Guest Speakers

A range of guest speakers are invited to every event to discuss and comment upon a central theme. Below are the speakers who attended our 2022 event.

About our speakers

Our guest speakers are invited to our panels to discuss and comment on a central theme.

Our speakers are senior members of our sector and come from a variety of industry areas. Our panel sessions also give delegates the opportunity to gain continuous professional development points.

The theme for our 2023 event is Decarbonisation and Net Carbon Zero

Event Details:

Name: active-net National
Date: 27th & 28th March 2024
Location: Eastwood Hall, Nottingham - view more info

active-net National is a 2 day event for the fitness, health & leisure industry bringing together buyers and suppliers for focused one to one meetings like no other. Please register below:

Mark Tweedie
Brimhams Active

Mark is an accomplished leader with over 25 years’ experience in the education, sport and leisure industry. First as a PE lecturer, then leading into sports development, school improvement consultancy and over the last 12 years Mark has served three leisure operators at Chief Executive level.
Mark has specialised in leisure service transformation to increase efficiency and effectiveness, with a particular focus on developing and embedding leisure services into local systems to increase impact across the domains of health, education, employability and social services. Mark is the founding Chair of GM Active, where he worked with leisure leaders and partners across Greater Manchester to bring a more collaborative, strategic approach to service development and alignment with GM health and social care devolution.

Kirsty Cumming

Community Leisure UK is the members’ association that specialises in charitable trusts delivering public leisure and culture services across the UK.

Community Leisure UK champions and protects the trust model by enabling networking and knowledge sharing with peers and external stakeholders.

Neil Bland
Managing Director - Leisure Energy

Leisure Energy is an award winning sector leading energy saving consultancy. We work with a range of organisations helping them understand their 24 hour energy usage and manage it more efficiently. Our unique energy management approach:

  • Maximises a building’s performance through improved energy management, monitoring and effective controls
  • Reduces consumption of utilities – water, electricity & gas
  • Saves on energy costs
  • Raises awareness of energy efficiency through installation of energy conservation measures (ECM)
  • Improves internal environmental conditions for customers and staff
  • Lowers the carbon footprint!

Julie Allen
Business Development Director Leisure-net Solutions

I’m incredibly passionate about this industry and am excited to be starting the next chapter of my career with Leisure-net. As an exercise instructor and mum of two active children, I both work in and use leisure centres every week, so can empathise with the challenges operators are facing. This new role will allow me to develop long-standing relationships with operators and support them with meaningful research and insight, through new and existing products.

David Stalker
Chair Marwell Zoo

Many people are aware that as a past CEO of Ukactive and now as President of EuropeActive I have spent a huge amount of my career campaigning to get the important impact our industry has on society on the government agenda, what is perhaps less known is that I was born and brought up in Kenya and conservation and the environment is my true passion. I’m proud to be chairman of Marwell Zoo in Hampshire,  and look forward to sharing some of the fantastic work they do to help save the planet and it’s wonderful wildlife and how we all can, and must have our impact on the environment as a key part of our business plan

Huw Edwards
CEO ukactive

Huw is the CEO of ukactive, the not-for-profit health body with a mission to get More People, More Active, More Often. He took the role in July 2019 following three years as Director of the Public Affairs, Communications and Research Department. During his ukactive career, Huw has played a key role in shaping ukactive’s strategy and business plan as well as leading the organisation’s engagement with government and wider stakeholders.

Previously, Huw was the Public Affairs lead at British Tennis, working across both the Lawn Tennis Association and The Tennis Foundation. He has also worked for both the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Olympic Delivery Authority during the delivery of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tara Dillon

Tara Dillon was appointed as CEO of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity in January 2015.

Tara began her career in Sport and Physical Activity as a lifeguard in her local centre back in 1987, whilst studying. Having gained hands on experience within local authority leisure, various management positions followed until in March 2001, she was appointed as Contracts Manager at DC Leisure Management.

After 6 years with DCLM, Tara accepted the role of Executive Director of IQL-UK Ltd where she remained until her CIMSPA appointment.

Tara has a passion for the Sport and Physical Activity sector which drives her to constantly aim for improvements across the industry. Tara is at the forefront of CIMSPA’s work, delivering initiatives that professionalise the workforce and enhance the career prospects of those working in sport, leisure and fitness.