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.

Prof Myra Nimmo – Chair of the Board

Myra Nimmo image

Professor Nimmo is formerly Professor of Exercise Physiology and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Her career, although always in Higher Education has always involved sport, serving on numerous bodies including the UK Sports Council. She also led, with colleagues across the country, the development of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, based in the Midlands, London and Sheffield. Professor Nimmo is a former international athlete in both 100m hurdles and long jump having competed in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and 1974 Commonwealth Games. She is the former Scottish National long jump record holder with a mark of 6.43 set in 1973.

Chris Jones – CEO

Chris Jones image Chris joined England Athletics in 2006. Before being appointed as Chief Executive he was Head of Strategy from 2008-2012. As well as being an affiliate member of Cambridge & Coleridge AC, Chris has played County Cricket, is a member of the MCC and has played rugby to regional level. His involvement in sports has included voluntary roles in grassroots sports.

Prior to working for England Athletics Chris’ professional life has included being a Sport England Senior Development Manager, working in local government, as senior sports development manager and in secondary education.

Mike Neighbour – Chair of National Council

Mike has undertaken a variety of roles for Aldershot Farnham & District AC, ranging from men’s Southern and National League team manager secretary and currently Chairman. The first event Mike organised was “The West Ham 8” while at University, since then he has continued organising road races as well as cross country and track & field. Having been directors of AAA of England, SEAA and the London Marathon. As a member of Southern Road Running Committee was team manager of the Southern Road Running Team. Having retired he currently officiating at local events as Marksman. Mike is Chairman of the English Road Running Association as well as Chairman of the South East Region Council.

Mick Shortland – National Council

Mick is a former teacher of physical education and has coached in schools, further education and, more recently, athletics clubs. Mick began coaching at Stevenage and North Herts AC when his daughter joined the club. Mick coaches a range of events, mostly coaching hammer throwers and his squad ranges from U15 to veteran age groups.

Mick was a member of the initial first Local Coach Development cohort. This led to him joining the National Coach Development programme and to him becoming a Coach Education tutor. He now delivers a range of coaching courses and event group specialist days.

With a strong background in coaching it is not surprising that Mick holds the Coaching Portfolio on both the East Region Council and the National Council.

Tim Soutar – Elected Director

Tim sits on the England Athletics London Regional Council with the portfolio for Governance. He is chair of the Executive Management Committee and Team Manager for the junior women’s track & field team with his club, Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC. His previous roles with the club have included President, Winter Captain and Summer Vice-captain. He was also Chair of Hong Kong Distance Runners Club and Hong Kong International Marathon. Tim is a former Partner in Clifford Chance LLP (Hong Kong, London and Dubai) and is current Chair International Bar Association Pro Bono Committee.

Neil Costello – Elected Director

Neil is Chair of Cambridge and Coleridge AC. His roles in athletics include endurance coaching and officiating and being race director for the Cambridge Cambourne 10k. Neil also competes on road, country and track. He is an elected member of England Athletics’ East Regional Council. Neil has previously been Chair of Greater Cambridge Athletics Network, a UKA coach tutor, and Race Adjudicator. He has worked with public and private sector clients on strategic projects, including feasibility studies, evaluations and specialist advice as a Director of medium sized economic development consultancy.

Karen Neale – Non-Executive Director

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Karen has worked as a solicitor in sport for 16 years both in private practice at Hebert Smith then Denton Wilde Sapte. She has acted for a number of sports governing bodies including the International Association of Athletics Federations.

For the past nine years Karen has worked for National Governing Bodies, first at the Rugby Football Union and then more recently as the Director of Legal and Governance at the Lawn Tennis Association.

Steve Grainger MBE – Non-Executive Director

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Steve has 27 years of experience in sports management and is currently Rugby Development Director at the Rugby Football Union. Steve has served as CEO for Youth Sport Trust. He has been involved in athletics since he was a youngster and is now a road runner who has completed five marathons. He has also been an active timekeeper, qualified starter, club press officer for Mansfield Harriers, team manager and announcer.


Peter Crawshaw – Non-Executive Director

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 from working in the City of London in a senior Finance role he has increased his voluntary involvement in the sport.

Peter is currently co-Chair of the England Athletics London Regional Council and a member of the EA Audit and Assurance Committee.

Leshia Hawkins – Non-Executive Director

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Leshia has worked in the sports industry for the last 8 years. She is currently Head of Operations, Participation & Growth in the London Region at the England & Wales Cricket Board, having previously served in the ECB’s Commercial Department as the lead 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

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Janyce Holmes is an experienced business director with a background in international commercial organisations, the education sector and professional services. Alongside this, Janyce has been active in volunteer roles in grassroots youth sport development (hockey) for the past 15 years. She is a regular participant in running activities through parkrun and has a strong interest in the benefits to well being and health of sport being accessible for all.