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Topical and current stage content to mirror the ever-changing world of performance from sport and beyond
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In a unique environment, meet 600+ performance practitioners from 30+ sports and 37 countries
A platform for the most elite to meet and learn from professionals who otherwise might not cross paths
Create relationships and exchange ideas which will contribute towards making the field of play an even more competitive space
Chief of Sport Performance
Alan Ashley was named chief of sport performance for the United States Olympic Committee on Sept. 1, 2010, after previously serving as managing director of sport performance since January 2010. In his current role, Ashley oversees the USOC divisions tasked with providing targeted resources and support to the National Governing Bodies, athletes and coaches in pursuit of sustained competitive excellence. These areas include coaching and sport science, sports medicine, international games and sport partnerships. Sport performance is also responsible for the preparation and execution of all Team USA activities related to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Ashley joined the USOC after spending 16 years with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, where he was a key contributor to the rise of the U.S. ski and snowboard teams, having most recently served as the vice president of athletics. At USSA, Ashley helped manage the coaching, training and organizational structure for six Olympic (alpine, cross-country, nordic combined and freestyle skiing; ski jumping; and snowboarding) and two Paralympic (alpine and cross-country skiing) sports involving 170 elite athletes, 125 elite coaches and administrative staff, 320 USSA clubs, 3,000 club coaches and 16,000 USSA member athletes.
Iain heads up Team GB’s most dominant and successful Olympic programme from Rio 2016. He has been involved with the British Cycling set up for the last four games (Athens, Beijing, London and Rio), so is in the perfect person to discuss not only the success of this year, but also how the programme has progressed since the year 2000. He was previously the sprint coach, and was instrumental in the progression that saw riders such as Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny and Laura Trott become champions, with the results improving from 4 medals in Sydney 2000, to 12 medals in Rio 2016. In the last couple of years, Iain stepped up to the role of head coach where he developed the vision, structure and environment which would prove hugely successful in maximising the potential of the athletes and their coaches.
Global Head of Culture
Maxine has been a Googler for 10 years now, and now the leads the whole companies strategy for their world renowned culture and environment. Google is led by the values and missions of its employees, and when they hire people it is integral that they fit to the principles that the company set – it’s not just about what you achieve, it’s how you achieve it. She not only looks outward to decide on what the type of person the company should recruit, but also looks inward to scrutinise whether the people who work and lead the company are abiding by the beliefs they have set. All this is really relatable to sport, and the responsibilities will mirror that of a lot of General Managers, Head Coaches and CEO’s – asides from this, Google set the standard when it comes to corporate culture and everyone will be intrigued just how the company, and Maxine in particular, creates it. I intend to put her on a panel discussing talent, and exploring how they draw people into the culture and more importantly what engages them to it, a topical and interesting discussion when it comes to talent acquisition and management.
Phillip has been in charge at PSV since 2013, and will be going for a hat-trick of league titles this campaign after winning back to back Eredivisie titles in the last two seasons. Before taking the reins in Eindhoven, he was part of the coaching setup for the Netherlands between 2008-12, which included their World Cup campaign in 2010 where they came runners-up to Spain in South Africa. As a player, he was one of the best playmaking defensive midfielders of his generation, winning four league titles and two cups with PSV, and making over 200 appearance for Barcelona, winning a La Liga title in 1998/99 alongside the likes of Pep Guardiola, Luis Figo, Luis Enrique and Rivaldo, as well as a strong Dutch contingent in Michael Reiziger, Ronald de Boer, Boudewijn Zenden and Patrick Kluivert under Head Coach, Louis van Gaal. With over 100 caps for his country, and captaining teams throughout his career, Phillip brings a wealth of leadership experience to share on stage, and discuss many topics about his philosophy as a player, captain and coach, what it was like playing in teams with other strong leaders like Enrique, de Boer and Guardiola, as well as what structure he has implemented to sustain success and win back to back titles.
