The staff

Emma Boggis

Emma is our Chief Executive. She is responsible for strategic guidance and also ensuring that we are working towards our vision of being at the heart of a world-leading sport and recreation sector.

Before joining the Alliance in 2014, Emma worked in the Cabinet Office, where she was most recently head of the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Unit, set up in 2012 to support Lord Coe in his role as the Prime Minister’s Legacy Ambassador.

Emma’s previous roles have included Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Deputy Head of Mission in the British Embassy in Madrid.

Given her background she plays a lead role in our engagement with government departments and policy makers. Her early career started in the British Army where she had operational tours in Northern Ireland and Kosovo. Emma is a keen sportswoman – with a number of marathons and triathlons under her belt along with a few long distance cycle rides.

Email Emma
T 020 7976 3900

Photo of James Allen, Sport and Recreation AllianceJames Allen

James has been the head of policy at the Alliance since May 2013 and leads the development of the Alliance’s public policy and research work.

Before working at the Alliance, James held a range of communications and policy roles in both the private and the not-for-profit sectors. He has worked as a public affairs consultant and in advisory roles on national political campaigns. Most recently, he spent three years at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, firstly in policy and later leading the public services team.

He holds a Masters degree in Public Policy and outside of work is training for his first marathon and attempting to rekindle a tennis career that was never very promising. To prove his resilience, he is an avid and long suffering supporter of Newport County AFC.

Email James
T 020 7976 3923

Photo of Sallie BarkerSallie Barker

Sallie is our Head of Operations. She has responsibility for the operations of the organisation – facilities, IT and HR but the key area of her work is in developing and managing the membership, including the Alliance’s member services.

Sallie has been instrumental in increasing the number of members and in ensuring that our service to them is of a high quality and well regarded.

Sallie joined the organisation in October 2002, having worked at the GB Sports Council and Sport England for 12 years prior to that. She originally trained to be a teacher and holds an MA in Physical Education. She has recently completed a course to become a leadership coach.

Sallie is passionate about working for her community and in her spare time she is a Honourary Secretary of the Torch Trophy Trust, a member of the executive committee of the European Non-Governmental Sports Organisations, chair of the Women’s Playing Committee and board member of the English Lacrosse Association and a National Trust volunteer. She enjoys travelling and visits museums and stately homes wherever she goes!

Email Sallie
T 020 7976 3938

Kate sport_and_recreation_kate_lawrensonLawrenson

Kate is the PA to the Chief Executive and Company Secretary for the Sport and Recreation Alliance. She provides full administrative support to the chief executive and is the organisation's chief advisor on corporate governance procedures.

She also provides full support to the chair and board of directors, the Finance Committee and the Commercial Panel.

Kate organises the elections of directors to the board on a yearly basis, making sure that all protocols are carefully followed and provides the necessary support to the Nominations Committee. Kate is particularly passionate about her role in assisting a chief executive and board whose remit is to support the work of so many diverse and interesting members.

Kate joined the then CCPR in 1997 and worked alongside the general secretary to establish an effective corporate governance strategy of systems and procedures for the organisation. She became company secretary in 2005. Kate was previously the PA to the district manager at the West Kent Benefit Agency (now DWP) based in Dartford, Kent for ten years.

In her spare time Kate is an avid reader and watcher of films and enjoys relaxing with family and friends. This New Year’s resolution is to get fit!

Email Kate
T 020 7976 3941

Geoff_Obee_sport_and_recreationGeoff Obee

Geoff is Head of Finance at the Sport and Recreation Alliance. He manages all of its financial affairs and provides financial advice to the board of directors, chief executive and staff.

Geoff is a chartered accountant. Prior to joining the Sport and Recreation Alliance in 2010 he spent over 30 years in the private sector, mainly in the oil industry.

In addition to his work with the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Geoff is also treasurer and trustee of the Hospice of St. Francis in Berkhamsted.

Email Geoff
T 020 7976 3910

James_Stibbs_photo_sports_recreationJames Stibbs

James is the Head of Communications and is responsible for delivering the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s communications strategy.

Working across the organisation’s policy and services teams, James’s team is responsible for the Alliance’s publications, website, media relations and public affairs.

James’s successes at the Sport and Recreation Alliance have included leading the organisation’s re-name and re-brand and, over the past two years, tripling the organisation's web visits.

