Board of Directors

Subject to the Articles and the Act, the board of directors are responsible for the management of the Company’s business and affairs for which purpose they may exercise all the powers of the Company.

Gary Shaughnessy – Chair of the Board

Gary Shaughnessy

Gary is an active member of Tadley Runners and a registered athlete with England Athletics. Within his professional career he has most recently worked for M&G Investments & Prudential Group, Fidelity International and Zurich, ultimately being promoted to the Group Executive Committee as CEO for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Gary was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2016. In 2019, when he stepped back from full time commercial life, Gary took on the roles of chair at Parkinson’s UK, senior adviser to the Zurich Group and chair of the Z Zurich Foundation, a global charitable trust. Both charities have developed major sport and exercise centred programmes to support physical and mental well-being. Gary has completed 25 marathons and has a strong background in community sport. He has also enjoyed over a quarter of a century with Whitchurch United Football Club, as a player, chair, youth team manager and now president.

Chris Jones – CEO

Chris Jones imageChris joined England Athletics in 2006 as Regional Manager in the East of England and prior to becoming Chief Executive in 2012 he served as the company’s Head of Strategy from 2008. He has previously worked for Sport England as a Senior Development Manager, in local government sport and leisure management, and in school sport and education. He has also served as a volunteer trustee on several charitable sports organisations and is currently a volunteer Non-Executive Director with Welsh Rowing. He an active volunteer in community sport, coaching his son’s rugby team and has played County Cricket, is a full member of the MCC, and has played rugby to regional level.

Lorna Boothe MBE, OLY – Elected Director

Lorna BoothLorna is a double Olympian and Commonwealth Gold and silver medalist in the 100m hurdles and was GB team manager for 9 years which included the Sydney Olympics. She worked for the IAAF and was part of the Academy Management Group. She was also a part of the setting up and management of the Lottery Funded World Class Performance Programme. As a member of English Sports Council Racial Equality Advisory Group she worked with the Commission for Racial Equality to set up the now high profiled Sporting Equals programme. She is currently on the European Athletic Coaches’ Association’s Council.

Steve Grainger MBE – Non-Executive Director

Steve Grainger image

Steve has extensive experience in sports management and is currently Rugby Development Director at the Rugby Football Union. Prior to this he was the CEO at the Youth Sport Trust having commenced his career managing an athletics track at Mansfield. He has been involved in athletics since he was a youngster and is now an active road runner having also held a range of volunteer roles in the sport as an official, club press officer, team manager and announcer. Having been a member of several athletics clubs as he has moved around the country, Steve is currently a member of Cookham Running Club.

Peter Crawshaw – Non-Executive Director

Peter Crawshaw image

Peter has been closely involved in athletics for over 30 years as a competitor, parent, club administrator, highly qualified field official, and facility assessor. Since taking early retirement he has increased his voluntary involvement in the sport serving as a former Chair of the England Athletics London Regional Council and Officials’ Secretary for Surrey AA. An England Athletics director, Peter is currently Chair of the England Athletics Audit and Assurance Committee.


Leshia Hawkins – Non-Executive Director

Leshia Hawkins image

Leshia has worked in the sports industry for over 12 years. She is currently the CEO of Cricket Wales and, prior to this, served as Head of Operations, Participation & Growth at the England & Wales Cricket Board, having previously worked in the ECB’s Commercial Department, leading on Sponsorship sales. She is an active recreational runner and completed the 2014 London Marathon, raising over £3,000 for the SportsAid charity.


Janyce Holmes – Non-Executive Director

Janyce Holmes image

Janyce is an experienced business director with a background in international commercial organisations, the education sector and professional services. Alongside this, Janyce was active in several volunteer roles in grassroots youth sport development (hockey) for over 18 years. She is a keen recreational runner and regularly undertakes charity runs, mainly to raise funds in support of organisations whose aim is to alleviate societal inequality. Janyce has a strong interest in the impact that sport and physical activity can have on well-being, as well as ensuring that this can become accessible for all and sustainable for the future. Janyce also recently took up a voluntary independent non-executive board position with Edinburgh College.

