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 4th Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development motif

The 4th Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development

Is the contribution of sport to the Sustainable Development Goals limited by a current skills and knowledge gap?

The 2019 Debate will see two teams of experts argue for and against the motion: “The contribution of sport to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is limited by a current skills and knowledge gap

Speaker Profiles

Arguing for the proposition:

Maubarakahmad Boodhun Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Republic of MauritiusMaubarakahmad Boodhun, Mauritius

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports – Republic of Mauritius

As Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Youth and Sport in Mauritius, Maubarakahmad Boodhun has been instrumental in the reform and transformation of the sport sector in the country. Mr Boodhun has extensive high level experience in economics, health, sport, gender equality and infrastructure development garnered through a distinguished career in public service and corporate governance. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Development Bank of Mauritius, National Transport Corporation, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority and the Central Water Authority. He is currently the First Vice President of the Indian Ocean Island Games 2019 Organising Committee and on the board of the Mauritius Multisports Infrastructure Ltd, and is responsible for the upgrading of national sports infrastructures for the Indian Ocean Island Games 2019. A specialist in commercial law and management, he has lectured at the Curtin University’s Charles Telfair Institute and the London College of Accountancy, Mauritius branch and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).


Hayley Bennett, Diversity and Wellbeing Adviser. UKHayley Bennett (@HayleyTVB)

Diversity and Wellbeing Adviser, Business in the CommunityUnited Kingdom

Recognised as a Rising Star in Sport and an included on the Football Black List in 2016, Hayley is driven by a purpose to create and empower diverse future leaders within sports and business. She currently works at Business in The Community as a Wellbeing and Diversity Adviser to some of the UK's largest employers and brands including The British Army, Network Rail and Virgin Atlantic. In her previous role at Kick It Out, English football’s equality and inclusion organization, her work involved empowering football's diverse future leaders and educating stakeholders in the game. Hayley recently co-founded Nutmegs, a community supporting women and non-binary people of colour to connect through football. She is also co-authoring a children’s book to encourage girls’ involvement in sport. She has served as a youth advisory panel member with Spirit of 2012, the London 2012 legacy charity and the Surrey FA Inclusion Advisory Group.


Professor Grant Jarvie, Chair of Sport, University of Edinburgh, UKProfessor Grant Jarvie, Scotland (@GrantJarvie1)

Chair of Sport, University of Edinburgh - Scotland

Grant Jarvie is Professor, Chair of Sport and Founding Director of the Academy of Sport at the University of Edinburgh. He is also linked to the University of Toronto, Canada. He has strived to balance a career in the University sector (Acting University President, Vice President, Professor, Chair and Head of Department with 3 different Universities) with public service including work for the sports community (recent Board memberships have included Sportscotland, the Scottish Football Association, the Prince Albert Foundation and the CMB International Strategy Board). Born in Bellshill (Scotland) and from an international sporting family, he has always been committed to open opportunities through education and sport. He completed the Top Management Programme for future leaders taken by University Principals and Senior Civil Servants, and was recently asked to carry out a review of the Scottish sporting landscape for the Scottish Government (Jarvie Report 2019) and is currently part of a team commissioned to advance an understanding of sport for development amongst international Ministries, NGOs and Governing Bodies working with sport.


Arguing against the proposition:

Florette Blackwood, Sport Policy Development and Innovation Consultant, JamaicaFlorette Blackwood, Jamaica (@MCGESJamaica)

Sport Policy Development and Innovation Consultant, Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport - Jamaica

Florette Blackwood is the senior sport policy and innovation advisor to the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (MCGES) in Jamaica, with extensive experience in sustainable development, youth and gender issues, micro-enterprises and community peace building. She was previously the Senior Director for Sport Development in the Jamaican government. The current representative for Jamaica on the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS), she was the principal author of the Green Paper on the Jamaica National Sports Policy and national guidelines for Jamaican National sports associations and to host impactful international sporting events in Jamaica. Her current role with the Ministry involves being the lead on providing technical advice and expert support to the government on sport policy design, implementation and monitoring.



Joie Leigh, International Hockey Player, UKJoie Leigh, England (@joie_leigh)

International Hockey Player, part of the Gold Medal winning squad and Sustainability Advocate – United Kingdom

Joie Leigh is a former international hockey player with a 48 caps for England and Great Britain. Part of the Gold winning squad at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, Joie stepped away from international hockey in 2018 to use her experience as an athlete to contribute to environmental sustainability efforts within organised sport. A Geography graduate from the University of Bristol, Joie was the Sustainability Manager for the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup 2018 and is currently part of the steering group of the British Association of Sustainability in Sport (BASIS). Joie currently plays in the Netherlands, where she is also a representative for Dutch sustainable water non-profit Join the Pipe. She is an enthusiastic advocate for bringing together sport and environmental sustainability in a mutually beneficial and empowering way. Referring to the Earth as “our sporting playground”, Joie believes in the ability to inspire a greater sense of care for the planet through positive narratives and actions.


Professor Emma Sherry, Swinburne University of Technology, AustraliaProfessor Emma Sherry, Australia (@emmaesherry)

Associate Professor and Chair of Management and Marketing, Swinburne University of Technology - Australia

Emma Sherry is an Associate Professor at Swinburne University and leading global researcher on sport for development. Emma’s work focuses on community development through sport activities. She has undertaken a broad range of research with national and regional sport organisations in Australia and Oceania, including Netball Australia, National Rugby League, Australian Football League, and Tennis Australia and has published extensively on the intersection of sport and development. She sits on the Steering Group for the Model Indicators on Sport and the Sustainable Development Goals, and is undertaking research to map national sport policy against the SDGs. Outside of her academic career, Emma has extensive governance and professional experience in sport facility, event and recreation management across the local government and sport sectors. She is currently Chair of the Tennis Victoria Board and is a Trustee for the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust.


Adjudicator for the 4th Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development

Dame Louise Martin CBE

Dame Louise Martin CBE

Dame Louise Martin is the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, elected at the General Assembly in Auckland, New Zealand in September 2015 and the first female to hold this office in the history of the Commonwealth Sports Movement. She has a long and distinguished association with the Games as an Athlete, Team Manager, Administrator and Honorary Secretary and was the first female elected to the CGF Executive Board. She played a lead role in bringing the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow during the bid, served as Vice Chair of the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, and was formerly chair of SportScotland from 2008 to 2015 and Commonwealth Games Scotland from 1999 until 2007. In 2008, she joined the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS), and subsequently chaired CABOS for two full terms which ended in 2018. After being awarded the CBE in the 2003 New Year Honours List for services to the Commonwealth Games, she received a Damehood from the Queen in the 2019 New Year Honours List, for her services to sport in Scotland and the Commonwealth.