After an early career in Parliament and Higher Education, Chris spent 20 years building a successful consulting practice in the development of organisations and their leadership. His work covered a broad spectrum of sectors and industries – from health to property to payment technologies to retail to the motor industry – but his interest was always the human dimension.
Sport For Development snuck up on Chris through an unplanned series of events. First, in 2005, he was asked to chair a national conversation about the future of sport for the BBC. Then, having been inspired by the London 2012 bid, he served (and still serves) as a volunteer Trustee of International Inspiration, which is keeping London’s promise to use the power of sport for the benefit of young people around the world. In 2011, Chris was involved – once again as a volunteer – in setting up the FRE Flyers, a multisports club for young people in the East End of London, which aims to bring that same promise to life in the neighbourhoods around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
In 2012 and 2013, Chris chaired the global Beyond Sport Summit and Awards, and he has also chaired the judging panel for the BT Sport Industry Awards. Another dimension to his sports-related work is in facilitating a number of elite coach development programmes for UK Sport.
Chris is passionate about social justice, and is driven by a belief that enabling all young people to fulfil their potential – regardless of the barriers and inequalities that face them – is not just the right thing to do for its own sake (although it is): it’s also an essential step towards the UK fulfilling its broader economic and social aspirations. This belief was fuelled by his own experiences, as a South Londoner of Hungarian and Jamaican heritage. He considers this background a great privilege – although he sometimes has mixed feelings about the fact that his inheritance includes a lifelong entanglement with the ups and downs of Crystal Palace FC.
Music and the arts have always been an important part of Chris’s life, and away from work, he enjoys these with his wife Lenneke, and their four children (between them).
Chris loved life as a consultant, and it was always going to take something very special to tempt him into what his daughters call “a proper job”. Sported is that special thing, and he is proud and delighted to be fully immersed in the remarkable Sport For Development sector.
Contact Chris on C.Grant@sported.org.uk