OIA Conference 2023 speakers

Keynote Speakers

Tracey Crouch CBE

Tracey Crouch, CBE

MP for Chatham & Aylesford

About Tracey

Born in 1975, Tracey studied law at Hull when after graduation she accidentally found herself working as a researcher to a  Conservative MP rather than training to become a solicitor. Tracey has always been a keen sports enthusiast and since ‘retiring’ from regularly playing football has become a FA qualified football coach.

She was elected to Parliament in 2010 and in doing so became the first Conservative MP to take her Chatham & Aylesford seat.  During the 2010-2015 Parliament, Tracey championed issues ranging from better dementia care, improving alcohol misuse treatment, addressing the problem of high cost credit, better rail services and upgrading our local infrastructure.

In 2015, Tracey was re-elected with an increased majority & asked by the Prime Minister to serve as Parliamentary Under-Secretary at DCMS –   As the Sport & Tourism Minister she worked with the OIA and as part of developing the Governments new Sports Strategy she asked the CEO Andrew Denton to assist in weaving Outdoor Recreation into that strategy – perhaps for the first time the outdoors had a senior seat at the table of Government strategy.

Tracey is a keen walker & sportswomen , has been on an expedition to climb Cotopaxi and is hoping to summit Mountain Kilimanjaro in 2023 to raise awareness and funds for breast Cancer Kent.

She is currently MP for Chatham & Aylesford with another increased majority.

Tom Kay

Tom Kay

Founder of Finisterre

About Tom

Tom is the founder of Finisterre, a pioneering outdoor clothing company he started in 2003. Born from Tom’s love of the cold water, surf and the sea, as well as a desire to make exceptional product, Finisterre is known for its approach to innovation and sustainability.

The brand is B Corps certified and operates from its clifftop workshop in St. Agnes, where Tom lives and is a volunteer RNLI lifeboat helm.

Carly Czuba

Carly Czuba – “Women in Outdoors”

Group Marketing Director, JD Outdoor

About Carly

With close to a decade in the outdoors industry and many more in retail, Carly is the Marketing Director of the JD Outdoor Group, the largest group of outdoor retailers in the UK including iconic brands GO Outdoors, Blacks and Millets. A true passion for fulfilling the brands purpose of ‘inspiring and equipping everyone for life outdoors’, the word ‘everyone’ is a focus for her as she works daily to breakdown the barriers people face to getting outdoors for both their physical and mental health. She’s a firm believer that you don’t need to be a ‘hardcore outdoor enthusiast’ to work in the outdoors, and in fact having a team that combines the most active alongside the dog walkers, horse riders and family day adventurers helps to create a message that appeals to everyone. The more we can do this, the more we can help more people discover the freedom and joy of the outdoors.

Kate Dale

Kate Dale – “This Girl Can”

Director of Marketing at Sport England and has led This Girl Can for the first six years.

About Kate

Kate will share the latest plan for “This Girl Can”, the award winning campaign that has helped to get 2.9 million women more active since it launched in 2015.  The next phase – “This Girl Can With You” – is a call to arms that challenge us all to think about how we can help more women and girls enjoy getting active. Currently, 2.4m fewer women than men strongly agree that they enjoy sport or physical activity, the campaign’s next phase is a call to arms that challenges us all to think about what we can do to help close what we’re calling the Enjoyment Gap. We believe that the outdoor environment has so much to offer women and girls who don’t currently think it’s for them – and we’d love to discuss our ideas with you.

Trudi Else

Trudi Else – “This Girl Can”

Strategic Lead at Sport England

About Trudi

Trudi Else is a Strategic Lead at Sport England within the Place Directorate, creating spaces to encourage movement in our daily lives, from our front door to the supermarket or our place of work, and everywhere in between, can have a bearing on if and how we move more.  Trudi works with national asset holders to develop strategic relationships, with a focus on the natural environment and urban neighbourhoods.

