Alice Powell

Alice Powell ǀ Alice Powell Racing

Alice PowellAlice started karting when she was 8 years old and has been a motorsport fan all her life. At 22 years old, she has had some stand out career highlights, which include becoming the first ever female to win the Formula Renault BARC UK Championship. She is the first and only female to get in the points in the GP3 Series and last year, she was Champion in the Formula Renault Asia Championship. Alice is also a BRDC Rising Star, which means she is part of the prestigious British Racing Drivers Club. As well as this, she is also an Athlete Supporter for the Women Sports Trust, promoting women’s sport and raising awareness.

This year, Alice is running an all-female kart team in the Formula Kart Stars Championship, which is supported by Bernie Ecclestone. As well as this, Alice is coaching other young female kart racers.

Her racing highlight for the year so far was racing in the 24hr Silverstone with Aston Martin, alongside their CEO, Andy Palmer.

Alice works hard to get females into Motorsport, and to coach and help guide them to their

Kate Richardson-Walsh | EY

Kate Richardson-walsh

Kate Richardson-Walsh is a triple Olympian and 2012 Olympic Bronze medal winning hockey player. Kate has captained both England and Great Britain women’s hockey team for over 12 years and has amassed over 330 international caps over her 17 year international career. Kate has won silver medals at the Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games along with a World Cup bronze medal and 7 other bronze medals from international competitions. Kate is currently training full-time along with completing a Business Development internship at EY in the build up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Kate is also a member of the BOA Athlete’s Commission and is the secretary of the EOC Athletes’ Commission. Kate serves as an ambassador for the Women’s Sport Trust and Access Sport. Kate was awarded an MBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List for her services to hockey.



Annie Zaidi ǀ Leicester City Football Club, Centre of Excellence

Annie ZaidiI come from a traditional Pakistani Muslim background, I studied BA Hons English Literature at Northampton University and went onto study Durham University to study MA Community Development & Youth Work Studies. I have since obtained my Masters.

Football has also been & still is a huge part of my life since I was a young girl, not sure why but as soon as the ball touches my sole/soul something magical happens and my heart becomes alive.

When I initially started out my first ever coaching role was whilst I was studying for my Masters, I had to do a placement at North Benwell Youth Project, Newcastle. As the project manager knew I loved coaching, he assigned me to coach a group of 40 young men aged between 16-24 for the next 12 felt like I was literally thrown in the deepest end of the ocean with no arm bands or boat to keep me afloat. Just imagine a 5ft 2inch woman, who was Asian Muslim & wore a headscarf walking onto the pitch with a bag full of footballs introducing herself to the lads as their new coach for the next 12 weeks. One thing I forgot to mention was that this was after the tragic events of 9/11 & 7/7, therefore peoples perception of Muslims was very negative and hostile. The first few weeks the lads tested me as a coach by tackling me very aggressively which left me with bruises on my legs, sore ribs from elbowing me and I've forgotten the number of times I spent on the floor. Despite all this I came back each week more determined and stronger to get the lads to accept me as a coach, which they did and since then they regarded me as a coach.

Whilst doing my FA Level 2 coaching badge, I became a Sunday league manager (out of 400 managers I was the only female manager) i have experiences some vile racism & sexism abuse from opposition managers. I recall one experience in which the opposition manager not only refused to shake my hand before and after the game, but throughout he kept making sly comments about me. After I left the game, I parked my car and started to cry as not his words impacted than his actions of refusing to shake my hand, I was very upset about this as it felt like I wasn't accepted in the game. Sadly this resulted in me stepping down & quitting being a manager, as i didn't want this experience to poison my love for the game.

Despite experiencing some very low moments throughout my coaching journey, there have been some achievements in my coaching career, including Winning the Asian Women Achievement AAward 2015 in the sports catergory, & Coaching U11's at LCFC Girls Centre of Excellence, being a Asian Muslim Female who wears Hijab. I have had people tell me that no professional club or the sport itself would employ me as their coach as I don't fit the right image/brand, so for me to wear LCFC kit & represent the club every weekend, whether the team are playing home or away against other professional clubs, standing in the manager's stand feeling proud of how far I had come despite the many barriers, racism & sexism I had to experience.

Currently I am working towards my UEFA B License & even though these may seem like big achievements, I still haven't achieved anything yet as there is still a long way to go until I achieved what I set out to achieve. Until then, I will continue to eat, breathe, sleep coaching football 25 hours a day 8 days a week.

emma mason rising star

Emma Mason ǀ Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP

I am a trainee solicitor at the firm of Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP but alongside this I have held a number of positions within international badminton and am also currently a member of British Showjumping’s Disciplinary Panel. I set out below a brief outline of my journey, my education, publications and awards in the sporting world to date.


I would like to start by saying that I’m incredibly honoured to have been nominated for a WeAreTheCity Rising Star Award and would like to thank whoever was responsible for nominating me. Throughout my sporting and professional life I have been inspired by both male and female role models. Consequently, I am a strong believer that the celebration of female accomplishments plays an essential part in inspiring others and that it can help to close the gender gap by showing other females what is possible. Therefore, regardless of the outcome of my own nomination, I believe that the Rising Star Awards are an important aspect of supporting and promoting female talent in the City.

My life in the sporting world began in earnest in my early teens, although, there had been a great many years before that stage where my parents ferried me round from tournament to tournament; from city to city; and from one cold badminton hall to the next. I am sure that is a debt it will be nigh on impossible to repay. However, I hope that it went someway to making their sacrifices feel worthwhile that for approximately 5 years I was a full time international badminton player representing Scotland at European, Commonwealth and World Championship level. Very unfortunately, through a combination of illness and injury in my mid-twenties, my career was cut short and I was forced to reconsider my future.

