John trained and worked as a youth worker, social worker and community worker on Inner London housing estates for 20 years before becoming Senior Development Manager at Sport England London Region where he remained for 15 years. John spent the last of his working years as Company Secretary of London Youth Games. Now President of London Weightlifting Centre and a trustee of the Weightlifting Foundation he continues to embrace Sport for Development.
He has worked with many leading community businesses in recent years, as well as with exemplars from the wider social economy, such as the Community Shares Unit. There, he helped bring 60,000 new investors to the market in less than five years, generating the long-term growth finance so sought after by community businesses.
Prior to working in this sector, he undertook a wide variety of projects for corporate financiers and private equity firms, helping to design innovative financing solutions, to advising and supporting not-for-private-profit organisations
Jo Calvino is a 21 times British National Weightlifting Champion, competing at World Championship and Commonwealth Games level, and has held numerous national records. As well as being an elite level athlete, Jo is also a coach, educator and ambassador for sport for young people and for women. Jo has also appeared in numerous media roles as commentator, guest and model across a range of print and broadcast media
Sonya Thomas is a London-based freelance journalist, speechwriter and equalities consultant. She has over 20 years’ experience of equalities work, both in the public and voluntary sectors. She has provided political advice on equalities to local government elected members and political leads and has authored speeches on various aspects of equality and diversity for Commissioners within the Equality and Human Rights Commission and senior civil servants in the Department of Health. Sonya worked on the Guardian’s Reading the Riots project; is a former rugby player (England, Saracens, and Wasps) and is currently researching and writing a book about the women’s game
Senior Finance Executive with over 25 years’ experience gained across a variety of roles and industries. Proven track record of transforming Finance functions to drive growth and operational efficiencies. Broad sector experience, with particular strengths in Sport, Media, Entertainment, Technology and Retail. Having worked for the NBA in both the UK and America sport has always been at the forefront of Ed’s career and one of his overarching passions.