The Board - We Are England
The Board

The Board

Denise Lewis OBE

Denise began her athletics career with Birchfield Harriers in Birmingham and is now regarded as one of England’s greatest-ever sportswomen. Denise is a huge advocate for the importance of the Commonwealth Games in an athlete’s career path, having won two Commonwealth gold medals at the 1994 Victoria and 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games. She went on to win gold at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and was awarded an OBE. In 2011, Denise was inducted into the England Athletics Hall Of Fame.

Denise joined the board in 2016 and plans to use her vast and influential experience at the highest level to inspire the next generation of athletes.”


Ian Metcalfe


A double Cambridge Rugby Blue, Ian is the former managing partner of Wragge & Co, one of the UK's leading law firms.  He previously played rugby for Sale and Moseley, captaining the latter between 1985 and 1987. He toured New Zealand with England in 1985, playing three times on that tour and also represented the Barbarians four times.

Ian joined the RFU Council in 2006 and has held senior roles since 2007, chairing the Professional Game Board and serving on the Boards of the RFU and of ER 2015, the organising body for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He has a wide interest in a variety of sports and served on the Committee of Warwickshire County Cricket Club for 23 years, before being made an Honorary Life Member in 2013. He is also a Vice President of Moseley Rugby Club.


Jenny Ashmore
Non-Executive Director


Jenny joined the Board in April 2015, having previously been the Chief Marketing Officer of SSE through the sponsorship of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Now she works across different sectors, as a NED and consultant with a focus on marketing strategy, innovative propositions and the implications of digital marketing/sales/products/customer service.

Jenny’s commercial and marketing a career spans consumer goods, media and oil/utilities, including award-winning work on global brands such as Pampers and Mars brands such as M&Ms.  As President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, she sees the marketers and marketing work across the UK and 42 other countries, and she is also Chair for Girl Guides Trading.


Simon Ball
Non-Executive Director


Simon, a Non-executive director at the Allied Irish Bank Group and Chairman of Anchura Group, brings more than 30 years of financial strategy experience to the Board.

Amongst other roles he has served as Deputy Chairman Cable and Wireless Communications, Finance Director at 3i Group plc, Director General (finance) at the Department for Constitutional Affairs (now the Ministry of Justice), Finance Director at Robert Fleming Holdings and Chief Operating Officer (UK) of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson (now part of Commerzbank AG).


Alex Danson
Non-Executive Director


Alex is a current England and Great Britain hockey player with over 235 caps, and an Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth medalist. She has been a member of the squad for 15 years and has extensive experience at multi-sport events. 

Combining an Open University degree with full time training Alex's passion also lies with the education of young people through the power of PE and School sport. She is a Senior Athlete Mentor with the Youth Sport Trust working to engage, motivate and inspire young people all over the country through the Sky Sports Living for Sport Initiative. 

Alex was part of a body of athletes that helped support and form the GB woman's first centralised program in 2009 and is a member of the Leadership group in the squad. Ambitious, hard working and methodical she aspires to bring the insight of athletes from every Commonwealth Sport, ensuring the athletes voice is represented and opportunities are there for all to perform at their best. 


Hamish McInnes
Non-Executive Director


Hamish is the Chief Executive of British Shooting, Director of 3forty3 Sports Consultancy and a member of the National Olympic Committee. He has been at the forefront of some of the most exciting and successful initiatives in sport in the UK over the past 20 years.

A former international athlete, he is also Non-executive Director of England Lacrosse, and has been a consultant and policy adviser to a range of national and international sports bodies. At Sport England he was Head of Governing Bodies, which followed two years as Head of World Class Programmes, and also served as a Director with the World Confederation of Billiard Sports for three years.

Hamish has played a part in the successful Team England set-ups of the last three Commonwealth Games including at the Manchester 2002 Games where he was part of the technical committee. He also assisted with the London 2012 Olympic Games’ venue and technical planning process.


Dawn Newbery
Non-Executive Director


Dawn joined the Board in May 2015 bringing  with her over 20 years para sport experience and leading teams at 6 Paralympic Games (Barcelona 1992 to London 2012).

Dawn has worked with 5 World Number  1’s (senior and youth) and travelled extensively on the ITF wheelchair tennis circuit as coaching and management staff (men, women, juniors) from small development competitions through the ITF Grand Slam Events.

Since 2008 Dawn has worked with the GB wheelchair fencing programme and GB Goalball (the Paralympic Team Sport for the visually impaired). Dawn brings a unique blend of skills to the Board  and in a multi sport background clearly thrives.


David Ross
Non-Executive Director


A British Olympic Association Board member, David is known mainly as the entrepreneur who co-founded the Carphone Warehouse Group PLC in 1991, helping to build it up into Europe’s largest independent mobile phone retailer. He has also been involved in leading many other public and private companies.

David is passionate about developing educational opportunities for young people and established the David Ross Foundation, which currently sponsors four academies in Northampton and Lincolnshire.

David is also a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery and member of Nottingham University’s Council.

Chris Simpson
Non-Executive Director

Chris joined the board in July 2014, as the chair of CGE’s Audit and Finance Committee. Chris, a Chartered Accountant, started his career with Price Waterhouse in both the UK and USA before moving into general management. For 30 years he held Chief Executive roles in several well-respected large international manufacturing businesses. Recently, he has been a senior advisor in the public sector and currently holds non-executive roles with several high-growth companies in the renewable energy and leisure sectors.

Chris brings a wealth of expertise in general and financial management across a wide range of market sectors and a strong understanding of cash management and good governance.


Martin Thomas
Non-Executive Director


Martin recently completed his second term as a non-executive director of Sport England and is a highly experienced business consultant, trainer, public speaker and author.

He has led award winning PR, advertising and sponsorship agencies and worked with some of the world’s leading private and public sector organisations. Martin is also an advisor to the Courtauld and the Future Foundation and a Fellow of the RSA.

Much of his work in recent years has focused on the strategic application of social media, a subject on which he has become a highly regarded writer and commentator.  He is the course leader on social media for the Institute of Directors and has chaired more than 30 social media conferences.


Nigel Walker
Non-Executive Director


Nigel is the National Director of the English Institute of Sport (EIS) and was appointed to the CGE board in October 2014.

Nigel, a former international athlete and rugby player, oversees the sports science and medical services to Team England athletes as part of his role at the EIS and will advise the board on all performance issues.

Nigel served as board member of UK Sport between 2006 and 2010 and was Head of Sport between 2001 and 2006 at BBC Wales before being  promoted to the board as Head of Change and Internal Communications, leaving that role in 2010 to take up his current position.


Paul Blanchard
Chief Executive

Paul has 25 years experience in the sports industry. He has worked in Cricket at The Oval, in Premier League and Scottish Football and also the NFL in Europe.
Most recently he was CEO at Harlequins Rugby League and prior to joining CGE was CEO at The Surrey Sports Park, an elite athlete training and event venue based at The University of Surrey.
He has also served on the Advisory Board of British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) and was Chair of The County Sports Partnership, Active Surrey.
Paul joined CGE in August 2015