Before joining the organisation, James was a senior associate for a corporate communications agency, worked in parliament as a political secretary and was a senior researcher and author for the public policy thinktank, CentreForum.

Outside of work, James is a keen cook and frustrated house-builder.

Email James
T 020 7976 3930

M 07974 344 843


James Brandon

James is the Project and Programmes Manager for the Sport And Recreation Alliance. He provides full project management support for the organisation and is programme lead for a variety of initiatives.

Before joining the Alliance, James has worked in a variety of settings including third sector and Leisure trusts. His previous work has consisted of the development of projects and services to reduce inequality in access to sport and recreation services. Recently, he worked at the first Pride House to be delivered at a Commonwealth Games.

Tackling inequality in sport and recreation has been a huge passion for James with his spare time having been spent coaching disability sports such as Boccia, a non-executive board member for LEAP Sports Scotland and the Convenor of the Inverleith Health and Lifestyle forum in Edinburgh. James also plays Rugby and coaches Trampolining in his spare time.

Email James
T 0207 976 921

Photo of Patrick Coyne the Sport and Recreation Alliance communications assistantDavid Callan

David joined the Sport and Recreation Alliance in 2014 and is the Communications Officer. His role is to help deliver and promote the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s communications strategy to it's members and wider audience through their digital channels.

David has a background in digital communications and stakeholder engagement and previously worked at a marketing and PR agency as their digital consultant.

David holds a law degree from Nottingham Trent University and away from work follows the expolits of Luton Town FC.

Email David
T 020 7976 3927

Photo of Naomi CurniffeNaomi Curniffe

Naomi is the Projects Support Officer. She is responsible for supporting staff members with the various Alliance projects.

Naomi graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University with a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Psychology and has volunteered with other sporting organisations previously.

Athletics is her favourite sport and outside of work she enjoys spending time with friends, shopping and has a passion for music.

Email Naomi
020 7976 3902

Photo of Hannah DobbinHannah Dobbin

Hannah is our Policy Adviser and leads on areas including outdoor recreation, grassroots sport and recreation, and school sport.

Hannah previously worked in the voluntary sector, most recently spending nearly five years as Policy Manager at Action for Children. Before that, she held various support posts in central government departments.

Hannah has a Masters in Social and Public Policy from the University of Leeds and studied sport and recreation development as an undergraduate. In her spare time, she plays hockey and volunteers as Co-ordinator for Forest Flyerz, the disability youth group at Waltham Forest Hockey Club.

Email Hannah
020 7976 3946


Rachel Frazer

Rachel joined the Alliance after working for a sports PR and communications agency. She has worked on behalf of a number of high profile individuals, but also for large sports broadcasters as well.

Rachel has a degree in Sports Law and Practice and when not working enjoys playing football and tennis. She also volunteers to help run classes for young children to get them involved in tennis and football.

Email Rachel
T 0207 976 3933


Robert Gill

Robert is our Policy Support Officer. He provides support on a range of different policy and research areas that the Alliance works on and contributes to, as well as helping to develop a credible evidence base to demonstrate the likely impact of Government policy on sport and recreation.

Before joining the organisation, Robert worked in the voluntary sector providing policy and public affairs support for various healthcare and disability charities.

Outside of work, Robert plays hockey for the mighty sixth team of Bishops Stortford HC, watches football (supporting Tottenham Hotspur) and enjoys reading a decent history or sport related book.

Email Robert
T 020 7976 3922

Photo of Lucy KatanLucy Katan

Lucy is the Membership Manager and is responsible for the development of the Alliances’ membership and services.

Prior to working at the Sport and Recreation Alliance Lucy worked at UK Anti-doping as a Testing Officer managing the FA’s programme, and at LOCOG for 3 years as the Olympic Village Lead Deputy Transport Manager. Lucy was also part of Team GB in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 as a member of BOA support staff.

Outside of work Lucy enjoys National Hunt racing and running the social enterprise that she founded, the British Grooms Association.

Email Lucy
T 020 7976 3928

Photo of Hayley MorrisHayley Morris

Hayley is the Office Assistant at the Sport and Recreation Alliance. In her role Haley helps all members of the team deliver their roles and functions and is the primary contact for and integral to the running of the room bookings system at Burwood House.

In her spare time Hayley is a fan of 80’s films and one day she hopes to be Molly Ringwald.

