Tony Blair Sports Foundation Board Members

The Rt Hon Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top

The Rt Hon Hilary Armstrong MP

Born in Sunderland, Hilary Armstrong has been the MP for North West Durham since 1987. Before entering parliament, Hilary spent time teaching at a Girls School in Kenya as a VSO volunteer and when she returned to Britain, she turned to social and community work in Southwick, Sunderland and in the West End of Newcastle upon Tyne.

In Government she has been Local Government Minister, Chief Whip, and the first-ever Cabinet Minister for Social Exclusion. In June 2007, Hilary announced her decision to step down from the Government and return to the backbenches after 18 years as a Party spokesperson and Government Minister.

Hilary lives in Crook, County Durham and is married to Professor Paul Corrigan. Outside politics, Hilary enjoys reading, the theatre and supporting Sunderland AFC.

Peter Barron

Peter Barron

Peter joined The Northern Echo in 1984 and rose to become Editor in 2001 having won UK Columist of the Year in 1997. Peter is actively involved in grass roots sport as a member of New Blackwell Tennis Club in Darlington. He is also on the board of Darlington Partnership and Sports Aid supporting young people making their way in sport.

Ruth Turner

Ruth Turner

Ruth Turner is an award-winning social entrepreneur. She was co-founder of The Big Issue in the North, The Big Issue in the North Trust, and Vision 21. She was a Trustee of Sustainability North West, a board member of Places for People housing group, and a talent scout and Investment Committee member for the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

Ruth worked for Tony Blair for two years while he was Prime Minister as Director of Government Relations and has continued to work for him after he left Downing Street as Chief Executive of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

The Baroness Grey Thompson CBE

Dame Tanni Grey Thompson

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson is one of Britain's best known athletes and she has received numerous accolades and awards in recognition of her Paralympics and sporting achievements. She was third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2000, has been BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year three times and 'Welsh Woman of the Year'.

Alongside her impressive achievements Tanni has been active in the administration, management and politics of sport. She has lobbied and promoted many issues and causes associated with disability sport and disability in general, resulting in a much higher profile for sports for disabled people and improved access and understanding of the people and sports involved.

Now retired from international competition and living in Eaglescliffe, Tanni is a member of Laureus World Sport alongside such sporting legends as Pele, Jack Nicklaus, Michael Jordan, Boris Becker and Ed Moses, placing her firmly alongside the world's leading sporting celebrities. Tanni is currently a Board Member of UK Athletics, the London Marathon and Transport for London.

Paul Anthony Smith

Paul Anthony Smith

Paul Smith is a former England and Great Britain International ice hockey player who represented his country in both European and World Championships over a 15 year period. He is the youngest player to do so at a senior level at the age of 15. He is a former captain of the famous Durham Wasps and is in the top 10 all time leading goal scorers for the sport. He went on to coach the sports' first ever Grand Slam winning all domestic honours in the 1991-1992 season and was awarded the honour of 'coach of the year'. 

Paul was a member and representative on the British Olympic Association for a number of years. He has been involved in all commercial aspects of international sport including negotiating major sponsorships and television contracts. He was the MD of the company responsible for the provision of the English football premiership production and distribution to the Middle East region and North Africa. He now runs his own technology business that has recently invented the first ever treatment for autism phobias in children with Newcastle University.