Young girls gathered in a circle after football training

Joanna Rowsell

Partnerships and Consultancy Manager

Joanna Rowsell MBE OLY

Joanna Rowsell MBE OLY

Partnerships and Consultancy Manager

Joanna’s background is in elite sport, with a successful sporting career as a member of the Great Britain Cycling Team which included gold medals at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Following her retirement from elite sport, Joanna attended Manchester Metropolitan University and completed a degree in Human Biology, with her dissertation focussing on physical activity and health, specifically the relationship between physical activity levels and Alzheimer’s disease, for which she won an award from the Royal Society of Biology.

Joanna was motivated to join Women in Sport as she is passionate about equal opportunities for women and girls in sport, firmly believing in the huge benefits of sport for both mental and physical health. Having seen a seismic shift in the cycling world during her career (at the Beijing Olympic Games there were 10 Olympic track cycling events, but only 3 of these were women’s events compared to 7 for the men), Joanna is keen to continue the drive to promote women’s sport and make it a viable career option for young girls to aspire to. Her role as Partnerships Manager involves developing strategic partnerships and reach within both the sports and corporate sectors to further the mission of the charity.

When not working at Women in Sport, Joanna also enjoys commentating and can regularly be heard on Eurosport’s coverage of track cycling and women’s road racing.

Joanna was awarded an MBE for services to cycling in 2013, and describes the investiture as a hugely humbling experience, but the main challenge was not falling over whilst wearing high heels when curtseying for the Queen!

Now referring to herself as a “fair weather” cyclist, Joanna still enjoys cycling into the office as well as running, swimming and going to the gym. Time for a triathlon perhaps?!

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Say hello to our small but mighty team, creating change across the sector to encourage women and girls into sport.

England hockey captain Anita White leading out the England women's hockey team at the 1975 World Cup


Women in Sport was founded in 1984 and has spent the last four decades raising awareness and campaigning for change in women's sport.