Mountaineer, Climber and Adventurer
Kenton Cool is one of the finest alpine climber of this generation. His accomplishments are staggering. He has summited Everest twelve times. He is the first person in history to climb the three Everest peaks, the so-called Triple Crown, in one climb, a feat previously thought impossible. He was nominated for the prestigious piolet d’Or in 2004 for climbing a previously unclimbed route on Annapurna III. In 2012 he fulfilled the Olympic Games pledge of placing a 1924 gold medal on the Everest summit. He is the only Briton to have skied down two 8000-metre mountains, and in 2009 he guided Sir Ranulph Fiennes to the summit of Everest, helping to raise over £5 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
His accomplishments are all the more extraordinary considering an incident in the summer of 1996 which tore Kenton’s world apart. Whilst climbing in Wales, he broke a handhold on a route aptly called ‘Major Headstress’ and fell to the ground with such force that he shattered both his heel bones. Initially told he would never walk unaided again, Kenton spent four weeks in hospital, had three operations, three and a half months in a wheelchair and months of rehab. Today he is still in pain and after a long day in the mountains it’s not uncommon to see him struggling to walk or moving around on his hands and knees. One Man’s Everest explains why he still has the energy and desire for more adventure.
Women’s Head Coach
Danny is the man behind one of the great stories of this summer’s Olympic games as he led Team GB Women’s Hockey to a historic gold in Rio. After numerous years’ experience at University level, and work with the England ‘A’ squad in 2003/4, Danny was appointed as full-time Head Coach to the England Senior Women’s squad on January 1st 2005. During his first tenure as Head Coach the women’s squad rose from a world ranking of 11th to 4th, winning 14 medals at European, Commonwealth and World level including England Women’s first ever podium finish (bronze) at a World Cup in 2010. In 2007, he was also appointed as Head Coach to the Great Britain’s Women’s squad and led that team to 6th place in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and an Olympic bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games four years later, at that time the first British hockey medal in 20 years. Post London 2012 Danny was appointed Performance Director to England and Great Britain Hockey and was responsible for the strategic development of performance hockey across the UK. In late 2014 Danny once again took on the role of Head Coach to the England & GB Women’s hockey teams, and went on to win momentous gold medals in the European Nations Cup in 2015 with England and of course at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Great Britain.
Men’s Gymnastics Coach
Scott is the coach of one of the golden boys of the Team GB team from Rio, double gymnastics champion Max Whitlock. He has worked with Max since he was 12 years old, and has mentored and coached him to become World (x1 Gold, x4 Silver), European (x3 Gold, x2 Silver, x1 Bronze), Commonwealth (x3 Gold, x3 Silver, x2 Bronze) and of course Olympic champion (x2 Gold, x3 Bronze). Max genuinely has the capability of becoming one of the great British Olympians over the next few years, so it will be fascinating to hear from Scott on how he has worked with, developed and nurtured Max’s potential. Coaching a team is much different than coaching individuals, and the approaches are obviously different from sport to sport. Scott will talk about how he works on a one-to-one basis with Max and his other gymnasts, as I know that topics such as feedback, trust, language and communication will all be fascinating to the audience, who mostly will come from team sports.
Leon has been in charge of GWS since 2013, and has just led the club to their most successful season finishing 4th on the AFL Ladder and into the Preliminary Finals, where they face the Western Bulldogs this Saturday for a place in the Grand Final. He enjoyed a distinguished playing career between 1990 and 2003, and then moved into assistant coaching roles with the Bulldogs and Hawthorn before taking over the Giants from AFL legend Kevin Sheedy. The Giants are the AFL’s newest team, joining in 2012, so Leon has been part of the project that has seen them progress every year since its existence, improving on and off the field since. When Leon took over, they were the bottom club in the league but has since made a huge improvement jumping from a 27.3% winning record and a 16th place finish to this season winning 72.7% of games and finishing 4th, with a chance of becoming Premiership champions.
Tara Swart is the only leadership coach with a PhD in neuroscience and a successful career as Medical Doctor behind her. This unique combination of experience comes together to create an uncompromising and holistic impact on performance optimisation in businesses globally, and she is passionate about spreading simple, pragmatic neuroscience-based messages that change the way people work. Tara is at the forefront of the application of neuroscience to business and is a published author of a book and over 20 articles in journals of neuroscience and coaching – juggling being a Senior Lecturer at MIT, as well as being CEO of neuroscience consulting company Unlimited Mind.
