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 ShaughnessyGary 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 sports 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 and with the Cambridgeshire County Cricket Board. He an active volunteer in community sport, coaching his son`s rugby team and has played County Cricket at senior level, is a full member of the MCC, and has played rugby at club, county, and regional level. He is passionate about the power of sport, but particularly athletics and running, in positively impacting the physical and mental wellbeing of the nation.

Lorna Boothe MBE, OLY – Elected Director

Lorna BoothLorna is a double Olympian and Commonwealth Gold and silver medallist in the 100m hurdles and former British record holder.  She was a GB Team Manager for a number of years that included the Sydney Olympics.  Lorna has supported GB U20s and U23s as team coach for sprints, hurdles and relays as well as for England Athletics in Commonwealth Games 2014 and 2018.

Lorna a former banker in UK and USA has also worked in Grants Management.   She worked for the IAAF (World Athletics) setting up the international grants programme and was part of the IAAF Coaching Academy Management Team. Whilst working with Sport England, she was a member of the management team that set up 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.

Lorna who worked closely with Lloyd Cowan MBE deceased is an initiator of the Lloyd Cowan Bursary and is a Life member of Sutton & District Athletics Club.

Clive Poyner – Elected Director

Clive PoynerClive is currently the Chair of Athletics Norfolk and Norfolk Sportshall, a Level 2 Performance coach in jumps and throws and a Level 2 timekeeper and track judge. Previously, he was Chair of City of Norwich AC for 6 years, has sat on the East Region Council for 8 years, the last two years as Chair and was part of the YDL review group a number of years ago. His commitment to the sport started way back in the 70s as an athlete with Halesowen ACC and then with Bromsgrove & Redditch AC, he is still part of their record holding 4×400 squad. In 1997 his career found him moving to Norwich. On arrival he helped set-up Reepham Runners and ran a number of Great North Runs before focusing on volunteering. Clive’s career in manufacturing engineering accelerated rapidly with 25 years’ Board experience of which 11 were as Managing Director. In that time he built a factory in China and provided engineering projects for Disney, Cirque, Crossrail, Rolls Royce and Take That to name but a few. He now fits engineering around his athletics commitments. His mantras are: no surprises, process, find a way, empathy, inclusive, quality and safety.

Steve Grainger MBE – Non-Executive Director

Steve Grainger imageSteve 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 imagePeter has been closely involved in athletics for close to 50 years as a competitor, parent, club and county administrator, track & field and endurance official, and facility assessor. Retired from a career in the accounting profession and banking, including tours of duty in the U.S. and Hong Kong, Peter is currently Chair of the England Athletics Audit and Assurance Committee. He is also a member of the UK Athletics Rules Advisory Group. In December 2020 he was appointed to the Board of UK Athletics, having been nominated by the England Athletics Board.

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 a non-Executive Director of Glamorgan Cricket. Prior to this, she 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 HolmesJanyce is an experienced business director with a background of over 35 years in international commercial organisations, education, and professional services. She holds two independent non-executive director roles currently. Alongside her professional career, Janyce has been active volunteering in grassroots youth sport development (hockey) for over 18 years. She is a keen recreational runner, a regular participant in Parkrun and occasionally undertakes charity events in support of organisations seeking to alleviate the impact of disadvantage. Janyce retains a strong interest in the impact that sport and physical activity can have on well-being, as well as ensuring that this can become more accessible for all and sustainable for the future.

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 Bracknell Athletics Club Secretary, having been chair for 9 years, he is and Endurance Event Group Coach and Level 4 Technical Official. He sits on the committees of the YDL and Berkshire Athletics Association, and is also the England Club Rep on the UKA Members. 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 and a Skill Coach on a Systems Thinking Apprenticeship Scheme. Initially qualifying in Mechanical Engineering he also holds a MSc 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-StrikeAnne 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.

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.