Women in Sport welcomes three distinguished Trustees as it celebrates its 40th anniversary


As Women in Sport marks the start of its 40th anniversary, the charity is delighted to announce the appointment of three outstanding individuals to its Board of Trustees:

  • Polly Neate CBE, CEO of housing and homeless charity Shelter
  • Yama Otung, Head of Dispute Resolution at Livida Sport
  • Brian Moore, sports commentator and former England rugby union player

Founded in 1984, Women in Sport is the most long-standing charity in its field, with a proud history of securing change for women and girls in sport and society. These appointments bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Board as the charity seeks to further increase it influence and make bold steps towards ending misogyny and gender inequality in sport in this milestone year.

Julia Newton, Chair of Women in Sport’s Board said: “I’m incredibly excited to start our 40th anniversary year by welcoming three outstanding new Trustees to our Board. Yama, Polly, and Brian are not only exceptional people, but they bring years of legal, team and para sport, government and charity experience to our team.

“We had some hugely impressive applicants, but the panel and I were won over by the passion of these three individuals who will help us celebrate 40 years of tackling gender inequality in sport. Much has changed over those years, but there is still so much work needed to help create a society where every single woman and girl in the UK believes she belongs in sport.”

Polly Neate CBE, Shelter CEO

Polly Neate CBE, the Chief Executive Officer of Shelter and former CEO of Women’s Aid, has spent many years campaigning and influencing at the highest levels of Government. She is a prominent commentator on leadership, feminism and women’s issues and also an active member of the paraclimbing community.

I felt completely excluded from sport as a girl.
Polly Neate CBE

Discussing her appointment, Polly said: “As someone who felt completely excluded from sport as a girl, I am passionate about the mission of Women in Sport to ensure that all girls can benefit from the transformational power of sport at every level.

“The joy that both cycling and climbing have brought to my life since my 40s, and the support of the paraclimbing community as I’ve lived through disability and injury, have contributed immeasurably to my wellbeing and resilience. I would go so far as to say that I couldn’t do my day job without them.

“Women of all ages face barriers to even finding the right sport for them, never mind participating fully in it. I am very proud to have the opportunity to help Women in Sport to break those barriers down.”

Yama Otung, sports lawyer

Yama Otung is a sports lawyer and Head of Dispute Resolution at Livida Sport and former Trustee of the Palace for Life Foundation (CPFC), has extensive experience in the sports industry, championing the rights of athletes. Her longstanding passion for serving and supporting marginalised communities and underrepresented voices drew her to Women in Sport.

Yama said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of Women in Sport. Having worked in sports for the past decade, I have seen the measurable impact this charity has had on participation in women’s sport at all levels, yet there’s still so much work to be done.

“With the worsening cost of living crisis, Women in Sport’s role is more vital than ever. It is truly a privilege to play a part in ensuring that all girls and women, regardless of income and status, get to experience the amazing benefits of sport.”

Brian Moore, former England rugby union player

Former England rugby union international Brian Moore is passionate about furthering the development of sport for women and girls. A trained solicitor, Brian has provided expertise to many charitable causes and last year sat on the committee that produced the Duty of Care Independent Report led by Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.

As a father to four daughters, I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Women in Sport.

Brian said: “It is a great honour to have been appointed as a Trustee to the longest-serving charity in women’s sport. As a father to four daughters, I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Women in Sport to help secure more opportunities for all women and girls to participate in as wide a range of sports as possible. All women and girls deserve to experience the freedom, fun and friendship that sport offers.”

Women in Sport CEO, Stephanie Hilborne OBE said: “As we begin our 40th anniversary year I’m delighted to welcome our three new Trustees, Polly, Yama and Brian. Their diverse backgrounds and experience are invaluable additions to our Board of Trustees, further enhancing Women in Sport’s ability to take bold action and make positive change.

“Women’s sport has made significant progress from the charity’s inception in 1984, the same year women were first allowed to run the Olympic marathon. Yet, as we embark on another Olympic year, stark gender inequalities remain. Together with our new trustees we are resolute in our commitment to eradicate pervasive misogyny and stereotyping that are limiting the lives and enjoyment of so many women and girls within sport and wider society.

“We stand on the shoulders of many great trailblazers in our charity’s history and in this milestone year, we are determined to make an indelible mark on the future of sport for all women and girls, from grassroots to elite.”

Alongside bolstering its Board, Women in Sport has also increased its staff team. Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Joanna Rowsell MBE joins as Partnerships Manager and ex-BBC Radio presenter, Julia George has been appointed in a consultancy role.

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