By the time I retired, I was already heavily involved in sports administration and governance as Vice-Chair of the World Badminton Federation’s Athletes Commission (a peer elected body of 6 that represents the views of the athletes to their International Federation). It was my enjoyment of this role that prompted my decision to re-train as a solicitor following the completion of my undergraduate degree in Chemistry. In 2013 I was appointed Chair of the Athletes Commission, a role which I carried out for approximately 2.5 years with my term coming to a natural end earlier this year. Working with the athletes and representing their view to the World Badminton Federation was a role I was passionate about and one in which I took great pride. I was the first female Chair of the modern day Athletes Commission since Gill Clark MBE who was President and Chairman of the Athletes Commission’s predecessor the International Badminton Players’ Federation from 1990-1995. I was also incredibly proud that my election meant I was one of the 6 women who became Council Members of the World Badminton Federation in 2013. This was a historic first for our International Federation and one which meant that we were one of the few International Federations to surpass the International Olympic Committee’s then recommendation of 20% of women on decision making bodies in sport. During my term as a Council Member of the World Badminton Federation, we collectively worked together and approved: (i) the introduction of Hawk-Eye to some our premier events, (ii) a US$400,000 end of year bonus for top 10 Superseries players, and (iii) a record breaking deal that would see the end of year Superseries finals be located in Dubai for at least 4 years. During my time in the Athletes Commission I was also proud to, as Vice-Chair, personally contribute to the Athletes Commission’s successful campaign to have a controversial clothing regulation (that required females to only wear skirts or dresses in competition) overturned and, as Chair, to successfully argue that (for purposes of protecting the players’ health and safety) the regulations relating to the standards and types of flooring that could be used in competition required tightening up.

My experience as a Council Member of an International Federation also opened up a great many doors for me professionally and allowed me the opportunity as a young female sports administrator to develop my network and enhance my profile. It was through this role that I was asked to Chair the Women in Badminton Working Group for Badminton Europe and to participate in UK Sport’s International Leadership Programme. As I have previously mentioned, I am passionate about promoting the achievements of women and also firmly believe that visible role models are an important part of attracting and retaining young and talented females to an organisation. To that end, during my term as Chair of the Working Group we: (i) published regular “Women in the Spotlight” features on the Badminton Europe website, (ii) put on two international conferences on Women in Sport, and (iii) hosted a networking breakfast for International Women’s Day 2014 in conjunction with the All England Badminton Championships. UK Sport’s International Leadership Programme, was a great opportunity for me to grow my profile within the UK, to learn from experienced sports administrators and to develop my professional skills. It was through the programme that I was offered my current position with British Showjumping and for which I can now be called upon to adjudicate, review & punish potential breaches of British Showjumping’s Disciplinary Rules by their members. While I will shortly be taking up another post within badminton, I am looking forward to doing so alongside a new challenge in a new sport. I hope to be able to bring my experiences from badminton to my role in Showjumping and to learn as much as possible from my new colleagues in the Equestrian world.

Despite retiring from international sport, I have retained my competitive mentality and love of an active lifestyle. I am now a regular runner and gym goer, or as my flat mate would say, addicted to exercise(!). I have put these to good use by participating in a number of charitable sporting events including the MoonWalk 2012 (Edinburgh) and 2015 (London) for WalkTheWalk, the Halloween Moonriders (2014) and the Loch Ness Marathon (2013) for Kidney Research. I really enjoy the physical challenge and raising money for worthy causes and hope to continue participating in these throughout my professional career.


Samantha Sherwood ǀ Women's Sport UK

Samantha SherwoodSamantha is a passionate and life-long sports fan. She has been involved in sport either as a player, spectator or volunteer for over 20 years. From playing national league basketball, to being a games maker, to being treasurer at her local rugby club she has always dedicated her spare time to sport. As a qualified accountant and management consultant she has used these skills to set up and develop Women’s Sports UK. Samantha is a determined, enthusiastic person who, along with her co-founders, has developed a media outlet to give a platform for elite sports women to be able to showcase their successes. The site also allows the general public to engage with and follow elite women’s sport, Women’s Sports UK is the only website to offer this level of comprehensive coverage.


Amy Hughes ǀ The 53 Foundation

amy hughesI am a runner, adventurer, personal trainer and nutrition coach. Last year I raised over £53,000 for the Isabelle Lottie Foundation by running 53 marathons in 53 consecutive days, a world record for both women and men. The previous record for women was 17. This incredible achievement led to securing the no. 27 spot in the Telegraph’s Top 100 Britons of 2014. I also made the Runner’s World Top 5 Running Heroes of 2014 and picked up ‘Running Moment of the Year’ at the prestigious Running Awards.

As a Dame Kelly Holmes Trust athlete, I am dedicated to inspiring other young people, girls and women in particular, to keep fit and healthy. Unbelievably, just 6 years ago, I had never run a marathon before. After successfully completing her 53 challenge, in April 2015 I ran 250 miles in one week from her home town of Oswestry to London, so I could help Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell to run her own first London Marathon.

Originally hailing from West Felton, Shropshire, I now live in Wilmslow, Cheshire, where I run my own private personal training business. My partner and I are currently in the process of setting up our own charity ‘The 53 Foundation’ with the aim of helping disabled people to become more active.

Liv Cooke

Liv Cooke ǀ Liv Cooke Freestyle

I am the only professional female football freestyler in the UK, at 16 years old I can happily say I've achieved all of this myself from the countless nights staying up late finishing my website or writing emails and the cold winter days out there training in the rain.

I aim to promote females in sport and aid the movement for equality via the product of my hard work.