Liz Twyford

Liz Twyford is Head of Sports Programmes at UNICEF UK. Liz has worked on a number of high profile projects during her time at UNICEF including the development of the social legacy programmes for both London 2012’s International Inspiration & the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Liz has also played a key part in driving improved safeguarding practices across the sports industry.

Prior to joining UNICEF, Liz spent many years in the development field, living and working for more than 2 years in Bhutan where she supported Save the Children’s community sport work, and for a year in Cameroon, supporting sport for development programmes in the Northwest province. She has worked in more than 10 countries over the past 8 years, with a focus on supporting community mobilisation and volunteering.

Liz has Masters degree in Physics from the University of Cambridge, where she represented the university in cricket. She also has a Masters in Development Management from the Open University

Shiny Fang

Ms. Shiny Fang, a former athlete in synchronized swimming and gymnastics aerobics, head coach, international judge, bachelor of Sports Medicine and master of Sports Management & Industry began her career in sports administration and international relations in 2004. As now Secretary General of the UIPM, the world governing body of one of the oldest Olympic sports, Shiny started working for UIPM International Affairs in 2008, served as Vice Competition Manager for the 2008 Olympic Games (2007-2008), and Competition Manager for 2010 Asian Games (2009-2010). She has been awarded such distinctions as “Excellence of the Year”, “Organizing Proficiency” and “Young Expert in Administration”. She was elected as Vice President of the International Cheer Union (2010-2018), and served as supervisor of Sports Presentation in different multi-sport Games and is currently an ASOIF Sports Development and Education Consultative Group Member.


Shiny, whose selection as Secretary General of the UIPM in 2013, defied the conventional male-dominated field of the sport administration, has undertaken a strategic and administrative remodeling of the organization leading her sport and the UIPM to the forefront of Olympic events.


In the past 4 years, Shiny has overseen the sustained growth of the sport and the UIPM through a fully focused strategic approach to both the sport and its administration, professionalizing communication tools while transforming business processes into more transparent and efficient ones, bringing the UIPM and the sport firmly into the 21st century.


Rick Traer

Rick Traer has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) since its inception in November 2000, overseeing the exponential growth of the $5.2 billion domestic sport tourism industry and Canada’s present ranking as the #2 host nation internationally.


He has led the development of a number of internationally recognized, leading edge industry tools, including the Sport Tourism Economic Assessment Model (STEAM), the first web based application to predict and measure the economic impact of a sport event on a host community.


A graduate of the University of Ottawa with a Master’s degree in Sport Administration, Rick has an extensive background in basketball at the local, provincial, national and international levels.

He served two terms as President of FIBA Americas from 2000-2006, the governing body for basketball in the Americas based in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


He also served as Vice President of the Association of Pan American Sport Confederations from 2003-2007 and as a member of the Canadian Olympic Association from 1993-97.


Prior to his involvement with the CSTA, Mr. Traer spent approximately 15 years in the national and provincial sport systems in Canada, including  eight years as Executive Director of Basketball Canada (1989-1997), supervising the execution of provincial and national championship competitions. He has presided over four international basketball competitions held in Canada, including the 1994 FIBA World Championships held in Toronto and Hamilton.

Niklas Kaskeala

Niklas is an environmental campaigner with a mission to get more people engaged in solving our environmental problems. A strong background in different environmental and development NGO’s, working especially on policy level advocacy and campaigning.


He is the founder of Protect Our Winters Finland, the Finnish affiliate of the international Protect Our Winters movement. The mission is to engage and mobilize the snowsports community to lead the fight against climate change. They focus on educational initiatives, advocacy, community-based activism and working together with the snowports industry.


He believes we can only be successful in tackling our current environmental problems, most importantly climate change, if we engage people and businesses to demand systemic changes in our societies. A strong believer in multi-stakeholder campaigns and advocacy that inspire people to become more active. His expertise is in different types of advocacy, campaigning, fundraising as well as bringing NGO’s, social movements and businesses together to work towards common goals.


He also works as the Executive Director of the Finnish Foundation for Media and Development VIKES. VIKES is a journalists’ solidarity organisation devoted to supporting freedom of expression around the world.

Jérôme Lacroix

Graduated from the EDHEC Business School, Jerome  worked several years in a strategy consulting firm on projects in different areas: industry, sport, banking. He then joined the Strategy and Business Planning Department of Nissan Europe where he worked on different organizational projects as well as processes optimization. Then he moved to Nissan Marketing Department as Product Manager to work on the launch of the first electric vehicle in Europe.  Jerome joined the UCI in 2014 to work on the Business Development Strategy which covers a large scope of tasks from the analysis of our events  business models, the relationships with host cities, the creation of new assets and the integration of new technologies in the cycling sport.

Interested in almost all type of sports, he is a fan of the Olympique Lyonnais football team and  in his spare time doing long distance triathlon for which he cycles around 8000 km per season.

Geoff Wilson

Geoff currently runs his own Sports Agency working with sporting organisations across the world.  Previously he worked for the Irish FA as Head of Marketing and Communications which involved building the Irish FA brand, merchandising, sponsorship, database management and public relations.  In 2009 Geoff won ‘Marketing Director of the Year’ by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in Ireland and in February 2010 he won a Marketing Excellence Award, within the SME sector throughout the UK, from the CIM.   In 2009 he worked with the Ulster Grand Prix (the world’s fastest road race) to redevelop its brand, merchandise, sponsorship and PR strategy as well as communication channels to fans.


Geoff is currently on a ‘Strategic and Marketing Expert’ panel for FIFA, advising member associations on a variety of marketing topics.  Geoff regularly speaks at Sports Conferences in countries such as USA, Switzerland, Slovenia, Turkey, Cyprus, Denmark, Austria and Oman.  Geoff is also a member on the board of Chartered Institute of Marketing in Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.


Dr. Munehiko Harada

Dr. Harada was educated in Japan (Kyoto University of Education), achieved his Ph.D. at the Pennsylvania State University and was a Fulbright Senior Researcher at Texas A&M University.  He has held positions with the National Institute of Fitness and Sport and Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences prior to taking up his current position as professor on the faculty of sport sciences at Waseda University, Tokyo.  He has also held positions as the past president of the Asian Association for Sports Management and the president of the Japanese Association for Sport Management, and is a director of the Japan Professional Soccer League (J League) and the chairman of the Japan Sport Tourism Alliance (JSTA).  He is a well-published author on sport management, sport marketing, sport tourism and leisure studies.