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08 Mar 2024

The Women of Sport Birmingham

Image: Shows Happy International Women’s Day #InspireInclusion #IWD2024

The first International Women’s Day (IWD) was held in March 1911 and it’s a day of collective global activism and celebration that belongs to all those committed to forging women’s equality. More information about IWD can be found here. We asked the women of Sport Birmingham about their role in the charity and their own women role models!

Nikki English
Nikki’s Netball Team

Nikki is our Development Manager for Inclusion (this year’s IWD theme!). Her role focuses on engagement and relationship building with inclusion and wider partners to improve access for all members of our community. Nikki highlighted her netball team as role models not only for herself, but her little girl when she comes to watch matches as they are a group of inspiring and supportive women on and off the court.

Amanda Felton

Amanda’s role is Development Manager (Safeguarding & Welfare). Along with her team, she helps support all connected to NGB’s, communities and clubs in sporting activities across Birmingham to have structured safeguarding and welfare policies and procedures in place. “Kerry Freeman, was a supply teacher I met whilst working in Education. She was always full of life and always had a positive outlook on everything. She would get up early to see the sun- rise and stay out late of a night to welcome the moon. She enjoyed ever aspect of life. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and went through many treatments, in the hope of an extended lifespan. Through everything, she was the one ensuring everyone stayed positive and still took the best from every day.” Amanda talking about her role model – Kerry Freeman.

Image: Kerry Freeman
Lauren Davies
Lauren Davies - Schools Manager

Lauren is our Development Manager for Education leading on a variety of Children & Young People focussed projects including Pathway to Podium and Opening School Facilities. Lauren is really passionate about removing barriers to participation and making sure our children and young people have a voice in their communities. Lauren’s role model is Whitney Simmons – a champion for women’s mental health by using fitness.

Jacky White

Jacky is one of our Community Engagement Officers leading on the digital activity finder, Active Birmingham. She offers guidance and support for local clubs and community groups wanting to increase their digital profile. “Wellness and yoga expert and founder of Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga. She lives and Oms in Brooklyn, New York, and regularly tours internationally to share her expertise.  When I was very down, I turned to yoga to try to be a better version of myself so that I could cope more easily with what was going on in my life at the time.  Sadie captivated me with her style, uniqueness and humour.  She helped me to feel alive! where other yoga teachers online made me feel like sleeping. She’s a geek with mow-hawk, fierce but kind and rarely plays by the rules in the yoga world.  I love that she’s true to her core and doesn’t sit pretty to conform to what a yoga teacher/inspirational leader SHOULD be or look like.” Jacky speaking about her role model, Sadie Nardini.

Uzma Hussain
Uzma Hussain

Uzma is Business Support Officer for Sport Birmingham. Her role entails supporting different departments in the business, ensuring things are running smoothly! Uzma’s role model is Lionesses’ and Manchester United’s Goalkeeper, Mary Earps.

Abbie Diskin
Abbie Diskin - Wellbeing Officer

Abbie is our Wellbeing Officer and leads on a project called ‘Moving Lives, Healthy Minds’ which is a sport based social recovery project for those who suffer with ill mental health. She also leads on our Mental Health Champions Programme! Abbie’s role model is Baroness Sue Campbell – former Chairman of UK Sport and the Director of Women’s Football for The Football Association.

Hayley James

Hayley is our Senior Partnerships Manager for Community, responsible for the development of community programmes and relationships. She works collaboratively with stakeholders and community partners to ensure that investment is connected to community groups working with key audiences. Hayley’s role model is Emma Hayes – Chelsea Women’s FC trailblazing Manager leading them to six WSL titles, five Women’s FA Cups, two Continental Cups, the Spring Series, a Community Shield victory and a Champions League final.

Ciara Kelly
Ciara Kelly - Insight and Learning Manager

Ciara is Sport Birmingham’s Insight, Learning and Communications Manager. Her role is to support our team by implementing effective measurement, evaluation and learning processes to encourage an evidence-based working culture and to promote this on our digital platforms. Ciara’s role model is Suzann Pettersen – Norwegian golfer most known for her nine Solheim Cup appearances where she was one of Europe’s leading point earners and two major championships.

Mel Gibbs

Mel is another of our Community Engagement Officers providing support to local sport clubs and community groups. She is passionate about inclusivity, diversity, equality and allowing sport and physical activity to be available for all! Mel’s role model is Darcey Bussell – one of the most famous British ballerinas of her generation and an inspiration to Mel growing up dancing.

Lucy Pearson

Lucy is the the Education Officer for Sport Birmingham! Her primary role involves coordinating the School Games within Birmingham with the aim of getting young people active, promoting healthy living and providing those who face barriers when accessing sport with more opportunities. Lucy’s role model is Sue Anstiss MBE – founding Trustee of the Women’s Sport Trust and in 2018 Sue received an MBE for her services to grassroots and women’s sport.

If you’d like to get in touch with any of our team members, visit our Meet the Team page for contact details.