Chris Boyd is currently Head Coach of Hurricanes Super Rugby Team, and is also Coach of the New Zealand national under-20 rugby union team. Chris spent nine years in his first coaching role at Tawa Rugby Club. In that year he took over as Wellington’s second XV coach, becoming assistant coach to the provincial side, the Wellington Lions, in 2003. From 2006 to 2008 he has been Assistant Coach at the Sharks Super Rugby franchise. He has since worked at the International Rugby Academy of New Zealand as a coaching services advisor and was defensive coach to the Tonga national rugby team at the2011 Rugby World Cup. Chris was appointed as Wellington coach in 2011 and took over as head coach of the national under-20 team in 2012.
Big Wave Surfer
Andrew Cotton is a fearless big wave surfer, and has had numerous Billabong XXL entries and came to wider attention in 2012 when he towed American surfer Garrett McNamara into what the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed to be the biggest wave ever surfed – since then, Andrew has a number of indisputably big waves under his belt, with many believing that he has unofficially broken McNamara’s record. With the national and global media coverage that followed, Andrew has helped to put Great Britain firmly on the surfing map.
Executive Director of Football
Les has been in his role as Executive Director of Football at Southampton FC since 2010, and before this coached England at every level in World and European Championships and was also Technical Director of The FA. He has an excellent reputation in the game, and is regarded as an innovator with significant knowledge from around the world. The Southampton story is unique and highly regarded because of the strategy and long term planning that has been implemented by Les and in turn brought great success back to the club, helping them rise from the depths of League One to a top six finish in the Premier League last season. Numerous personnel and supposed star players have left the club every window since they returned to the top flight, but they have in fact gone from strength to strength because of the vision and delivery of a plan they believe in, one which a lot of organisations could learn from.
Special Assistant to the General Manager, Process Improvement
Sig Mejdal is a Sabermetrics Analyst and the current Special Assistant to the General Manager, Process Improvement at the MLB’s Houston Astros. In his previous role as the Director of Decision Sciences, Sig helped the Baseball Operations Department evaluate players by extracting and analysing various forms of data from scouting reports, medical reports, minor league statistics and other information. He previously worked as a Bio-Mathematician at NASA but was always interested in baseball, and in 2005 got his first job in the sport with the St. Louis Cardinals, and made a big impact in the analytics team with his innovative approaches using algorithms to run data through to judge player performances. He then joined the Astros as part of a bid to revitalize the team’s analytical approach, and the team’s farm system now ranks among the best in baseball.
Adviser to Prime Ministers and Government Ministers
Sir Michael Barber is a British educationist and Chief Education Advisor to Pearson and the Managing Partner of Delivery Associates. He is a world-leading expert on the effectiveness of government, and author of widely acclaimed book How to Run a Government so that Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don’t go Crazy. The book draws on his experience as the Chief Advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair. In 2001, he founded and headed up the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, which he ran until 2005, and in this role was responsible for ensuring delivery of the government’s domestic policy priorities across health, education, crime reduction, criminal justice, transport and immigration.
Sir Michael Barber was appointed as non-executive board member at the Ministry of Justice in November 2015. Sir Michael previously served the UK government as Chief Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education on School Standards and as Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. In this role was responsible for ensuring delivery of the government’s domestic policy priorities across health, education, crime reduction, criminal justice, transport and immigration. The Delivery Unit he created in Downing Street has since been emulated in many other countries. After leaving government, Sir Michael became Partner at McKinsey & Company where he played a leading role in establishing its public sector practice. Sir Michael joined Pearson in September 2011 as Chief Education Advisor, leading their worldwide programme of efficacy and research. He is Chairman of the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund.
Head of High Performance & Innovation
Harvey became National Racing Coach for the Royal Yachting Association in 2005 developing an exceptional record for fast-tracking talent and implementing squad programs with systemic success. Nominated to UK Sports flagship Elite Coach program in 2006, he has been a pioneer of ‘applied’ work in training decision making, develop resilience under competition stress and maximising the performance of first time Olympians. In his current role of Head of High Performance & Innovation, he is charged with maximising competitive advantage of the Britsh Sailing Team through novel research & technology in addition to leading the teams in house technical department. Most recently, Harvey has been focused on developing ‘What It takes to Win’ and ‘What It Takes to Transition’ models and realising the performance impact of data analytics. The Team GB sailing team have won 23 medals since Sydney 2000 so have one of the strongest programmes in the British Olympic set-up, and Harvey will be able to discuss how they continue to find the competitive advantage and to stay ahead of the game at the intersection of innovation and performance space in the pursuit of further Olympic glory in Tokyo 2020.
