ukactive's Team

Steven Ward

Steven Ward

Executive Director

Date joined ukactive: October 2006

Current responsibilities include: Leading the Executive team and working with the Chair, Board, ukactive members, partners and stakeholders to shape where it goes in the future.

Background: Steven started working in the world of sports, health and physical activity policy the week after London won the rights to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games after completing a first class degree in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds. One year later, after returning to Leeds to complete a Master's Degree in Research, Steven joined ukactive, initially as an intern researcher within the Public Affairs and Policy Team. Steven rose through the ranks of that team, becoming first manager and then Director of the Department, before taking up the position of Development Director in 2012. In April 2015 he was appointed as Executive Director as successor to outgoing CEO David Stalker. In his time with ukactive, Steven helped shape the rebrand from the FIA to ukactive, strengthen ukactive's ties to key partners such as the Department of Health and Sport England, and drove ukactive's partnership's with major brands. In his period with ukactive Steven has been a part of the team which has grown the size of its membership base by 42%, grown its staff team by 77% and increased its turnover by 592%  whilst maintaining a strict focus on its core mission. In 2014 Steven and the policy team were awarded the 2014 Public Affairs Award for Trade Association Campaign of the Year in recognition of driving almost £40m of additional investment into tackling inactivity at local authority public health team level. He is a policy expert on all matters relating to the promotion of physical activity for health and is prominent commentator on the topic both within the sector and beyond. 

Keeping active: Outside of work, Steven is an amateur football, to be found turning out on the playing fields of Watford where he now resides. A keen fitness fan, he is often trying out new classes and concepts so he can be up to date with the trends impacting the industry and visit as many ukactive members as possible. Ever committed to the cause, he even holiday's actively with his ideal break involving a minimum of five hours of training per day, which he claims his recently acquired Muay Thai "skills" earned in Thailand can prove.

Geraldine Tuck

Operations Director

Date Joined: October 2012

Current Responsibilities include: Responsibility of all membership management, events, marketing and quality and standards. This role follows on from a highly successful sales and marketing career in the health and fitness sector.

Background: Geraldine started her career as a Fitness Instructor in central London. Since then, she has worked for operators on a local and regional basis, before taking up national roles with key fitness suppliers.

At Technogym, Geraldine demonstrated strong results and success in developing new business opportunities as well as bringing innovative business solutions to established clients. More recently at D2F, she led a young team forward to deliver against new business sales targets, as well as manage all marketing and brand representation.

Keeping Active: Geraldine is passionate about health and fitness as well as being a keen tennis player and fell walker, particularly in the Lake District, a part of the country that she loves.

Craig Samuel

Sales Manager

Date Joined ukactive: September 2013

Current responsibilities: Craig is responsible for Membership Sales within ukactive. Tasked with expanding the number of ukactive members in a wide range of sectors, Craig also oversees membership retention and renewals as well as ensuring membership packages remain up-to-date and relevant.

Background: Having graduated from the University of Stirling with a Business degree, Craig moved straight into a Sales Manager role at Kukri Sports. Based in South West London, Craig was responsible for sales within sports clubs at grass root level, as well as establishing partnerships with some of the biggest schools and Universities in the UK.

Keeping active: Craig loves staying active whether it is on the rugby pitch, on the golf course or exploring the outdoors.

T: 020 7400 8623

Adam Farrant

Senior Account Executive

Date Joined ukactive: September 2015

Current responsibilities: As part of the membershipteam, Adam's responsibilities include engaging withcurrent ukactive members, as well as also workingto research and find new members. A key part of hisrole is to make sure members are able to utilise theirmembership to their full potential.

Background: Adam graduated from CanterburyUniversity with a degree in Sport and ExerciseScience, and also worked part time in the leisureindustry whilst studying.Keeping active: Adam has a great interest in sportand exercise, and currently plays football, rugby and

T: 020 7400 8629

Pete Wells

Quality and Standards Manager

Date joined ukactive: June 2007

Current responsibilities include: Pete is responsible for managing and developing standards within the sector. These include the management of the ukactive Code of Practice and Health Commitment Statement as well as Health and Safety for operators. Another role which Pete has been integral to is making sure that ukactive members are up to date with any change in legislation that may affect them, such as the upcoming changes in PPL.

Background: Pete had a year out after finishing his Sport and Leisure management degree before starting at the FIA (as it was).

Keeping active: Pete is a keen racket sports player, but believes that his best days may be behind him after a string of injuries. Pete still enjoys playing racket sports, as well as football and attending the gym. He is also the undefeated ukactive office badminton champion.