Insights & Partners

Bex Band

Bex Band – “Love Her Wild”

Founder of Love Her Wild

About Bex

Bex Band founded Love Her Wild (LHW), a women’s adventure community. LHW – which started as a small Facebook group and has grown to a social enterprise serving tens of thousands of women – provides support, opportunities and funding to help get more women outdoors for improved health and well-being. In 2022, LHW had their biggest adventure yet, the End2End hiking relay. 700 women carried a baton for 74-days and 2,000km the length of the UK.

As well as leading the community, Bex is an award-winning author and blogger whose website has had over 1.5 million readers. She’s also a keen adventurer herself. Bex has previously hiked 1000km, kick-scooted the length of the USA and has taken her baby on a desert adventure! For her work championing diversity in the outdoors, Bex was named one of the UK’s Top 30 inspirational Entrepreneurs and was interviewed for Clare Balding’s BBC R4 Ramblings.

Amy Meek

Amy Meek

CEO – Chief Empowerment Officer and Co-founder of Kids Against Plastic

About Amy

Amy Meek together with her sister Ella are the teenage founders of the environmental charity Kids Against Plastic. Since founding their youth-led organisation back in 2016, the girls have worked hard to inspire kids and adults alike to take action to reduce their use of single-use plastics – or become ‘Plastic Clever’ as they call it. Their Plastic Clever scheme has since been adopted by over 1300 schools, as well as by cafes, businesses, councils and festivals around the UK.

Inaaya Ijaz

Inaaya Ijaz

CVO – Chief Voices Officer at Kids Against Plastic

About Inaaya

Inaaya is a keen environmentalist whose action is defying her young age! She’s presented to her local politician about how her local area can be greener, has appeared on TV to speak about her action, hosts her own radio program every 2 weeks, and is on a mission to make her school plastic free – she’s already managed to get her school to get rid of plastic water bottles.

Belinda Kirk

Belinda Kirk

Adventure Mind

About Belinda

Belinda is an explorer, mum and pioneer in promoting the benefits of adventure on wellbeing.

Belinda established Explorers Connect in 2009 to spread the word about the life-changing impact of adventure and has since encouraged over 30,000 people to engage in outdoor challenges. In 2019 she launched Adventure Mind, a conference series and network, to further explore the positive impact that adventurous activity has on mental health. In 2021 she wrote Adventure Revolution: The life-changing power of choosing challenge, the first book to explain why adventure is essential to our wellbeing. Drawing on lessons learnt from leading groups into the wilderness and the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, Belinda shows how adventure has the power to transform the timid into the confident, the addicted into the recovering, and the lost into the intentionally wandering.

She has also led dozens of youth development, inclusive and scientific expeditions over the last twenty-six years. Belinda has walked through Nicaragua, sailed across the Atlantic, searched for camels in China’s Desert of Death, discovered ancient rock paintings in Lesotho and gained a Guinness World Record for rowing unsupported around Britain.

Ollie Olanipekun

Ollie Olanipekun

CEO & Creative Director of Flock Together and the Founder & Creative Director of Futurimpose

About Ollie

Ollie Olanipekun is the CEO & Creative Director of Flock Together and the Founder & Creative Director of Futurimpose. Pioneering meaningful ways to enact change and rethink narratives, Ollie has built social responsibility into every facet of his work, from the nature space through his outdoor community collective, Flock Together, which has been fundamental in the new outdoors movement, through to the advertising world for Adidas, Google, Levis, Netflix and many more. He is also an ambassador for both RSPB and WWT, where he plays an active role in raising awareness and progressing movements across wildlife and nature causes.

Charles Ross photo (002)

Charles Ross – “Sustainability”

RCA Lecturer

About Charles

Charles started his career as an Outward Bound Instructor, but gave that up when he returned to a wet, dark, windy, & cold UK. Fortunately it coincided with the transition of the Outdoor industry to AthLeisure roots. He started his career in retail at Rohan, became a mature student, then got volunteered to teach Performance Sportswear Design & has ended up with some Ingredient Suppliers. He is meant to focus on teaching the PSD pathway at the Royal College of Art, but is more visible at Performance Days & the Functional Fabric Fair. His work has always had the theme of the next generation of materials, especially in relation to progress in sustainability. Others highlight his best ability as dumbing things down so everyone else can understand the issues.

