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2021 Cohort

(Name)
Ashwyn Lall
(Position)
Sports Business Creator

Ashwyn Lall

Sports Business Creator

Ashwyn is a sports business creator with aspirations to work full-time in the digital marketing space in sport. Content creation is a passion of Ashwyn's as it influences how people communicate, think and interpret what they see online. Most importantly, Ashwyn loves sharing his unique and creative perspective on developments in sport.

 

He is driven by the evolving sport industry landscape, which welcomes an inclusive sports culture and audience to a fast-growing sector. This inspired Ashwyn to establish a sports business blog that champions the transformation of sport and hosts exclusive interviews with a range of industry professionals. Ashwyn also volunteers for the charitable arm of Reading FC and is a strong advocate on sport for development. Football has always been Ashwyn's primary sport, and has since grown into a big boxing and MMA fan.

 

Ashwyn works full-time in local government, developing transferable skills away after a fixed-term contract at sports charity Get Berkshire Active. However, the sports industry dream remains stronger than ever, which is what finds him here today, as a member of the Diversity in Digital Mentoring Programme.

(Name)
Cassie Coombes
(Position)
Student & Sports Writer

Cassie Coombes

Student & Sports Writer

Cassie is a final year university student studying English and History, with the aim of combining her studies with her passion for sport. Sport has always been a massive part of Cassie's life, having grown up playing cricket and football at youth international and county levels. The English aspect of Cassie's degree has allowed her to explore her creativity, with a particular interest in the storytelling capabilities of digital sport. Cassie has the interest and motivation for creating engaging content, with her radio and podcast experience providing her with an understanding of how to connect with a sporting audience. Cassie has also gained experience as a sports writer through her work with FA Championship side, London City Lionesses, in addition to managing her own sports blog.

 

As a female trying to break into the industry, LiveWire’s aim of addressing the lack of diversity in sports media was particularly appealing to Cassie, and she looks forward to learning from the expertise of the LiveWire mentors and developing her knowledge of the digital sport industry.

(Name)
Ediong Udom
(Position)
Digital Marketer

Ediong Udom

Digital Marketer

Ediong is a BA Business and Marketing and MSc Sports Management graduate. During Ediong's time studying for his masters, he became a Kick It Out Student Ambassador. Originally from Norwich, the 23-year-old has also joined the London FA youth council. Ediong contributed to the ideation and implementation of the flagship event that introduced young Londoners to refereeing and coaching opportunities.

Now, Ediong wants to diversify his skillset in digital marketing and specialise in sports marketing with the hope to leave Livewire Sport's Diversity in Digital Mentoring Programme with the skills and confidence to contribute to the continued growth of this sector. Particularly by providing innovative value-based and purpose-driven content using creative marketing campaigns and sponsorship activations.


Aside from Ediong's professional achievements and goals, he is interested in physical fitness. He started running during the first COVID lockdown and came out of retirement to play 11 aside football again last summer. Additionally, he launched his own blog platform "The Athletes View" which explores the relationship between athletes, fans, and brands. He published his first ever article in January 2021 about Athlete Activism.

(Name)
Hannah Thompson
(Position)
Women's Sport Specialist

Hannah Thompson

Women's Sport Specialist

Hannah wants to be a voice on how to increase both quality and quantity of women’s sport coverage. A second year doctoral researcher at Loughborough University, Hannah is exploring elite female cricketers uses and perceptions of social media. Outside of academia, Hannah has volunteered with women’s sport teams and all things digital. Experiences include; Leicester City Women FC, Loughborough Lightning Ruby, Cricket and Netball franchises.

In 2020, she gained experience with SportsBeat at the T20 World Cup which relit her passions to want a career working at/for major sporting events. For the first time ‘she could see it and be it’.

Recently, she started freelance work with the Game Changers Podcast and the FA Women’s Super League channels. Additionally, she has just launched her own podcast Women’s Cricket Chat where she interviews leading figures of the women’s game.

