in Project Management. Currently she is the Strategic Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (BME) in Sport across Wales - (WCVA), primarily delivering inclusion training to NGBs, clubs, local authority sport development and leisure trusts to educate on cultural/religious barriers to sport, equality duty and offering support to make clubs/facilities inclusive for diverse communities of Wales. Previously Rajma has been involved in the WOW film festival developing partnerships and supporting film screenings for BME women and diverse communities across South Wales as well as Streetgames UK where she established the first Women and Girls Sport Forum in Wales.

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 Murphy

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 in Capital Law Limited, and lead in the public law/regulatory law team. She is a key advisor to UK Anti-doping on law matters including responses to Freedom of Information requests concerning athletes/testing data, as well as providing legal advice to the Gambling Commission. She has worked closely with the Future Generations Commissioner (Wales) advising around the Well-being goals in her enabling legislation and with challenges connected to public bodies' approaches to the Act. She was advisor to the BBC Trust working on high profile investigations and the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care advising on issues with governance and bullying.