Active Together is governed by a number of Board members who bring with them a wealth of skills and knowledge. Their aim, to support Active Together in achieving its key objectives to increase participation and widen access to sport and active recreation.
Active Together Board Members
Chair - Active Together
An enthusiastic, resilient and experienced public sector leader, board chair and trustee, who has operated at a strategic level for large multi disciplined organisations with profit and loss accountability and financial acumen. Visible empowering leadership style, experienced at leading change within a wide range of complex service areas and specialisms. Navigates successfully public and private sector partnerships to lever social and economic benefits.
Passionate advocate of the benefit sport and physical activity brings to the quality of life of communications across Leicestershire and Rutland and of the importance of 'designing in' opportunities to move more by ensuring the planning system considers activity when designing the built environment.
Vice Chair, Director of Public Health, Leicestershire County Council
Mike is the Director of Public Health for Leicestershire County Council and Rutland County Council, having been in post since February 2014.
Mike has worked in Public Health since the early 90's in a number of Public Health Intelligence, R&D development, manager and consultant roles for both the NHS and academia.
Mike is Vice Chair of Active Together and a member of the national Active Partnerships Board. Mike has led the Leicestershire and Rutland Public Health response to the pandemic throughout the last two years, becoming a familiar figure on local media.
"Physical Activity is one of the 'best buys' organisations can make in helping improve the health of the population. As a Board member, I'm proud of the energy and organisation Active Together bring to their work in helping people be more active."
Head of Sports Services
Leicester City Council
Andrew joined Leicester City Council in November 2015. Previously he has held senior positions leading services such as leisure facilities, parks and open spaces, sport development and physical activity and lifestyle services.Andrew has lead and delivered various large capital leisure developments across parks and open spaces and sport and leisure. His most recent development was the award winning £30 million Derby Sports Arena as Head of Leisure Facilities and Parks at Derby.Andrew has been inspired by working with some fantastic people over his career and is delighted to be part of the Active Together Partnership to help support the Board, staff and partners in extending the reach and impact of our programmes and plans.Originally from Teesside and when not supporting Middlesbrough FC he enjoys playing golf and after 10 years coaching both girls and boys has recently returned to playing competitive cricket again for his local club.
Colin oversees the practices of all barristers at Garden Court Chambers. Day to day, he maintains oversight of the clerking teams and is known for being available to all, both in the UK and internationally.
He has strategic responsibility for building and maintaining client relationships across all areas of legal practice. Colin has been instrumental in growing chambers to become the largest set of barristers in London, offering services of the highest quality.
Colin is dynamic, approachable and determined to achieve the best possible results for clients. Under his stewardship, Garden Court has won the Legal 500 Crime Set of the Year Award 2015 in recognition of its outstanding advocacy in national and international criminal law.
Chambers & Partners (2021) described Colin Cook as "a joy to work with." "He is quick to respond and very proactive." "He is extremely effective in ensuring that the relationship between instructing solicitors and counsel is a collaborative one."
Legal 500 (2020) commented, "Any clerks' room that is led by Colin Cook is destined to success." "The set's 'legendary' director of clerking is 'an approachable and reliable person to deal with. The rest of his team follow his example."
Away from work, Colin is heavily involved in mentoring and supporting young people, and is the Chairman of the Moonshot Football Club in Lewisham, a well renowned grassroots club.
Colin has been recognised in the Powerlist, an annual publication that profiles some of the United Kingdom's most influential people of African and African Caribbean heritage.
Colin was shortlisted for Senior Clerk of the Year 2020 by the Legal 500.
I love sport whether competing myself or watching others. I have always been involved in sport from a young age always wanting to make the school and, later on, college and university teams in whatever sport I was into at the time - hockey, swimming, rowing, skiing, athletics. Throughout my career I have seen first-hand the power that participating in sport can bring to tackle diversity, improve mental wellbeing, put lives back on track and not only bond people and communities together but transform lives at any age from any background. I have decades of experience successfully delivering projects and programmes, implementing transformational change and improving performance in public services and am currently CEO of a national social enterprise. I intend to use all of this and my board member experience to help ensure that everyone across Leicestershire and Rutland gets the opportunity to be involved in physical activity and sport.
Local Sports Alliance Representative
I retired from work in education in 2014. Throughout my career I was extremely involved in all aspects of Physical Education (secondary, primary, FE, early years, additional needs, competition, outdoor education to name but some) and was passionate that any project or programme I was trying to develop would, if at all possible, be available to ALL young people. I was privileged to lead one of the first School Sport Partnerships in the country, this was located in Leicester City and was established in 2001. Managing the Partnership and being based in a city threw up many challenges but made me aware of the importance of active healthy lifestyles in every community. This knowledge has given me strong foundations on which to develop meaningful relationships with local and regional partners and enabled me to work effectively with the Active Harborough LSA and as a member of the Active Together Board. My leisure time is spent being active and you will find me on the golf course, walking in the wilds of South Leicestershire or in the swimming pool at the local leisure centre. I also spend many hours volunteering at school sports events and those organised in my local community.
Dr Mary Hardwick
Senior Independent Board Member, Coach & Founding Director for Inspire2tri
Mary enjoyed a broad business career at senior management level before "retiring" to follow her passion to establish a small Community Interest Company in rural Rutland to inspire sporting, fitness and activity achievements at all levels.
Mary brings experience of working within and between public and private sector organisations, leading significant contractual negotiations and delivering projects to tight deadlines with an inherent quality ethos. She also sits on the Board of British Triathlon Federation with a strong understanding of the governance framework required to underpin sporting success.
