Meet the Team

Team 2

The Coalition's core team, pictured from left to right: Simon Lansley, Amy Caterson and Hitesh Patel.

HITESH PATEL 

Executive Director

Hitesh joined the Coalition as Executive Director in April 2022 after almost two decades working in UK Civil Service where a large part of his career focused on sport at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). As Head of International Sport, Major Sports Events and Sports Integrity, he oversaw the UK’s engagement in international sport policy across areas including anti-corruption, anti-doping, match-fixing, governance, soft power and sport for development, representing the UK in various intergovernmental and multilateral settings including the Commonwealth, Council of Europe, EU, G20, OECD, UNESCO, UNODC and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). He played a leading role in the development of the ‘International Partnership against Corruption in Sport’ (IPACS) in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other international sports organisations, and helped develop the first UK Code for Sports Governance working with Sport England and UK Sport.Hitesh, who is originally from West Bromwich, led on the UK Government’s support for the programme of major sports events following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart, 2015 Rugby World Cup, 2017 IAAF and IPC World Championships, 2019 UCI Road World Championships and last year’s UEFA Euro 2020. He also worked as Head of Music, Publishing and Copyright at DCMS where he oversaw a key workstream on the economics of music streaming. Hitesh also holds a number of voluntary roles relating to sport for development, including Chair of Sport 4 Life UK, and trustee of the Tennis Foundation and the Albion Foundation, the charitable arm of West Bromwich Albion Football Club. He is Rapporteur to UNESCO’s International Convention against Doping in Sport, a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) Governance Task Force, and also chaired WADA’s Independent Observer team at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. 

AMY CATERSON

Head of Impact & Engagement

Amy co-ordinates engagement and consultation with Coalition supporters and sector stakeholders, as well as supporting the delivery of events and activities that contribute to the Coalition’s advocacy. She also supports on the impact pillar of the Coalition’s business plan through supporting the collation of data, research and resources to assist sport for development organisations in demonstrating their impact.

Prior to joining the Coalition, Amy worked as an Insight Officer at Sport Wales. In this role she undertook research and evaluation on numerous projects in education, investments, and producing national statistics. Amy also worked as a Personal Trainer, and has volunteered within the sport for development and wider social sector. She has a Masters degree in Global Urban Development and Planning.

SIMON LANSLEY

Head of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs

Simon Lansley leads on strategic communications and public affairs for the Sport for Development Coalition. He co-ordinates all Coalition activity around its brand and narrative, working in collaboration with Communication Leads at organisations across the network. He also oversees all advocacy, PR and media engagement, and digital and social media activity. He has overseen the co-design of the #OpenGoal Shared Advocacy Framework by Coalition members.

Prior to joining the Coalition, Simon spent 16 years at the UK’s national news agency, the Press Association, where he was Sports Editor and Editorial Director, before moving into the Sport for Development sector as Head of Marketing & Communications for Street League, the sport for employability charity. He has also worked as a consultant for numerous charities and governing bodies in and around sport, ranging from FIFA and the Football Association to Terre des Hommes and Amnesty. Originally from Wolverhampton, Simon also recently worked as Senior Consultant for the International Platform on Sport and Development, sportanddev.

Meet the Sport for Development Coalition Board