T: 020 7400 8630

Christina Edscer

Head of Events

Date joined ukactive: May 2013

Current Responsibilities: Christina is responsible for developing and delivering ukactive's programme of events.

Background: Christina previously worked for the Football Foundation in the Communications and External Relations departments as the Events Manager, arranging events with schools, Local Authorities and grass roots Football Clubs and also with Football Foundation Funding Partners, The FA, Premier League and Government.

Keeping Active: Christina is a keen runner having completed half marathons and loves to explore London whilst running. Christina also enjoys making the most of the boot camps in London's parks.

Jessica Scott

Events Coordinator

Date joined ukactive: January 2015

Current Responsibilities: Jessica is responsible for supporting the delivery and communication of ukactive's programme of events.

Background: Jessica recently graduated from Bournemouth University with a degree in Sports Development and Coaching Sciences. During a year of university placement she worked as a tennis coach in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania for the United States Sports Institute. Prior to her commencement at ukactive she worked as a Sports and Activities Instructor at City College Plymouth where her passion for increasing sports and physical activity participation began.

Keeping Active: Jess is a self-confessed netball keen bean! Having played from a young age she has pivoted her way to county and regional level. As a regular gym goer Jess is a valuable addition to the events team's impressive fitness levels. Jess also enjoys a casual game of tennis and badminton but can't be blamed for wanting a bit of healthy competition to keep it exciting.


Sinead Daly

Events and Marketing Assistant

Date joined ukactive: March 2015

Current Responsibilities include: Sinead is responsible for supporting the delivery and marketing of ukactive events.  

Background: Sinead graduated from York University with a degree in Music Technology. During this time she ran city centre festival; York Carnival. Sinead has also worked in production and festival assistant roles for Field Day Festival, Apple Cart Festival, and Illuminating York. Following university Sinead worked for a hotel events team, and then her former university to coordinate their 50th Anniversary.

Keeping active: Sinead enjoys cycling, but not in London! So instead is becoming a casual runner. Sinead also had a fluke run as captain of a university volleyball team and loves a bit of boxercise.  

T: 0207 400 8616

Ruth Woods

Marketing and Communications Manager

Date joined ukactive: September 2011

Current responsibilities include: Working with the membership and events teams to deliver high quality, impactful marketing and communications to raise awareness of ukactive's work and communicate effectively with members. Oversee ukactive brand and marketing presence at key events and ensure ukactive brand values are upheld across all platforms.

Background: Over ten years marcomms experience across the activity sector. Previous roles included marketing strategy development and implementation, brand management and partnership engagement.

Keeping active: Attend a weekly metafit class and looking to reignite running on a regular basis. Enjoy daily workouts looking after two children under three.

T: 020 7400 8604

Ade Lawal

Digital Communications Officer

Date Joined: June 2014

Current Responsibilities include: Providing critical support to ukactive's Marketing and Communications team, acting as the communications frontline for the organisation internally and externally. The post holder is responsible for the design of core ukactive brand collateral across platforms, is the lead on social media implementation to support ukactive's priority initiatives and ensures the smooth running of ukactive's day-to-day press office function.

Background: University of Bradford Media Studies 2010 graduate, Financial and administration background with Santander, online freelance journalist, copywriter intern and social media analyst for Coca-Cola.

Keeping Active: Loves the gym and an avid mixed martial artist (UFC enthusiast).


T: 020 7400 8631

Christian Villaflor

IT Manager

Date joined ukactive: April 2015

Current Responsibilities include:  Manage the development, deployment, monitoring, maintenance, upgrade and support of all ukactive IT systems. Projects manage the internal implementation, development and integration of our CRM, CMS and VoIP.

Background: With over 10 years of experience as an IT professional Christian has worked across different sectors delivering a wide range of technologies such as Web, Virtual Reality, Mobile Apps, Wireless technologies, cloud solutions and more... in the recent year Christian has been a point of reference for next generation technology deployments such as 4G LTE mobile backhaul networks across London, Asia and North America.    

Keeping active:  Christian practices a variety of martial arts and enjoys playing Football, table tennis and wall climbing.

