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Below are details of the team helping launch the Sports Think Tank. Founders Andy Reed and Nick King have shared a passion for sports policy over the last few years and have demonstrated their commitment to working across the political divide for the good of sport in establishing the Sports Think Tank. They believe it has the potential to make a fundamental change in the landscape of sports policy making in the UK by understanding what makes policy makers tick.

Andy Reed OBE

Andy Reed OBE

Co-Founder and Director

Andy was the MP for Loughborough between 1997 and 2010. During that time he became known as the 'backbench voice' on sport at all levels in Parliament from school, grassroots to elite. After leaving Parliament Andy has been approached to use his experience to help sport - something he has been only too willing to take up!

He has argued consistently that a Sports Think Tank would help develop the link between academic research and evidence based decision making at the heart of government and allow sport to be challenging of itself.

Read More about Andy »

Mark Balcar

Mark Balcar


Mark has been involved in Sports Think Tank since its inception and has been the Director since October 2013. He is also a public affairs consultant for a number of sport sector clients. Previously, he was a civil servant at the DCMS where he advised Ministers on professional sport policy until 2011. This work took him into the heart of European and UK policy making including Football governance, retaining the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and the relationship between professional and grassroots sport.

Mark has been involved in sport from an early age both as a wide-ranging participant and as a fan. He has taught physical education and coached rugby and cricket at St Pauls' Boys School.

Luke Regan

Luke Regan


Luke graduated with a Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology in 2010. He has always been a passionate sportsman, cycling, running, playing tennis, padel tennis and football as well as engaging in the power of sport and physical activity for social change.

Luke has been involved in sport professionally for 13 years. As well as coaching, Luke has worked as a consultant in sport psychology and a lecturer in sports science in further education.

07910 064 763
Lucy James

Lucy James


Lucy is a Loughborough University Sport Management graduate with several years of experience in marketing, communications and research. She has achieved International Honours in athletics and continues to train and compete at an elite level.

Lucy leads the marketing and organisational side of the operations. An aspiring entrepreneur, she is passionate about the business side of sport and is always keen to take on any new challenge that is presented to her.

The Advisory Group

The Advisory Group

  • Paul Downward, Loughborough University

    Professor Paul Downward graduated from Staffordshire University (formerly North Staffordshire Polytechnic) with a first class honours degree in Economics in 1988. He subsequently graduated with an MA in Economics from the University of Manchester in 1990 and a PhD in Economics from the University of Leeds in 1996.

    Professor Downward has previously worked at Aston Business School and Staffordshire University, before coming to Loughborough in 2004.

  • James Skinner, Loughborough University London

    Before his appointment at Loughborough University London, James was a Professor of Sport Management and Head of the Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management at Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Australia.

    James is a Visiting Professor in research methods and Chair of the dissertation panel at the Russian Olympic University and was recently appointed a Visiting Professor at Beijing Sport University in China.

    In 2013 he was elected as a Director and Board Member of Football Queensland, a member affiliate of the Football Federation of Australia, responsible for the strategic direction and development of the code in Queensland, Australia. He has been nominated by the Australian Federal government's Minister for Sport on a number of occasions to be Australia's representative on the WADA Education Committee.

    His appointments have allowed him to establish extensive international networks across the higher education sector with universities in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Korea, Thailand, Japan, India, China, Germany, France, Russia, Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark and Brazil. He has over 100 academic publications including 9 books, numerous book chapters, journal articles and industry reports. He has published 3 books on research methods, a number of journal articles and is currently Guest Editor of a Special Edition on Research Methodologies for Sport Scholarship.


Lord Sebastian Coe OBE

Sebastian Coe is Chair of the British Olympic Association. A life Peer, he is now known for his successful political career and his crucial role in bringing the Olympic Games to London in 2012, but he first came to the attention of the world as the fastest middle-distance runner of his generation. From sport, he then moved into politics, becoming a Conservative MP and serving in John Major's Conservative government from 1992 to 1997. After the Conservatives lost the general election he became chief of staff to new party leader William Hague (1997 to 2001) before being made a life peer and moving to the House of Lords.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, DL

In Seoul in 1988, Tanni first represented Great Britain in the course of amassing her total Paralympic Medal tally of 11 gold, 4 silvers and 1 bronze. Since her retirement, Tanni has continued to be involved in sport. She is a director of UK Athletics and a member of the board of the London Marathon.

In 2008 Tanni was appointed as a member of Transport for London, where she chairs the Environment, Corporate and Planning Panel, and is a member of the Surface Transport and Safety, Health and Environment Assurance Panels.

In 2010 Tanni was appointed to the House of Lords, where she serves as a non party political crossbench peer. Tanni took the title Baroness Grey-Thompson of Eaglescliffe in the County of Durham.

Sir Keith Mills

Sir Keith Mills was born and educated in the UK. In September 2003 he was appointed International President and CEO of London 2012, the company that was established to bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. Sir Keith led the team and along with Lord Coe was responsible for developing the bid strategy and persuading the 115 IOC members that London should be granted the rights to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. On 6 July 2005, in Singapore, London beat off competition from New York, Paris, Madrid and Moscow to win the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Having established the London 2012 organisation which planned and organised the Games (LOCOG), Sir Keith remained as Deputy Chairman alongside Lord Coe to oversee operations. Sir Keith is a non executive director of Tottenham Hotspur Plc and a director and investor in a number of small private companies. Sir Keith also chairs the sport for development charity – The Sported Foundation.

Sir Keith was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Kent in September 2008 and in the 2013 New Year Honours was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire for delivering a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Richard Caborn MP

Richard Caborn is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sheffield Central from 1983 to 2010. He was appointed as the Prime Minister's World Cup Ambassador in June 2007 and is the Government representative on the Football Foundation Board. He is also the President of the UK School Games, the English Amateur Boxing Association and the Youth Hostel Association.

Richard served as the longest continuous Sports Minister from 2001 to 2007 at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Minister for Trade at the Department for Trade and Industry from 1999-2001 and from 1997-1999 was the Minister for the Regions, Regeneration and Planning at the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Richard is a keen amateur sportsman, playing golf, football and cricket. He also runs many 10k's and half marathons and in 2005 successfully completed the London Marathon.