Mike Seaman

Mike Seaman – “National Outdoor Expo”

CEO, Raccoon Media Group

About Mike

Mike is the CEO and founder of Raccoon Events, a multi-channel media business that provides content and connections for people who love being active outside.

Mike is the CEO and founder of Raccoon Events, the company behind the National Running Show, The National Snow Show, The National Cycling Show, The National Outdoor Expo and OutsideAndActive.com. He is a keen runner who loves ultramarathons and generally being outdoors at any opportunity.

Raccoon Events operate media properties that deliver year-round content and advice to specialist, self-identifying consumers that share a love of being outside and active. They also organise large-scale exhibitions that are well-timed, community-driven, tightly focused and passion-led. They bring buyers and sellers together to see cutting edge innovations in a fun and exciting way.

Duncan Sutcliffe

Duncan Sutcliffe – “Cyber Security”

Director of Mann Broadbent Insurance

About Duncan

Duncan  is Director of Mann Broadbent Insurance who have specialised in providing insurance to the leisure sector for over 60 years. Before entering insurance Duncan spent 10 years as an outdoor instructor.

Rick Jenner

Rick Jenner

CEO, ParkPlay

About Rick

Rick is CEO of ParkPlay – an ambitious Sport England supported charity building happier, healthier communities through the life-changing power of play. After more than a decade in senior marketing and commercial roles at major UK media and telecoms brands including The Times and Virgin Media, Rick moved to work where his greatest passion lies – sport and physical activity.

Rick worked with England Athletics to activate Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign and on a range of participation campaigns and events for Limelight Sports, most notably Team GB’s participation campaign I Am Team GB. Rick jumped at the chance to join ParkPlay in its infancy in late 2019 and has led it to now having 42 weekly events in 7 regions of the country. Rick is also a keen mountaineer, Crossfitter and runner.

Stuart Moore

Stuart Moore

Co-Founder of Planet Neutral CIC

About Stuart

Stuart has come from a background in renewables, the outdoors and conservation. He first met Andrew Denton at Kendal Mountain Film Festival and from there an idea was born! Their vision was to create support for OIA members who needed help in reaching the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030! Stuart and Lucy (Co-Founder partner) have worked closely with the OIA on producing the ‘Net Zero’ document and are now working with several of the OIA members in measuring their company’s emissions.

When Stuart isn’t working, he is pursing his love of the great outdoors, whether that is biking, kayaking, hiking or snowboarding.

Planet Neutral is a Community Interest Company which means its focus is on action and not profit! It aims to offer good value, practical methods of decarbonisation. We work with community groups, businesses, and individuals, with a key focus on the outdoor industries. The key ethos of the company is to use collaboration and partnerships to reduce costs and save carbon. With surplus funds and donations, the company aims to facilitate projects that benefit the wider UK community but perhaps otherwise would not make strict economic sense, including sustainable transport initiatives, rewilding projects, and water-saving devices.

Will Hayler

Will Hayler

Co-Founder of Blue Earth Summit

About Will

Co-Founder of Blue Earth Summit. Harnessing power of the outdoors to bring people together to transform the impact that business has on people and planet. A must attend summit for purpose led brands. Bristol 10-14 October 2023

Anita Kerwin-Nye

Anita Kerwin-Nye

Executive Director of YHA

About Anita

Anita is one of leading voices on access to the outdoors. With 25 years in charity sector Anita is Executive Director of YHA – the hostelling and youth work charity – managing their £50 million income, million people reach and their charitable impact.  She works as an advisor across government, charities and funders.