Yasmeen Seth

Head of Organisation Development

Date joined ukactive: July 2015

Current Responsibilities include: Yasmeen is responsible for ensuring end to end HR for ukactive. This includes HR planning and entire gamut of HR- Recruitment, Performance Management & Talent Management

Yasmeen holds many years of HR experience. She has previously held HR Business partner roles and specialist roles in Talent Management, Talent development and Rewards Management

Keeping active: Yasmeen enjoys going to the gym and taking long walks


Dr Steven Mann

Research Director

Steven Mann is Research Manager at ukactive and lead researcher at the ukactive Research Institute. His research focuses upon the delivery, feasibility and effectiveness of physical activity promoting interventions delivered from within community environments. As part of this role Steven has published articles providing exercise recommendations for use in the prevention and management of type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Steven has led project get ukactive, an investigation aimed at assessing the effectiveness of three different physical activity and exercise interventions in comparison to a control group. Over 1200 participants aged between 30 and 50 years have been involved in the project, across 26 locations in the United Kingdom. Data collection was completed at 0, 24 and 48 weeks and includes measures such as; cholesterol, blood pressure, body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Currently Steven is completing the evaluation of Let's get moving back into in Luton and Bedfordshire, is part of the evaluation team assessing the impact and sustainabilty of Coca Cola Zero's Parklives initiative, and is developing a pilot study to investigate the feasibilty of delivering fitness testing in primary schools.

Steven's research has been presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, European College of Sports Science Annual Congress and the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health.


T: 020 7400 8621

Dr Sarah Domone

Senior Researcher

Date joined ukactive: June 2014

Current responsibilities include: Sarah works as part of the ukactive Research Institute which focuses upon the delivery, feasibility and effectiveness of physical activity promoting interventions delivered from within community environments.  She is currently involved in a project which aims to identify projects and programmes that demonstrate good or promising practice in increasing levels of physical activity in local communities in England.  Programmes and projects deemed 'good' or 'promising' will be considered for inclusion in Public Health England's National Physical Activity Framework.

Background: As an undergraduate, Sarah studied Sports Engineering (MEng) at the University of Bath and went on to complete a PhD in the biomechanics of the golf swing at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research, Sheffield Hallam University in April 2014.  Following her PhD she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Sheffield Hallam investigating the biomechanics of slips and falls.

Keeping active: Sarah is a keen tennis and netball player and also enjoys attempting to put her PhD to good use at the driving range.

T: 020 7420 8597

T: 020 7400 8619

Matthew Wade

Research Assistant

Date joined ukactive: January 2015

Current responsibilities: Matthew is part of the ukactive Research Institute providing support to various projects. 

Background: Matthew studied as an undergraduate at the University of Gloucestershire obtaining a degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences and went on to study for a Masters degree in the same subject at Cardiff Metropolitan University focusing on biomechanics. During this time Matthew undertook several research projects investigating the biomechanics of the sprint start, presenting his findings at the BASES Student Conference. 

Keeping active: Matthew follows a variety of sports. His main sport is football and plays when he can and is a keen runner. 


T: 020 7400 8637

Will Smithard

Strategic Projects Director

Date Joined: January 2015

Current responsibilities: Overseeing ukactive's strategic projects function which delivers work across health, major brands and research.

Background: Prior to joining ukactive, Will spent the previous decade in the management consultancy industry and predominately at Deloitte, where he specialised in delivering programme leadership across global major events and in the public and private sectors. He spent almost three years seconded to the London 2012 organising committee, where he was responsible for planning, executive-level stakeholder management and reporting and governance of the Games. He also worked in the Middle East planning and implementing strategic programme management for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Keeping active: Will is a keen runner, ran his first marathon in 2014 and can be seen on most Saturday mornings chugging around Richmond Park. He also likes to swim, cycle and play a bit of tennis and golf.

Kenny Butler

Health and Wellbeing Manager

Date joined ukactive: June 2014

Current responsibilities include: A qualified physiotherapist, he manages and develops ukactive's health and wellbeing projects including the flagship programme called Let's Get Moving. He is responsible for the external growth of this key physical activity programme, the face-to-face interaction with stakeholders and the community exercise professionals delivering the programme in GP surgeries, corporations and other settings.

Background: Kenny is British-Canadian and has been a clinician in the USA, UK and Canada including touring the world with the Canadian Rugby team. He brings his combined clinical and business skills - as an entrepreneur in the physiotherapy world having created a chain of high-street physiotherapy clinics and an extensive network of corporate physiotherapy clinics.

Keeping active: Practicing what he preaches here at ukactive, he runs and plays a 'Dads Kickabout' football league, is a keen walker, especially around his treasured London, loves live music, cycles and dabbles with Tennis.