Email Hayley
T 020 7976 3932

Vijaya Panangipalli

Vijaya joined Sport and Recreation Alliance as Governance Manager in December 2014. One of her main responsibilities is to lead Alliance’s work on governance and help to develop Alliance as the lead organisation for, and supplier of, governance support in the sector.

Before joining Alliance, Vijaya held a range of roles in the governance industry specialising in board governance, stakeholder communications and company law.

Vijaya holds a master’s degree in International Business and Management. Her favourite sport is Cricket and she supports the Indian Cricket team. In her spare time, Vijaya enjoys reading classic novels, going to the theatre.

Email Vijaya
T:0207 976 3947

Photo of Luke Roberts, Business Development Manager Sport and Recreation AllianceLuke Roberts

Luke joined the Sport and Recreation Alliance in September 2014 as Business Development Manager. He is responsible for developing existing and potential new commercial relationships in line with the organisation’s strategic goals.

Luke previously worked for the Civil Service Sports Council for four and half years as National Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Volunteer Development Manager and Business Development Executive. Prior to this employment, he graduated from the University of East Anglia with a Masters Degree in Modern History with particular focus on the dissolution of Yugoslavia.

Luke enjoys playing and watching all kinds of sport, but most of his spare time is spent playing football and touch rugby. He also tries to go to White Hart Lane as much as possible to watch Tottenham Hotspur play, although lately he does sometimes wonder why.

Email Luke
T 020 7976 3903

Rob Tate

Rob joined the Sport and Recreation Alliance in January 2015 as Governance Officer. He holds responsibility for ensuring the Alliance is recognised as the leading body providing governance support and assistance across the sector, as well as assisting in all governance aspects of the organisation.

After graduating with a law degree from the University of Edinburgh Rob spent a year as President of Edinburgh University Sports Union, building on a number of previous volunteering roles within university sport. Rob has also held a number of voluntary roles within the sport of Water Polo, a sport in which he has competed for over ten years.

Email Rob

020 7976 3911

Photo of Leigh Thompson, Sport and Recreation AllianceLeigh Thompson

Leigh is our Policy Adviser and leads work on areas including tax and fiscal policy, sports betting and integrity and Europe.

Leigh has previously worked in a number of policy and regulatory roles in member organisations, most recently spending around six years as Policy Manager at the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) – the trade association for GB passenger rail operators – leading on areas including environment and energy policy and economic and contractual regulation.

Leigh holds a BSc Economics and a Masters in Public Policy, both from University College London and is in the final stages of completing an LLM in International Sports Law from Staffordshire University. He has a keen interest in the political, legal and regulatory aspects of sport. Outside of work he likes to spend time at home with his wife and two dogs (one a lively whippet, the other a more relaxed greyhound) as well as out on his bike cycling the rural lanes of Bedfordshire - usually wishing he was slightly fitter.

Email Leigh
020 7976 3931

Emma Wade

Emma is the Parliamentary Officer at the Sport and Recreation Alliance. She is responsible for the Alliance’s day-to-day interactions with Parliamentarians and for raising the Alliance’s political profile.

Before joining the Alliance, Emma worked in the voluntary sector as a public affairs officer, and prior to that as a parliamentary researcher for a number of Members of Parliament and for a Peer in the House of Lords.

Emma has a BA in Economics and a Masters in International Relations, both from Durham University, which is where she first developed her love of rugby union. In her spare time, in addition to playing rugby, Emma likes to play tennis and golf, and is currently training for her second marathon.

Email Emma
T: 020 7976 3904

sport_and_recreation_alliance_staff_sue_wressellSue Wressell

Sue is the HR and Office Manager at the Sport and Recreation Alliance. She has responsibility for the day-to-day personnel function of the organisation and office facilities, including contracts.

Sue has helped to recruit and work with many highly professional, able and friendly colleagues during her time at the Sport and Recreation Alliance – something she is particulalry proud of.

Sue is one of the longest serving members of staff and joined the then CCPR in 1990 as a technical assistant within the charitable arm of CCPR, the British Sports Trust. But over time, Sue’s role has changed and adapted to suit the needs of the organisation.

She took on more responsibility and subsequently became HR and Office Manager in 2002. Sue has always worked in the not-for-profit sector and was assistant to the education director at the Rochester Diocesan offices in Kent for four years prior to joining the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

In her spare time Sue loves spending time with her family and is a fan of Harlequins rugby union team, enjoying trips to the Stoop to see them play.

Email Sue
T 020 7976 3920

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