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Panellists for the 2nd Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development

'Corruption in elite sport: What’s the impact on community sport for development initiatives?'

Two teams of experts will argue for and against the motion: ‘Corruption in elite sport undermines the potential to promote development and peace through community sports’. 

The team arguing for the motion will include:

Mr Mark Cutajar (Malta) - CEO, Sport Malta
Mark Cutajar has been the Chief Executive Officer of Sport Malta since 2014. He has a professional background in journalism and sports administration, first rising to prominence as a sports presenter anchoring the 1998 Football World Cup coverage in Malta. As a member of the leadership team at the National Olympic Committee of Malta, he participated in two Olympic Games and was head of delegation for the Malta team at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.  In 2013 he was appointed advisor to the Minister of Education and from there was appointed to his current role. In 2017 Malta were appointed to the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport, with Mark nominated as the country’s representative on this key Commonwealth advisory body. At present, he is leading the Maltese EU Presidency team, to reach consensus amongst member states for a new EU Work Plan for Sport. 

Peace Proscovia (Uganda) – Captain of the Ugandan Netball Team and member of Loughborough Lightning, Loughborough University’s Vitality Netball Superleague team
Peace Proscovia is a dual international athlete who has represented Uganda in both netball and basketball. The current captain of the national netball team, she represented Uganda at the World Netball Championships in 2015, where she led her national side to secure their best overall world ranking to date. In 2014 Peace was named the Ugandan Sports Personality of the Year. A graduate of Uganda Christian University, Peace is currently undertaking a master’s programme at Loughborough University in science and marketing. Alongside her study, Peace currently stars for the Loughborough Lightning, Loughborough University’s Vitality Netball Superleague team.

K.A. Juman-Yassin (Guyana) - Vice President [Americas], Commonwealth Games Federation
Juman-Yassin is among Guyana’s most experienced sports administrators and respected legal identities. He is the former Chief Magistrate of Guyana and has forty years’ experience as a barrister, attorney and magistrate. He is the current President of the Guyana Olympic Association and Commonwealth Games Association and has held executive roles in the national associations for boxing, tennis and cricket in the country.

The team arguing against the motion will include:

The Rt Hon. the Lord Bates (United Kingdom) - Minister of State at the Department for International Development
Lord Bates was appointed as a Minister of State at the Department for International Development in October 2016. He was previously a Minister of State at the Home Office. In 2013 he was appointed a Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of the House of Lords. He has also served as Whip for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Criminal Information at the Home Office and the Lords spokesman and Whip at the Department for Work and Pensions; and the Whip at the Department for International Development. Between 1992 and 1997 he was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Langbaurgh constituency. During this time he served as a senior Government Whip, Paymaster-General in the Cabinet Office and Sponsor Minister for North East England. Outside of politics, Lord Bates has served as Director of Research & Consulting for Oxford Analytica. He was also instrumental in establishing one of the first City Technology Colleges in Gateshead. In 2011 he embarked on a solo 3,000 mile walk from Olympia in Greece to London to raise awareness for the Olympic Truce.

Professor Cora Burnett (South Africa) – Director of the University of Johannesburg Olympic Studies Centre
Professor Burnett is one of the leading global authorities on Sport for Development and Peace. Widely published on the social impact of sport, she serves on the editorial boards for various national and international journals and is currently in her second term as Vice President of the International Sociology of Sport Association. She was the author of the pioneering Sport for Development Impact Assessment Tool, is a recognised expert on sport for development monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment and recently co-authored a new publication Sport in Society: Issues and Controversies. She has done extensive fieldwork across Africa and in 2015 was the recipient of an IOC advanced research grant to undertake a critical reflection of mega sport event legacy programmes.

Janine Thornhill (Trinidad and Tobago) – Chair, Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace (CYSDP) Network
Janine is the current Chair of the Commonwealth’s leading youth network promoting the use of sport as a tool for achieving development objectives in youth development. Janine has been a member of CYSDP since 2014 and played a key role in the development of the CYSDP Youth Advocacy Toolkit, a tool to assist young leaders across the Commonwealth advocate for SDP approaches. A former competitive swimmer, Janine currently works for Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.

The 2nd Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development