Elisa Smith

Senior Projects and Development Coordinator

Date joined ukactive: July 2014

Current responsibilities include:  Elisa works to ensure the smooth running and growth of Let's Get Moving. From quality assurance to stakeholder management, Elisa makes sure service users are recruited and that their needs are met. Elisa also sources and coordinates funding applications, as part of the development team.

Background: Elisa joined ukactive fresh from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Film and held a part time position as Marketing and Communications Officer at charity POW Ltd. Elisa is passionate about working in the third sector and volunteers as a Community Film Maker.  

Keeping active: Elisa regularly returns to the office feeling energized after a productive lunch time HIIT class. She can also be spotted at hot yoga or the local street dance class with her partner in crime Sorcha. 

Shauna Henry

Project Coordinator

Date joined ukactive: July 2015

Current responsibilities include: Responsible for the day to day running of the Let's Get Moving Programme, a health and well-being programme making exercise professionals available in GP surgeries. This involves organising and booking appointments, promoting the service as well as management of the surgery and Community Exercise Professionals.

Background : Graduated from Health Science and Physiology in 2011 and went on to further study Public
Health and Health Promotion, graduating in 2012 from Sligo IT in Ireland. Since graduating Shauna worked in
retail and customer service as well as helping out in coaching local football teams at home.

Keeping active: Has a great love for Gaelic Football and has been playing it competitively from a young age and continues to play here in London. Attends the gym on a regular basis, taking part in classes such as kettlercise and also enjoys going for a run.

T: 020 7400 8609

Lizzie Cockle

Project Coordinator

Date joined ukactive: September 2015

Current responsibilities include: Lizzie is responsible for the day to day running of the Let's Get Moving service, a health and well-being programme making exercise professionals available in GP surgeries. This involves organising appointments and promoting the service, as well as management of the surgeries and Community Exercise Professionals.

Background: After completed a Masters in Health Psychology at UCL, Lizzie worked in public health outreach where she coordinated and delivered NHS Health Checks and smoking cessation support in the community.

Keeping active: Lizzie is a keen runner having completed a variety of events ranging from triathlons to ultra-marathons. She also tries to avoid a busy commute on the tube by cycling or running to work.

T: 020 7400 8633

Stan Jackson

External Affairs Manager

Date joined ukactive: 22nd October 2013

Responsibilities: Stan joined ukactive to work on the 2014 publication Turning the Tide of Inactivity. He now works on various policy, relationship-building and communications projects.

Background: Stan graduated in 2012 with a First-class degree in History from the University of Reading. He's worked as a reporter for The Sun and The Reading Post, as well as being Editor of online trade magazine Construction Digital for over a year. He has over 300 published articles to his name, and has worked as a freelance SEO consultant.

Keeping Active: Stan regularly plays football all over London and retains the nickname ‘Stanny Alves' he picked up at University for gut-busting runs from right back.

Geremy Sagoe

Public Affairs and Policy Officer

Date joined ukactive: October 2014

Current responsibilities include:  in addition to account management on numerous Strategic Partner Group relationships, Geremy plays a key role in Supporting campaigns and policy
initiatives that support new and existing communications, public affairs and research programmes.
His role includes research, tracking and monitoring of sector specific government policy and the delivery and management of external events including set piece national and regional events, policy roundtables and themed focus groups

Background:  Before joining ukactive Geremy worked for renowned market research agency  Ipsos MORI, working on accounts for numerous large multinational organisations in addition to working on smaller UK based projects. Geremy holds a degree in History and Politics from the university of Reading and in early 2014 obtained the MRS Society Advanced Certificate in Market & Social research.

Keeping active:  Geremy is an avid gym user and a keen 5 a side football player.

T: 0207 400 8642

Vanessa Cameron

Public Affairs and Policy Researcher

Date joined ukactive: April 2015

Current Responsibilities include: Keeping the team updated with health related news and policy announcements that could affect the physical activity sector
-identifying opportunities to influence different stakeholders
-researching different public/private partnerships regarding physical activity for the Brands report
-helping to coordinate SPG relationships with ukactive

Background: Studied politics at University of Nottingham, worked on the public affairs team at Macmillan cancer support before doing a placement overseas in Tanzania with VSO.

