Brendon Batson MBE - Chair
Born in Grenada, Brendon Batson will always be associated with the generation who pioneered the presence of black players in British football and helped inspire the movement to eradicate racism from the game.
Throughout a highly successful career as an outstanding and stylish defender, a senior football administrator and Deputy Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers Association, Brendon has attracted widespread affection and respect for his integrity, insight and sportsmanship. In 2001, he was awarded an MBE for services to football and to this day, he remains a fervent and active opponent of racism, supporting countless related initiatives at all levels of the game.
After leaving the PFA in 2002, he became Managing Director at his former club, West Bromwich Albion. Since 2003 he has headed Batson Sports Consultancy, with clients including the FA.
Beverley Mason is founder and director of Medar Pysden - a creative industries practice that offers project-based management consultancy. She leads the team for CNBC Europe's CEO leadership programme, which includes the Dow Jones top-ranked companies.
Beverly oversaw The Olympic Partner (TOP) sponsorships in Albertville, Barcelona, Lillehammer and Atlanta for Time/Sports Illustrated, and brought her insight into the social and cultural potential of sport to the successful London 2012 bid. She served on the Mayor's Commission on African and Asian Heritage and helped to found Gain - a positive action programme to diversify arts and cultural organisations. For the Arts Council, she worked on Inspire, a programme to increase diversity at curatorial level in London's museums and galleries, and she advised on the government's Cultural Leadership Programme (2006-8).
Currently, Beverly is chair of Awards for Young Musicians, Adzido Dance and a producer/director for Ballet Soul, a classical and contemporary ballet company.
Chris joined the Sporting Equals board in May 2007. He is a co-founder and director of CAN Health and Sport Ltd, a social enterprise consultancy working in the sport and health sectors.
Prior to this he worked in the financial services sector for twenty years with Barclays, Gartmore and latterly as a Director of the Royal Bank of Scotland's private equity arm in London. He has held a number of non-executive roles and has broad general management experience. He has an MBA from City University Business School.
Chris has always held a passion for sport and in particular football. He is a Director and Company Secretary of Brentford Football Community Society, the supporter's trust which is the majority shareholder of Brentford Football Club and is on the board of the club's subsidiary formed to develop a new community stadium.
Urvasi Naidoo qualified as a solicitor in 1992, and developed a niche practice advising on immigration and nationality issues relevant to the sports industry. She decided to specialize, studying part time and completing an LLM in International Sports Law.
In January of 2001, she moved to the USA where she worked for the Salt Lake Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2002 in the Brand Protection Department. Recruited by the International Cricket Council (ICC) she became their first In House Lawyer and later Company Secretary, the only female member of a management team that changed the face of international cricket with a series of radical commercial and strategic moves.
Urvasi is currently CEO of International Netball and a member of the Commission on the Future of Women's Sport. A keen badminton player and an occasional golfer, Urvasi is a regular volunteer at international sporting events.
Mihir Bose has had a rich and varied journalistic career for more than 30 years. Born just before Indian independence, he was brought up in Bombay, before studying in England and establishing himself as a writer and reporter, working for most of the major British newspapers.
Mihir specialised in investigative sports reporting, particularly the growing field of sports business and politics. In 2007 he was appointed the first BBC Sports Editor. His awards include Business Columnist of the Year, Sports Reporter of the Year and Sports Story of the Year. He is the author of many books: his History of Indian Cricket was the first book by an Indian writer to win the prestigious Cricket Society Literary Award in 1990. His study of sports and apartheid, Sporting Colours, was runner-up in the 1994 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.
A frequent lecturer and public speaker, he also served on the Budd Committee, whose report to the British Home Office provided the basis for the new United Kingdom gambling legislation.
Di Ellis, CBE
Di was appointed Chairman of British Rowing in 1989 and Executive Chairman in 1992 during which time the company has grown from a staff of 10 to 116 in 2012.
Having rowed internationally, Di subsequently became a team manager and umpire, before moving to the administrative side of the sport where she was recognised as Sunday Times Sportswoman Administrator of the Year, by the IOC for services to Women’s sport, and in 2004 received a CBE for services to rowing. In addition she became the first lady steward of Henley Royal Regatta.
Among her other roles Di is a Director of the British Olympic Association, the Sport & Recreation Alliance and Trustee of the River & Rowing Museum. A driving force behind her involvement has not only been a passion for sport but also the desire to create opportunities
for all which has included encouragement of women and past work with the International Federation on the development of disability rowing.
Mihir has been Global Head of Business Accountability at advertising agency Lowe & Partners since November 2010. In his role Mihir is responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of campaigns for diverse clients from Unilever to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Prior to joining Lowe & Partners Mihir was Director of Strategy & Research at Sport England from 2006. Previously he held several roles during his five years at the BBC, including a spell as Head of Strategy for BBC Sport. Mihir started his career in consultancy at the Centre for Economics & Business Research Ltd and then Arthur Andersen. Mihir holds a degree in economics from Cambridge University and an MBA from Italy's SDA Bocconi business school.
This is Mihir's second spell with Sporting Equals as he was previously Deputy Chair between 2004-2006. Mihir enjoys sport both as a very amateur participant (playing social Saturday morning tennis) and as a spectator (suffering the ups and downs of being a Spurs season ticket holder).