The Judges

Welcome from the Chair

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Chris Grant

In team sports, performance is often driven by the effectiveness with which coaches are able to blend youth and experience. Doing this successfully within one campaign is an achievement in itself, but dynasties and serial winners are built on the capacity to refresh a winning group or, sometimes, to make more sweeping changes.

This was the sixth occasion on which I’ve had the honour of chairing the judging of the Sport Industry Awards. I had grown used to a ratio of around 3:1 in terms of returning Judges vs newbies. This year, it was the other way round, with three quarters of our panel being first-timers.

What hadn’t changed was the astonishing breadth and depth of industry knowledge and experience around the table. With an immense amount of ground to be covered, it sometimes falls to the Chair to cut debates short, and I have to admit that there were a few occasions where I had to shake myself out of “appreciative sponge” mode, in which I just wanted to listen and learn.

This year, things felt even more passionate. I’ve always believed that robust disagreement is to be encouraged in a judging process. The shortlisted entries have overcome numerous hurdles just to reach this stage, and each of them deserves to have its merits championed. That’s always been the case, but here the influx of new blood created the need to accelerate through the forming and norming stages of group development, and to allow sufficient storming before performing the group’s essential decision-making function.

Maybe, there was a foreboding of the momentous disruptions about to descend on us all. For whatever reason, the Judges took full advantage of the well-established structures and procedures – vigilantly overseen by Tom Kingsley of EY – and what today feels like the outrageous luxury of blending tight-knit groups around small tables with lively plenary sessions. 

In my opinion, the outcome is that – as in previous years – the winners of the 2020 Sport Industry Awards, and all who pushed them close, can be confident that the Judging Process generated the right amount of heat as well as light to ensure that the results are fully baked.

Congratulations to all shortlisters and winners, and thank you to the Judges (now all battle-hardened) and Sport Industry Group. Let’s hope we can get just as hands-on in 2021.

Chris Grant

Chair of Sport Industry Awards Judges

The Judges

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Tom Kingsley
Tom

Kingsley

EY
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Chris Grant
Chris

Grant

Chair
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Justin King
Justin

King CBE

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Shadi Halliwell
Shadi

Halliwell

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Adrian Criddle
Adrian

Criddle

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Rebecca Marmot
Rebecca

Marmot

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Ali
Ali

Donnelly

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Arian
Arian

Kalantari

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Barney Francis
Barney

Francis

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Hala Ousta
Hala

Ousta

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Joanna Coates
Joanna

Coates

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Simon Oliveira
Simon

Oliveira

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Victoria Gosling
Victoria

Gosling OBE

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Bex Smith
Bex

Smith

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Ben Clissett
Ben

Clissitt

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Ben Fennell
Ben

Fennell

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Miles Jacobson
Miles

Jacobson OBE

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Matt Wootton
Matt

Wotton

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Catherine Bond Muir
Catherine

Bond Muir

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Adrian Walcott
Adrian

Walcott

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Yath Gangakumaran
Yath

Gangakumaran

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Sacha Clark
Sacha

Clark

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Desiree Clark Noble
Desirée

Clarke Noble

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Darrell MF
Darrell

McLennan Fordyce

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Dan Hagen
Dan

Hagen