UK Sport launches International Leadership Mentoring with Goal 17

Uncategorized Jun 01, 2023

UK Sport has today launched a new International Leadership Mentoring Programme, bringing together ten experienced international sports leaders with ten future leaders who will receive mentoring support as part of the programme over the next nine months.

The International Leadership Mentoring Programme is initially being delivered as a pilot programme by Goal 17 Ltd, an award-winning company that specialises in mentor training and programme design for equality and diversity.

Each of the mentors will work with their mentee to help them define and pursue their own leadership ambitions and build a strong professional network with other leaders at international sports federations. A specialist mentoring app, 
Wowment, will be used to pair each programme participant with a mentee who can best support her with the specific challenges she is facing on her leadership pathway.

The programme has been launched as part of UK Sport’s commitment to growing a thriving and more diverse sporting system and increasing the diversity of leadership on national and international sports bodies.

UK Sport and Goal 17 have designed the programme to address the barriers that are faced by women working in international sport. Research published by UK Sport in November 2022  found that British men in leadership roles at international federations were more likely than their female peers to have received encouragement from their international federation when first considering standing for election.

On average these men had stronger international professional networks, and the research also found that once women made it into international leadership roles they had to fight harder than their male colleagues to make their voices heard and earn their colleagues’ respect.

A full list of mentors and mentees is included below.

Jen Browning, International Relations Advisor at UK Sport, said:

“We know from the research we’ve commissioned that there is an urgent need for senior leaders in international sports federations to change the systems and cultures that hold women back from leadership roles. But we know this kind of systemic change will take time, and we want to support more women to break through right now. That’s why we’re confident that mentoring can make a real difference, helping more talented female leaders succeed in senior roles in international sport and build a thriving international sporting system.”

Cherry Alexander, ILMP Mentor and Vice President of European Athletics, said:

I have been very fortunate to work in such a diverse sport such as athletics and to be inspired by motivational leaders and colleagues who have recognised the positivity of including female international leaders in key roles and at the heart of international decision-making. 

It has however been a very slow burner and the road has not always been easy starting out in the early 90s with many challenges along the way, which unfortunately do still exist to the present day.  I trust I will be able to help and support mentees on their international journey and we can create a strong foundation for female international leaders and tackle the challenges together.

Shaherah Jordan, ILMP Mentee from British Wrestling, said:

“In recent years there has been encouraging progress where gender equality and sports are concerned, but there is still room for growth. The development of this mentoring programme adds meaningful momentum to the existing efforts and I am really excited to be a part of it.”

Fran Boorman, Founder of Goal 17, said:

“The formation of this mentoring programme by UK Sport is a strong indication of their commitment to seeing more diversity in the sporting world. Working alongside UK Sport, we are keen to create a model programme that will not only impact all of those involved but that will also inspire others to get involved in mentoring and have meaningful conversations about the diversity within their organisations.”

International Leadership Mentoring Programme


Dame Louise Martin, President, Commonwealth Games Federation

Annamarie Phelps, President, European Rowing

Zena Wooldridge, President, World Squash

Cherry Alexander, Vice President, European Athletics

Sandra Deaton, Vice President, European Table Tennis Union

Janice Shardlow, Board member, FEI

Hilda Gibson, Executive Board Member, World Archery Europe

Jenny Shute, Vice Chair, FIS Medical Committee

Emma Zwiebler, Council Member, Badminton World Federation 


Lucy Adams, Skateboarding

Elena Allen, Shooting

Pat Aiyenuro, Fencing

Pippa Britton, Para Archery

Saskia Clark, Sailing

Hannah England, Athletics

Shaherah Jordan, Wrestling

Ellie Simmonds, Para Swimming

Zoe Spriggins, Climbing

Non Stanford, Triathlon


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.