Director of Human Resilience
Captain Mike Young holds a current role as Director of Wellbeing and Human Resilience and is embarking on his 26th year in the Royal Navy, now at the rank of Captain. He also spent four years as the Royal Navy’s Head of Leadership and Management Development, developing the model on which their leadership selection and training is based; this contribution to was acknowledged by the award of an MBE in the 2005 Birthday Honours List. Captain Mike also runs a boutique consultancy specialising in ‘Helping Change Leaders’ and has been a key advisor to numerous successful organisational transformations across the private, public and third sector in the UK and internationally.
Director of The Helen Hamlyn Centre of Design
Rama Gheerawo was appointed Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre after almost two decades of leadership in the design industry. Gheerawo has been Deputy Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for the past five years, where he has been instrumental in building the Centre’s current reputation globally. A graduate of Imperial College London and the RCA, Gheerawo is a designer, researcher, curator and writer who has an international presence and is known for his work within academia, industry, government and the public sector. In his role, creative effective knowledge transfer is central to the way in which he and the school innovate and he has a track record for over 150 collaborative projects involving organisations such as Gov.UK, Toyota, the NHS, GlaxoSmithKline and Samsung, as well as running workshops on creative thinking around the world from California to China.
Head of Strings
Jo Cole is the Head of Strings at the world-renowned Royal Academy of Music. She’s had a substantial playing career spanning more than 25 years as a distinguished, seasoned orchestral cellist and experienced chamber musician. Jo has a record of versatility, which includes period performance and innovation in outreach. Her playing career includes many years’ membership of the Academy of St Martins, Co-Principal of the City of London Sinfonia and as a regular performer with the London Symphony Orchestra, and she was appointed as a Professor at the University of London earlier this year. She continues to perform professionally whenever this is possible alongside her substantial commitment to her students at the Academy.
Andrew is an expert in animal behaviour, behavioural ecology, social networks and collective behaviour, and uses a question-oriented approach to address a range of issues in these areas. The over-arching aim of his research is to understand how costs and benefits shape individual behaviour, and how these behaviours relate to the structure and functioning of groups. To do this, Andrew and his team (www.SHOALgroup.org) study groups of animals including fish, baboons, and birds, as well as mammals in the wild and in the lab, to access information about interactions and characteristics.
Former Professional Footballer
Michael is a former English footballer who played as a striker for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, as well as for the England national team. In his prime, Owen was highly regarded for his great pace, opportunism and agility, as well as his technical ability and his eye for goal, which enabled him to be considered as one of the greatest English and Premier League strikers of his generation. Michael was plagued with injuries, particularly to his hamstrings, which obviously makes him very relevant to speak on the Aspetar session on this topic, giving the perspective from an athlete.
Now in his fifth full season at Emirates Stadium, Gary provides high-level medical expertise for the first team, under-21s and academy – and is on hand at all fixtures involving Arsène Wenger’s team, too. Gary joined Arsenal having spent six years as doctor for the Ireland rugby team – during which time he was Official Doctor on two British Lions tours, a huge piece of recognition for anyone in his position. He has very strong links in Rugby, with his father, Barry, a former full-back for Ireland and his cousin, Brian O’Driscoll, the former Ireland captain and a legend of the game. Gary was heavily involved in the establishment of the medical facility at the training ground, which opened last season. He will join the ADLQ symposium and has great knowledge of the anti-doping landscape as he sits on the panel for the IRFU (Irish Rugby Football Union) for their doping issues, and has a vast multi-sport experience in the subject.
Former Paralympic Athlete
‘Victoria Aggar nee Hansford originally started her sporting career as a national league netball player. After life changing surgery Victoria later went on to compete instead for the British Rowing Team for 6 successful years culminating in two world championship titles, and a Paralympic Bronze medal. Since retiring from elite sport Victoria has remained actively involved in high performance sport through managing the athlete services at the British Paralympic Association and acting as a Director on the board of the English Institute of Sport. Vicki is very passionate about protecting clean sport and is an active member on the WADA athlete committee which she joined in 2014, as well as a national trainer for UK Anti-Doping’.
