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Kevin Sauntry

Chief Executive Officer

Kevin embarked on a career in the social fields in 1968 in Manchester working with young people in conflicting gangs. In 1971 he led a new project; Hanley Youth Project (HYP) in Stoke-on-Trent to assess the needs and difficulties of young people 'at risk', and what, if any methods of approach could be employed to be of service to them. Through the years this project was absorbed into the local authority and shaped many of the approaches used in current early intervention best practice. Since retiring Kevin works professionally as a musician and as a consultant, and voluntarily as unpaid Director of Sporting Communities and ASHA.

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Ben Rigby

Managing Director

Ben's working career began at 16 working on youth intervention programmes alongside volunteering for the local council and sports clubs. Whilst at University he founded Bear Town Boxing Club and several other local clubs that are still running. After completing a Masters degree in Sport Development Ben has continued developing innovative youth and community development services and was recognised as Sports Coach UK’s 2013 Community Coach of the Year.

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Ross Podyma

Safeguarding Champion

Director of Social Change

After training as a professional artist Ross began his career working with people in 1984 for HYP. He then worked with the local authority developing community services, children's holiday programmes and events and partnerships. before becoming a Childcare Development Officer for the Early Years Department. Ross then worked as a Community and Learning Partnership Coordinator in 2006 and later became a Local Support Team Coordinator. Ross joined Sporting Communities in 2013.

Ross is also Sporting Communities' Safeguarding Champion. As such Ross will ensure consistent up to date competency and confidence in safeguarding practice. He will also offer advice and support to staff and the local community.


John Keates


​John is a keen sportsman and sports enthusiast. He has run a highly successful architectural design service for over 30 years, John Keates Design. John also has a great desire to help develop communities, in particular young people. John's business experience alongside with his passion for local communities really help to ensure that Sporting Communities is developing along a professionally business structure.


Angela Glendenning


A former chair of the North Staffordshire Racial Equality Council and of PARINS, a multi-agency partnership addressing the needs of victims of racist incidents and crime Angela is well known for promoting equality and addressing destitution. On her retirement from the Probation Service she became a non-executive member of a local community health trust. In 2008 she was recognised as North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Citizen of the Year.

Listen to what our Managing Director and Director of Social Change had to say in November 2018.

If you want to speak to our board members, please get in touch.