Keeping Active:
Loves to run outdoors (non-competitively!), and enjoys outdoor swimming at the local lido and ponds (believe it or not) 

Jon Hulks

Public Affairs and Communications Assistant

Date Joined: June 2015

Current Responsibilities include: Jon is responsible for maintaining ukactive's presence in Parliament - regularly engaging with Ministers, MPs, policy makers and other stakeholders to ensure getting more people, more active is a priority for Government. He also assists with all aspects of ukactive's public affairs and policy work, which includes monitoring Parliament for activity relevant to ukactive's remit, drafting policy reports and contributing to their stakeholder engagement strategies.

Background: Jon joined ukactive after working in the public affairs departments of two charities, having graduated with a first class degree in Politics from the University of Reading.   

Keeping Active: As well as regularly cycling to work and jogging when he can, Jon has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

T: 020 7400 8636

Stephen Williams

Finance Director

Date joined ukactive: October 2005

Current responsibilities include: Financial, legal, systems development

Background: 40 years of accountancy, including ten years as a group financial controller at Cannon's Health and Fitness.

Keeping active: Stephen enjoys exploring historic cities and clambering over archaeological site as well as living history Victorian re-enactments.

Sabah Riaz

Accounts Supervisor

Date joined ukactive: June 2013

Current responsibilities include:  The management of financial processes within the Finance department  

Background:  Sabah has a degree in Computer Science with Management from Kings College.

Keeping active: Sabah enjoys trying new gym classes and loves walking around London. 

T: 0207 400 8611

Vera Demanya

Accounts Receivable

Date joined ukactive: November 2004

Current responsibilities include: Finance, Credit Control

Background: 3 years as an Accounts clerk

Keeping active: Walking, Kick boxing, Pilates and attempting new exercise classes

T: 020 7400 8610

Sarah Lee

Licensing Manager

Date joined ukactive: May 2006

Current responsibilities include: Helping ukactive members to meet their music licensing requirements.

Background: Over 15 years experience working in membership associations including CIMA and CIPR.

Keeping active: Sarah is a qualified Level 3 Gym Instructor but being a new mum, she doesn't get to the gym much these days. For cardio exercise she enjoys a brisk walk, and a weights session is a brisk walk with the baby on her back. She likes ballroom dancing, yoga, music and chocolate. Having returned to work from maternity leave in Jan 2013, she loves how the ukactive brand has breathed new life into the office.

T: 020 7400 8635

Saad Wakeel

Accounts Payable

Date joined ukactive: August 2014

Current Responsibilities: Managing the purchase ledger , Financial Reporting to Projects Partners such as public health England, Budget reconciliations .

Background: Graduated from City University London in 2014 with a BSc. Financial Economic, and now studying towards becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst as wells as a member of the FSA.  Previously worked at an Accountancy Practice based in Wimbledon, assisting with financial reporting and tax returns for clients.

Keeping Active: Most favourite sport being squash, always up for a game and play regularly with friends. Always ready for an intense gym session, especially in the free weights section.

T: 0207 400 8625

Kudzai Tamuka

Licensing Administrator

Date joined ukactive: April 2015

Current Responsibilities include: Sending out various emails and making phone calls regarding PPL Licence 'Exercise for music' to both Uk Active members and non-members. Other duties include processing data entry of payments and sending out invoices and receipts.

Background: Recent graduate from The University of Greenwich where she studied BA (Hons) Public Relations and Communications, graduated in July 2014. Kudzai previously worked as an IBA Clerk for the Bluefin group who are an insurance broking company; during her time there she managed and reconciled the Axa Insurance account with the Bluefin Statement.

Keeping Active: When there is time Kudzai likes to jog and walk around as often as possible, she loves to dance most of her favourite workout and fitness routines always involve lots dancing. 

T: 020 7400 8608

Hasan Ozersay

Licensing Administrator

Date joined ukactive: May 2015

Current responsibilities include:  My role involves working closely with the finance team. It entails allocating received payments to the correct client accounts, providing assistance to clients with their licensing requirements, and any other admin tasks which may be required.

Background: Studied business studies, finance, and accounting. Whilst seeking work, I was offered an apprenticeship in Business Administration, and worked in an invoicing and customer service role for a little over a year.

Keeping active: A keen interest in football , tennis , badminton, and boxing. Although my physical activities have been limited since having back surgery.

T: 020 7400 8614

Ellen Phillipson

Membership Administrator

Date joined ukactive: September 2015.

Current responsibilities include: Ellen is based within the finance team, her role is to manage and maintain the membership information and processes.

Background: Graduated with a History degree from UCL in 2015 with experience through voluntary work and a Royal Navy cadets training programme.

Keeping active: She enjoys walking around London as well as running and swimming.