Vice President and General Manager of Smart Devices
Steve has over 20 years of experience pursuing innovation, as well as the design and manufacture of medical devices and other smart technologies. He specialises in smart devices and he and his team develop products and technologies that will enhance and extend Intel’s portfolio of expertise into new areas of technology, continuing to position Intel to compete and lead new growth in the tech landscape going forward. Before joining Intel in 2012, he worked on projects that delivered a long list of award-winning products, most recently at Nike where he headed up the team that launched the revolutionary Nike+ Fuel Band, Nike+ Training and Basketball and Nike+ GPS SportWatch. He also worked for a number of other companies, most notably Apple.
Sir Craig Reedie is the current President of the WADA, a former Chairman of the British Olympic Association and a Vice-President of, and a serving representative on, the International Olympic Committee. Prior to this, he has had a career spanning five decades in sports administration before becoming Chairman in 1992. He has led the organisation through the Olympic Games of Atlanta, Sydney and Athens, and the Olympic Winter Games of Lillehammer, Nagano and Salt Lake City, as well as being a leading member of the London 2012 Bid Team which won the right to host the Olympic Games in London and is a Non-Executive Director of the London Organising Committee.
Dr. Mohammed Alsayrafi has been the General Manager for Anti-Doping Lab Qatar since June 2011. Prior to this, he served as the Project Executive Director from 2008 to 2011. Away from Anti-Doping Lab Qatar he has a number of advisory roles on various sports & environmental boards.
Dr. Mohammed obtained his PhD in biochemistry from King’s College London.
Professor and Co-Chair
Lars is a professor and director of research at Orthopaedic Center, Ullevaal University Hospital and University of Oslo Medical School and professor and co-chair of the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center. He is also Chief Doctor for the Norwegian Federation of Sports, and headed the medical service at the Norwegian Olympic Center until the autumn of 2011. In 2007 he was appointed Head of Science and Research for the International Olympic Comittee (IOC). Lars Engebretsen is a specialist in Orthopaedic and general surgery and authorized as Sports Medicine Physician (Idrettslege NIMF) by the Norwegian Society of Sports Medicine. He serves as chief team physician for the Norwegian Olympic teams. The main area of research is resurfacing techniques of cartilage injuries, combined and complex knee ligament injuries and prevention techniques of sports injuries.
Sports Medicine Physician
Dr. Johannes L Tol is a Sports Medicine Physician who previously worked with international athletes from several Dutch sports associations and professional football clubs. He is a Senior Associate Editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Johannes has published extensively in international peer-reviewed journals. Recent research activities focused on conducting randomised controlled trials in the field of tendinopathy and regenerative medicine (6 RCTs), including platelet rich plasma and cell therapy. Other research focuses on the epidemiology, risk factor identification, and prevention of sports-related injuries. Besides his clinical work and research projects, he carried out extensive sports medical fieldwork through positions in professional soccer and since 2004 has worked for the Royal Dutch Football Association, including the U21 National Team.
Assistant Director of Rehabilitation Department
Dr. Rod Whiteley is a Specialist Sports Physiotherapist working as the Assistant Director of the Rehabilitation Department at Aspetar Sports Medicine Hospital. He has worked as a Physiotherapist in elite Rugby League, Rugby Union, and Baseball. After gaining his PhD from the University of Sydney in 2009, he has since diversified his research interests to Football, Handball, and Volleyball. He recently commenced a collaboration with the Qatar National Research Foundation to look at the clinical impact of architectural changes in the hamstring muscles which is complementing the work done in the rehabilitation department.
Chief Medical Officer
Scott D. Gillogly, MD, is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon specialised in Sports Medicine, Arthroscopic Surgery and Biologic Cartilage Restoration. In his surgical career that spans three decades, he has been a pioneer in using autologous chondrocyte cells for cartilage repair. Dr Gillogly has served as Head Team Physician and Orthopaedic Surgeon for eminent American National Football League, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball teams and has treated athletes from all levels of play and across many sports, including basketball, athletics, handball and soccer. He has served, chaired and presided over numerous Committees, Associations and Foundations promoting Sports Medicine and Sports Surgery and been instrumental in advancing continuous medical education in these fields. He is currently the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Sports Cartilage Repair at ASPETAR Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in Doha, Qatar.