(Name)
Lisa Leroux
(Position)
Sports Journalist

Lisa Leroux

Sports Journalist

Lisa is a multi-lingual trainee sports journalist and have been based in London for the past two years. Lisa is originally from France and Mali, and California and moved to London to pursue a masters degree in broadcast journalism.

When Lisa's course finished, she went back to Mali for her end of the year project, a documentary on Salif Keita the first recipient of the African Player of Year award. Since her masters degree, she has been freelancing for an American website covering the French football league and a podcast on the English football team.

Lisa has also had placements with The Mirror, The Times and The BBC but unfortunately, due to the pandemic, placements and job opportunities were halted. Lisa is now looking forward to being a part of the programme to further her career as a sports journalist.

(Name)
Louise Cook
(Position)
Digital Content Producer

Louise Cook

Digital Content Producer

Originally from Sunderland, Louise graduated from London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a 1st Class degree in Theatre Technology. Since then she has gone on to work backstage on UK & International tours of some of the West End’s most notable musicals such as Mamma Mia and The Book of Mormon.


Louise has now taken the brave decision to step into the sports digital media industry, focusing on digital content creation, with a particular passion for graphic design. As a keen supporter of Arsenal and an interest in creating digital content, sports media was the ideal way to combine her two main passions.


Since beginning down this route, she has been creating social media content for several clubs including London City Lionesses and Welling Utd Women’s FC.

(Name)
Maria Verdeille
(Position)
Para Athlete & Producer

Maria Verdeille

Para Athlete & Producer

Maria is a para athlete, competing in the T35 100m at the Commonwealth Games in 2018. Aside from her passion for sport, Maria has a degree in Photography and is also a recent graduate of the Channel 4 Para Production scheme.

Maria would like to work her way up to become a producer and will use this opportunity on the Diversity in Digital Mentoring Programme to help develop her skills and knowledge in sports media, and gain a deeper understanding of the importance that social media has on the wider production landscape.

(Name)
Martin Shittu
(Position)
Writer & Poet

Martin Shittu

Writer & Poet

Martin is due to graduate this summer with a BSc in Management and Marketing. He has a creative flare with a passion for writing and performing poetry in his free time.

Martin was once a semi-professional footballer at a young age until he experienced a brain injury at the age of 11.

Sport is an important part of his life, as well as his family, and has made him the person he is today. Martin still plays football and Gaelic football and has coached children at summer sports camps in his local community. Whilst he may not be able to play competitive sports like he used to; Martin still wants to make a difference in the industry.

He would love to see more positive black and disabled role models working in the industry inspiring others to follow suit. Working in digital sport would allow Martin to combine his passions to help change people’s perceptions and ultimately influence how consumers view sport.

(Name)
Mihika Varshnei
(Position)
Sports Management Student

Mihika Varshnei

Sports Management Student

Mihika is from India and harbours a huge passion for sports, which began when she went for went to her first IPL match and has never looked back. Mihika is now studying Sport Management at Edinburgh University and hopes to pursue a career in sport marketing in the future.

She also enjoys watching F1, and designing on Photoshop and InDesign for fun during her free-time. Mihika's dream is to help India grow its sport industry so that more people can consider sport as a viable career option.

(Name)
Natasha Miles
(Position)
Digital Marketer

Natasha Miles

Digital Marketer

Natasha is 27 and from Coventry. Sport has always been a big part of her life and has played football her whole life. She has a degree in Sport and Exercise Science and plans to complete her coaching badges and coach once she eventually hangs up her playing boots.

Whilst studying, Natasha completed an internship and discovered how much she enjoyed marketing, so has worked in multi-channel marketing roles since graduating, mostly within the education sector. Digital marketing is of huge interest to Natasha, but has many areas yet to explore. The programme feels like the perfect way for Natasha to develop her skillset within the sports industry, grow her network, and learn.

Natasha would love to work in women’s football one day, helping to support and grow the game even further.

(Name)
Nicholas O’Leary
(Position)
Sports Journalist

Nicholas O’Leary

Sports Journalist

Nic has always had a passion for sport and writing, but due to a debilitating injury playing rugby at a young age, he had to leave education earlier than planned. A decade after his injury, Nic finally returned to education, studying for a degree in sports journalism.