Tunji Akintokun MBE – Non-Executive Director

Tunji AkintokunTunji has worked in global technology and professional services organisations for over 30 years and is currently a Senior Director at LinkedIn. He has also worked in a volunteer capacity on the councils of Teach First, techUK and Grant Thornton. He supports his passions of sport, inclusion, STEM, the Arts and social mobility through his Ilesha Charitable Trust providing opportunities to individuals and organisations. A former top junior athlete, he was a torchbearer at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and has run two London Marathons (2014 & 2017) raising over £7,000 for AbleChildAfrica.

Julian Starkey – National Council Director (Chair of National Council and Chair of South East Regional Council)

Julian StarkeyJulian is currently the Chair at Bracknell Athletics Club, a Level 2 Endurance Coach and Level 4 Technical Official. He sits on the committees of the YDL and Berkshire Athletics Association, and is also the England Clubs Rep on the UKMC. His involvement in Athletics started around 1982 when he was persuaded to run the first Glasgow Marathon, he then did the second, moved back to England and joined his local club, Camberley, to meet people. Julian is a part time Civil Servant in the MoD with a background in providing scientific advice and evidence for decision making. Initially qualifying in Mechanical Engineering he also holds a masters degree in Coaching and Behavioural Change.

Janice Kaufman – National Council Director (Member of National Council and Chair of North East Regional Council)

Janice KaufmanJanice is a Level 3 coach in Hurdles and high jump and coach a number of U17 to Senior athletes at club level, together with a Junior International Hurdler. She also coaches several parallel success athletes and has previously coached a Paralympian sprinter. In 2018 she was successfully nominated as England Athletics National Coach of the Year award. She is also a Level 2 field official. Janice is vice-chair of the UKYDL and Treasurer of Gateshead Harriers where she is also on the Charity committee. She was previously the UK and Ireland Security Lead in her day job at a national corporate consulting company (now retired) and has years of experience in various logistics, facilities and management roles. Janice’s specific interest is in the development and retention of teenage athletes into senior athletes.

Anne Wafula Strike MBE – UKA Director

Anne Wafula-Strike

Anne is a Paralympian wheelchair racer and a Tough Mudder conquerer. She is also a Non-Executive Director on UK Athletics, Active Essex and British Paralympic Association. In 2020, she was appointed as a Commonwealth special envoy Champion for Equality in Sports. She holds a B.Ed (Hons) degree and supports various national and international not-for-profit organisations. As the first Action on Disability and Development goodwill ambassador, she campaigned for nations to ratify the UN Convention on the “Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities” and she’s a lobbyist at International Parliamentary Conferences on Millennium Development Goals. Her Autobiography was published in 2010 and in 2014 she was awarded an MBE for services to Charity and Disability Sport.

Abdul Buhari – Board Observer

Abdul Buhari

Abdul is a retired international athlete and Olympian. He won the English and British titles in 2011 in the discus. In 2012, he was selected to represent Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He is currently ranked 5th in the British all-time list. Abdul began his career in investment banking covering fixed income and equity, he then moved into prime brokerage. Alongside his career in banking, Abdul has successfully managed to compete internationally representing Great Britain. Having retired, Abdul now works in Private Banking. Abdul was previously on the UKA Athletes’ Commission. He now sits on governing body for Dauntsey’s Independent School and is on the Fika Advisory Committee.

David Franks – Board Observer

David FranksA senior leader in Human Resources, David brings more than 25 years of corporate and advisory experience across a range of sectors. He has particular expertise in organisational development, talent, transformation and change, and is currently the Chief HR Officer for Novacyt. David also acts as a mentor for a number of entrepreneurial small business owners seeking support in the development of their enterprises. David is a passionate and committed endurance athlete, and a proud member of Thames Valley Harriers. He has competed in more than 15 marathons, including all six of the of the World Marathon Majors, raising tens of thousands of pounds for a range of charities that support homelessness and children’s causes.

You can download Board Meeting outcome documents for each Board meeting from the side of this page (from the bottom on mobile devices). Board Meeting outcomes documents are uploaded to the website once the minutes from that meeting have been approved at the subsequent Board meeting.