At the conference Anita will be bringing her experience of developing #outdoorcitizens – a community of practice that funds and supports a diverse range of community groups that lead work in the outdoors. She will also talk about founding Generation Green – a DEFRA funded programme with 5 youth charities, National Parks and AONBs – that connected over 100 000 children to nature. And sharing how you can get involved in next steps both with this and with the next YHA Festival of Walking

Anita is a mother of 4, wife of 1 and keeper of chickens. She has to put them in that order because her family reads conference programmes – but chickens may some days come higher up in the pecking order.

She is an Ordnance Survey Champion, author and quite funny public speaker (although you will have to judge that – she thinks she is funny.) She is fat and fifty not fit and fleecy so don’t expect tales of epic trips across the artic. Just across the car park. Because the outdoors really is for everyone.

She tweets at @anitakntweets and you can connect at https://www.linkedin.com/in/anitakerwinnye#

Emily Dillon

Emily Dillon

Sales Director, Snow Peak London Limited

About Emily

Emily was instrumental in founding and establishing the European subsidiary of Snow Peak, Japan’s leading outdoor brand. In her role of Sales Director, Emily oversees business development and sales throughout the UK and Europe.

Originally from a fashion background Emily appreciates good design and her camping adventures reflect her relaxed style. Often centred around a campfire she actively shares and promotes her love of camping and the outdoor lifestyle with others.

Emily believes that we all have duty to protect and preserve our natural resources and she cherishes time away from her screen enjoying the restorative power of nature.

Robert Cobain

Robert Cobain

Head of Market Intelligence, Sporting Insights

About Robert

Having spent more than 15 years in analytical roles, working across financial services, e-commerce, telecoms, sport and even as a customer of Sports Marketing Surveys whilst at Acushnet, Rob is now leading the market intelligence and data visualisation team at Sporting Insights.

Rob has substantial experience in marketing, customer behaviour and journey analytics, forecasting and propensity modelling. He has also been involved in projects that have delivered award winning performance in digital marketing.

In his role as Head of Market Intelligence, Rob will be working across the programme, advising and leading on this technical development and working with retailers and brands alike to provide clients with much needed data and insights to help them make more informed business decisions.

OIA Board


Andrew Denton – Outdoor Industries Association

As well as welcoming delegates, opening and closing the conference and AGM, Andrew will be presenting the OIA’s Annual Review and apart from presenting his own sessions he is the main moderator for the whole event.

About Andrew

Our Chief Executive, Andrew Denton will take centre stage to deliver the conference agenda and explain what the OIA had been doing over the last 12 months.

Andrew has been working in the outdoors since 1984, starting his career in outdoor education and then moving on to a series of senior management & ownership roles in businesses such as Rohan, Mountain Equipment, Sprayway, the Outdoor Sports Company and now ownership of several indoor climbing walls.

He is best known as the modern founder and co-owner of the international technical brand Mountain Equipment where he built the brand over 17 years and then sold in 2003 to The Bollin Group. Andrew has been CEO of the OIA since August 2011.

Nick Giles - Director of Marketing and Communications

Nick Giles, OBE

Chairperson, OIA

About Nick

In October 2013 Nick took on additional responsibility for retail business at OS and in September 2015 also took on the executive responsibility of Director of Marketing & Communications. He became a Non-Executive Director of Dennis Maps Ltd in December 2015. Nick now leads all consumer activity within OS with the focus on helping more people to get outside more often.

In May 2018 Nick also became a Board member of the UK Outdoor Industries Association and is now the Chair of the Association.

Nick is an avid outdoor enthusiast, an enthusiastic mountain biker and is passionate about the benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle.

In January 2022 he was awarded an OBE for his work in improving the health of the nation.


Andy Green – “OIA Development Board”

Commercial Director, SportPursuit

About Andy

Andy is Commercial Director at SportPursuit, the UK’s leading flash sale site for outdoor and sports enthusiasts. He has worked in the Outdoor trade for 20 years now having previously been Merchandise and Logistics Director at Outdoor & Cycle Concepts.

Andy passionately believes in the physical and mental benefits of participating in sports and the outdoors and is keen to bring this passion to the Development Board. He spends his spare time outside, trail running, hiking and skiing.