For Nic, the Diversity in Digital Mentoring Programme was an opportunity to not just benefit from the wealth of experience in the team and to meet others who may experience barriers to entry in employment, but also to act as a platform and opportunity to prove to others who find themselves in a position like Nic, that you can make the impossible, possible.

Nic is now looking ahead to learning invaluable skills through mentorship – ones which will be transferable into what will hopefully be a long and successful career within the sports media industry.

(Name)
Omari Coates
(Position)
Sport Industry Marketer

Omari Coates

Sport Industry Marketer

As a former semi-professional athlete, having represented England Basketball at U16 national level, Omari has always had a drive for sports. Since graduating from university in 2017, he has been able to gain experience working within the sports industry via internships and freelance roles. Most notably working as an intern at Wasserman and Genius Sports within research and marketing roles.

Omari is an avid writer and has a vast interest in sports media and publications. The Final Whistle is a sports blog/project which Omari has been running for several years, in addition to his contribution to various sports industry newsletters. He has experience working within different sectors but sports remains a focus point for Omari and ultimately is the industry he wants to build a career in. His aim now is to continue to build upon his skill-set and work alongside experienced professionals within the sports industry.

(Name)
Rachel Steinberg
(Position)
Sports Journalist

Rachel Steinberg

Sports Journalist

Rachel has spent the last decade storytelling, across two very different industries.

At 17, she packed her bags and moved from Ottawa to New York City, where she earned a first-class degree in drama from New York University. Rachel then combined her love of sport and performance, writing about instant replay in baseball for her final MA paper at the University of Toronto.

She next served as a dramaturg, literary manager and producer for companies across North America, including Berkeley Rep, Sundance and the Kennedy Center, before embarking on several months of extended solo travel and eventually winding up on an Antarctic glacier.

The insatiably curious Canadian decided to switch careers after moving to the UK in 2017. She completed her NCTJ in sports journalism at News Associates London and was a finalist for NCTJ Sports Journalist of the Year 2020. Her byline has appeared in the Independent, the i, Yahoo!, Eurosport, Metro, the Daily Mirror, the Radio Times and the Yorkshire Post.

Rachel is driven by stories that transcend competition and create wider conversations. She has made it her mission to champion the voices of those underserved by traditional sports media, and is thrilled to be working with and learning from brilliant people who share her values as part of Livewire’s 2021 Diversity in Digital cohort.

(Name)
Rhona Lloyd
(Position)
International Rugby Player & Podcast Founder

Rhona Lloyd

International Rugby Player & Podcast Founder

Rhona is an international rugby player and co-founder of a podcast called Women Who Sport, which aims to increase the prevalence and diversity of female role models in sports media. In the future, Rhona hopes to expand her platform and create engaging content that tackles gender barriers in sport and educates people on issues faced by female athletes.

Rhona's motivation is to increase female participation in sport and reduce the drop-out rates seen among young athletes.

Outside of sport, she works as a Biomechanist with an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences. Rhona is looking forward to expanding her knowledge and enhancing her influence on the sports industry in a positive way.

(Name)
Will Stubley
(Position)
Content Producer

Will Stubley

Content Producer

Will loves to play, watch and report on sport. Having recently graduated with a degree in Sports Journalism from the University of Creative Arts in Farnham, Will has filmed and edited football content for both Chelsea TV and Backofthenetsouth. He also co-presented a live three hour weekly sports show on Meridian 107 FM in 2016 and currently produces match highlights and other packages for Sutton United’s Women’s team.

Will joined the Chelsea Disability football team in 2012 and has represented the club in tournaments in Austria, Switzerland, Barcelona and at St George’s Park, where he also trialled for the England CP Football team. Outside of sport, Will sings with his school choir in competitions across the south of England and took part in concerts in Brussels and at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Will is delighted to be joining the 2021 Livewire Mentoring Programme and is looking forward to furthering his skills with the help of the programme's mentors and networking with other like-minded sports media professionals.