The Operating Team

The Operating Team's Operating Team manages the website's content and implements the initiative's strategy.'s Operating Team is hosted and situated at the headquarters of the Swiss Academy for Development (SAD) in Bienne, Switzerland. The Operating Team manages the content of the and implements the strategy agreed on by the Steering Board. For further information about the role of the Operating Team, please download the Project Charter.

The members of the Operating Team are:

Paul Hunt, Senior Project Manager

Paul joined the sportanddev Operating Team as an intern in October 2012, bringing experience in fundraising and communications, and he is now senior project manager. Major areas of interest include the use of sport to promote the inclusion of marginalised groups and to provide psychosocial support for people affected by trauma.

Paul can be contacted for questions, suggestions, comments or concerns regarding content or the technical functioning of sportanddev.

Phone: +41 32 344 49 63

Hélène Bennès, Senior Consultant, French version

Hélène joined the Operating Team in February 2017 as an intern. She has a background in social and human sciences and earned her Master's degree in Latin American Studies from Sciences Po Grenoble. Main areas of interest include: conflict resolution and peace building, defense of human rights and migration issues. She returned to the OperatingTeam in February 2018 as a consultant for the French version of  

Hélène can be contacted with questions, suggestions and concerns regarding French content at 

Ben Sanders, Senior Consultant

Dr Ben Sanders boasts extensive experience in sport for development and peace. His work has influenced the Commonwealth, United Nations and South African government, and a range of civil society organisations, to develop policies, programmes and projects. He has public sector experience having coordinated research, M&E and policy development for the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs & Sport. He has worked in the non-profit as well as the private sector, including leadership roles at Grassroot Soccer, a leading NGO in sport and youth development.

Ben has completed a PhD by publication in Sport for Development investigating the optimal governance of the sport for development sector, identifying roles for the public sector, civil society and academic sector. He has published academically and consulted widely in the field. He brings expertise in leadership, fundraising, business development and partnerships, monitoring and evaluation, research, policy development, programme management, strategy and communications. 

Simon Lansley, Senior Consultant

Simon Lansley is a former journalist who has been working in marketing and fundraising in the Sport for Development sector since 2011. He is member of the Leadership Group of the UK Sport for Development Coalition, the International Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) group based in London and co-ordinated by Bond, and the UK Sports Journalists' Association national committee.

Simon was previously Sports Editor and Editorial Director at the Press Association, the UK's national news agency, and Head of Marketing and Communications for Street League, a leading sport for employability charity. He is also the founder of ConnectSport, an online directory and media channel dedicated to Sport for Development in the UK and Ireland.

Jack Needham, Consultant

Jack joined the Operating Team in February 2019 as a pro-bono consultant. He has a background in Sport, Data, and Technology, and graduated from Loughborough University in 2018 with a Masters Degree in Sport Management. Jack has been supporting sportanddev through a number of initiatives with a primary focus on designing and rebuilding a new website with several new community features.

Tariqa Tandon, Project Officer

Tariqa is a project officer at sportanddev, supporting the platform with its communications, including ensuring a constant flow of news and articles for the website. She also works as a consultant for Pro Sport Development, India, which is a strategic partner of sportanddev.

Tariqa holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. She has worked with the development sector and in post-secondary institutions in India and Canada. Her knowledge and interest areas converge around the subjects of comparative politics, development theory, immigration, gender and qualitative research methodologies. 

She can be contacted with questions, suggestions, comments or concerns at


Marisa Schlenker, Consultant

Marisa joined the operating team in April 2021 as a pro-bono consultant. She will provide sportanddev with research and content creation support. She has a strong and diverse background in sport for development / sport for change and is passionate about finding ways to advance the sector by facilitating better exchange between theory / research and practice / delivery. She has been an engaged member on the sportanddev platform and is looking forward to contributing more to the leading hub for the sport and development community.

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