A lifelong sportswoman, Mary notably captained England Junior Ladies Cricket Team, played hockey for British Universities and was an Age-Group Sprint Triathlon and Aquathlon Worlds gold medallist in 2011. As a Level 3 BTF Coach and Mentor she hugely enjoys developing athletes and coaches, with special interests in para-sport and open water swimming.
My journey working within my community started in 2004 when I used my childhood sporting experience (in kickboxing) to help motivate girls my age, to take part in more physical activities. The event I volunteered at was called WISPA (now WHISPA). I volunteered for 11 years, whilst being a student, competing in kickboxing internationally and eventually becoming a Lawyer!
Just 2 years into my legal career I handed my notice in and returned to what I knew best, engaging more females into physical activity. In 2015 I became the Active Together This Girl Can ambassador. I have now done this for the past 6 years, impacting over 50,000 women & girls through the delivery of kickboxing, yoga & motivational speeches.
I now own my own yoga studio (Hotpod Yoga) & endeavour to continue my community impact using both the strong relationships & partnerships that I have established over the years with local and regional partners, as well as my role on the Active Together Board.
In my spare time, I like to go on walks in nature to reflect, and I enjoy reading & learning more about how I can be a better person for the world.
Leisure, Culture & People Manager
Melton Borough Council
I have worked in public sector for almost 30 years with specific experience of leading services in relation to complex vulnerabilities, people engagement and employment & skills. I have been at Melton Borough Council since 2014 and prior to that, working through the various transitions of what is currently the Department for Work and Pensions. I am a leader led by values, with the experience, passion and commitment for improving the lives and outcomes for people. Melton provided me with an opportunity to demonstrate my absolute conviction that if organisations stopped chasing targets and worked together to "do the right thing", their targets would look after themselves. I have never looked back since.
I feel privileged in my role on the Board at Active Together with values so closely aligned with my own and especially after I have personally experienced what a huge difference physical activity has made to me in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. A number of years ago, a friend took me to her Zumba class. 11 years later I am introducing others to swimming, badminton and of course Zumba still. I have also tried bhangra, spin and completed beginners level kickboxing. P.S. Other than swimming, I'm not particularly great at any of them!
Principal, Uppingham Community College
Ben Solly is Principal of Uppingham Community College, an 11-16 secondary school for 900 students in Rutland. Before this Ben was Headteacher of Lutterworth College, an 11-18 for 1500 students in Leicestershire. Ben started his career as a PE teacher in the Black Country where he worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher before moving into senior leadership roles in the East Midlands. Ben is part of the editorial board for the weekly educational publication Sec Ed.
Head of Strategic Partnerships
I am married with two grown up children. All our family are sporty, from distance running, horse riding to Elite Squash. My career has taken many turns. I started out in the polymer industry and finally staled in the sport industry when after having my daughter, starting as a fitness instructor at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, then working for Tumble Tots and finally entered the world of squash, where I encountered and worked with Active Together many times.
I now work as Head of Strategic Partnerships for England Squash, which entails building and maintaining relationships with our partners in the counties and beyond. This is a challenging and rewarding role, which has enabled me to bring my varied skills to the fore.
I now hope to bring some of that insight to the role at Active Together and am looking forward immensely to becoming part of the team.
Out side of working life I enjoy running, horse riding and baking. I am also looking forward to new adventures when we take delivery of a camper van.
Advisers to the Board
John Sinnott CBE
Chief Executive, Leicestershire County Council (Host Representative)
The link between sporting opportunities and the wider well-being agenda is crucial for our communities. Active Together is in absolutely the right place to bring this about.
Andy Reed OBE
Adviser - National Policy
Andy seeks positive impact through social transformation projects using, sport, faith, co-operatives, social enterprises & Foundations. He has a sound grounding in government relations and Sports Policy through his 13 years as the MP for Loughborough and now serves voluntarily on various sport, faith and voluntary organisation boards as well as being a social entrepreneur.
I have a genuine passion for sport at every level and believe that I have the links and contacts to use this passion to increase the profile and development of sport in the County.
Adviser - District Council Network, CEO Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council
Bill's day job is Chief Executive at Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council [rated Excellent in a CPA judgement]. Bill is currently responsible for Development Services, Strategic Partnerships, Culture/Regeneration, Sport, Housing and Community Safety. Bill is also an advisor to the Board of Active Together – the Active Partnership. Bill also works as a volunteer Chair of East Midland Crimestoppers and a member of the charity's National Advisory Board.
Bill is a Chartered Town Planner and he has spent much of his career leading major regeneration schemes, having worked in the North East, Hertfordshire, York City and Bedfordshire (where he led on major new settlement proposals). He also chairs Hinckley & Bosworth Health & Wellbeing Partnership and the Regional Growth Fund Partnership for MIRA Enterprise Zone. When he's not playing taxi driver to his three girls, he enjoys surfing, football and tennis.
Specialist Education Adviser
I am deeply committed to the value of PE and School/Community sport and what it can bring to the lives of young people as well as its contribution to neighbourhood renewal. I believe that the strategic approach Active Partnerships bring to sports development will enable real progression for children, young people and adults.
Specialist Finance Adviser
As a Director of a company which has sponsored Leicestershire sports events, I have been convinced this is a great way for businesses to support communities ... and that the diverse range of skills, connections and experience within Active Together will ensure very effective results.
For more information on the Active Together Board, please contact:
Active Partnership Director
I am working flexibly in the office or at home, therefore please contact me via email or phone number provided.
My areas of responsibility are:
- Strategic Management & Business Planning
- Key Stakeholder Liaison
- Financial Management & Compliance
- Leicester City Link Officer
- 01509 564852