We are blessed to have a truly superb team of employees and volunteers who help make our association the success it is.

Our roots as a community led organisation still run deep, with a large proportion of technical decisions being reached by our voluntary lead committee team. We’re a living wage employer, and our staff are vetted to the highest standards. Not only are they capable professionals, we ensure they’re also superb, kind people too.

Giovanni Soffietto

Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Giovanni is the award winning social entrepreneur behind both the British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA) and the Fighting Chance Charitable Foundation. Born into a life of poverty and starting the association with just £20 of capital, he is a living example of how martial arts can offer the opportunity to break free of poverty. Giovanni has more than two decades of experience in martial arts as a participant, instructor and fighter.

Sarah Shelton-Agar

Strategy & Fundraising Lead

Sarah is one of the main faces behind the Fighting Chance Foundation. Her experience of working with high net-worth individuals combined with a superb acumen for building relationships and commercial activities make a superb fit for overseeing the day to day and longer term strategic development of the Foundation’s key charitable aims.

Sarah acts as our Chairwomen and so co-ordinates Trustee affairs, as well as playing a pivotal role in ensuring our Charity remains complaint, functional and ‘fit for purpose’.

Niki Badenoch-Smith

Operations Lead

Behind the scenes of the Foundation’s work and managing the cross over of huge amounts of data, instructors, clubs and participants is the association’s core Operations Team. Niki is our key Operations Lead and is an intricate part of ensuring the Charitable Programmes we deliver are accessible and workable to the instructors who manage them through our key regulatory framework. Without Niki and the wider operations team, we wouldn’t be able to keep the Foundation such an accessible organisation for instructors and clubs and would thus hinder participation greatly.

Senior Management Team & Senior Committee

Kirsty Hawkins

Kirsty Hawkins

Compliance Director
Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens

Ambassador & Senior Committee
Darren Langston

Darren Langston

Lead Technical Officer
James Swallow-Gaunt

James Swallow-Gaunt

Development Lead
Craig Sanderson

Craig Sanderson

Student Liaison Chair

Committee & Associate Assembly

Sohail Chowdhary

Sohail Chowdhary

Associate Assembly
Thomas Escudier

Thomas Escudier

Associate Assembly
Sally Gleaves

Sally Gleaves

Associate Assembly
Stuart MaCauley

Stuart MaCauley

Associate Assembly
Daren Stirrat

Daren Stirrat

Associate Assembly
Adam Merton

Adam Merton

Associate Assembly
Lewis Gell

Lewis Gell

Associate Assembly
Neil Mitchell

Neil Mitchell

Associate Assembly
Neil Kirkland

Neil Kirkland

Associate Assembly