Professor Damian Hughes
International speaker and best selling author, Liquid Thinker Limited
Professor Damian Hughes is an international speaker and bestsellingauthor who combines his practical and academic background within sport, organisational development and change psychology, to help organisations and teams to create a high performing culture.
He is the author of eightbest-selling business books,including Liquid Thinking, Liquid Leadership, How to Change Absolutely Anything, How to Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson, The Five STEPS to a Winning Mindsetand The Barcelona Way: Unlocking the DNA of a Winning Culture.
His latest book, High Performance: Lessons from the Best on Becoming Your Best, has been a number one Sunday Timesbest seller. Hiswork hasbeen translated into ten languages.
He has also been nominated for the 2007 William Hill Sports book of the year award for Peerless, his biography of boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson. In 2009, he co-authored a critically acclaimed biography of boxing legend, Thomas Hearns in Hitman: the Thomas Hearns Story. In 2013, his latest biography, Marvelous Marvin Hagler became the UK’s best selling sports biography.
He was appointed as a Professor of Organisational Psychology and Change for Manchester Metropolitan University in September 2010.
He is the co-host of The High Performance Podcast, an acclaimed series of interviews with elite performers from business, sport and the arts, exploring the psychology behind sustained high performance.
He has served as a member of the coaching team for England Rugby League, Scotland Rugby Union and a wide range of international and national sporting teams.
His innovative and exciting approach has been praised by Sir Richard Branson, Muhammad Ali, Sir Terry Leahy, Sir Roger Bannister, Tiger Woods, Jonny Wilkinson and Sir Alex Ferguson.
Television presenter and journalist , Sky Sports
Emma Paton is a television presenter and journalist for Sky Sports.
Emma has become a mainstay on screen for Sky Sports viewers - leading the broadcaster's coverage of the World Darts Championship, amongst other major tournaments, as well as covering breaking stories and interviewing some of the biggest names in sport.
Emma is an SJA award winner for her work on the Sky Sports podcast - Football's Cult Heroes. She is also a mentor and advocate for female journalists, and is keen to use her platform to drive social change and be a positive role model for current and future generations.
International rugby player
Jodie Cunningham is one of the Women’s Super League’s most recognisable stars and a huge advocate for women’s sport and equality in the UK.
Jodie started playing rugby league while in school for Cardinal Newman Catholic High School, Warrington. She was then picked to play for England while still in sixth-form, whilst also playing for Warrington Ladies.
She then moved to Leeds for University and again played for England at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, before joining Thatto Heath Crusaders.
She joined the newly formed St.Helens Women’s side in 2018 after playing a leading role in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, however, missed out on the majority of the season due to an ACL injury she picked up in the 2017 season.
Jodie has also recently taken up a role Women’s and Girls Development manager at the Rugby Football League as well as being an ambassador for the Rugby League World Cup 2021. The tournament was postponed from last year due to the pandemic and is now set to take place from 15th October – 19th November 2022 in venues across England. For more information, visit www.RLWC2021.com
Equally as comfortable at full-back as she is at loose-forward, Jodie was named St Helens Women’s Player of the Year in 2019 before picking up the same award in 2021. She was also recognised by being named the 2021 Woman Of Steel as she led Saints to the League Leaders’ Shield, Challenge Cup, and Super League trophies as captain in a historic unbeaten campaign.
Chief Executive Officer, Lewes Football Club
Serena Guthrie MBE
Ex Professional Netball Player
Serena Guthrie is an ex professional netball player who captained Team England to win Bronze in the 2019 World Cup, during which she was secretly battling Glandular Fever.
Serena Guthrie was a member of the Vitality Roses for almost the entirety of her professional netball career after making her debut for her country against Malawi in 2008, at only 18 years old. Since then, the Jersey-born center has experienced all that international netball has to offer, having played at three Vitality Netball World Cups (2011, 2015 and 2019) and two Commonwealth Games (2014 and 2018).
After winning bronze in two of the three previous major international competitions, Serena was part of the team that secured a record-breaking gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games against Australia on the Gold Coast.
Serena’s prodigious talent first earned her a place in the Team Bath Vitality Netball Superleague squad in the 2006-07 season when she was still studying for her A-levels. She won the title in her first season and went on to claim two more crowns during the next eight years, playing a pivotal role in the Blue and Gold’s last VNSL success in 2013.
Serena took the decision to move to the professional ANZ Championship and played for Northern Mystics of New Zealand, where she was named as the league’s Rookie of the Year.
When the league disbanded in 2017, she made the switch to Sydney-based Giants Netball and was named as the club’s Most Valuable Player as they finished runners-up in the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final. She enjoyed another stellar 2018 season, inspiring Giants to top spot in the league table and being named in the Suncorp Super Netball team of the year.
She returned home to Team Bath for the 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague campaign and, after another outstanding season, was inducted into the prestigious University of Bath Hall of Fame later in the year. Indeed, 2019 was a significant year for Serena. She was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list for services to netball, as well as Team of the Year at The Sunday Times Sportswoman of The Year. She also joined the charity Sporting Family Change (SFC), which uses sport to empower, inspire and motivate local families in Bath and the surrounding area to making positive long-term lifestyle changes, creating opportunity for all.
During the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, Serena took up gardening which helped her take her “mental health to the next level.” (Glorious, 2021). Move over Alan Titchmarsh!
Post lockdown, Serena became an athlete for FlyHawk, the only teamwear brand to have women's sport at the forefront of their offering, with an expert understanding of what female athletes, fans and especially Netballers need. She also runs her own coaching brand, Legacy Netball and DJs in her spare time. Serena is also an accomplished speaker and motivator.
In April 2022, Serena announced her retirement from netball after falling pregnant with her first child. She goes down in history as one of the greatest British netballers of all time.