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Recognised internationally for teaching and research excellence

Geoff Thompson MBE

Geoff Thompson

Board Member

Geoff Thompson is one of the greatest martial arts competition fighters of his generation. Five times World United Karate Organisation champion and holder of over 50 national and international titles, he led the Great Britain team to three world team titles and was the MVP (most valuable performer) on each of those occasions.

As the World Heavyweight Champion and World Games Champion, Geoff’s explosive technique and style made him recognisable as the greatest point scorer in the sport's history. The karate athlete, warrior and fighter made the transition to coach and he has since coached world, European and national champions.

In 1988, Geoff was a participant in the government's review of sport in the inner cities following the urban riots that swept through the UK. Two years later, he was appointed to the GB Sports Council (now Sport England). He was part of the ambassadorial team involved in promoting Manchester's bid for the 2000 Olympics and the successful bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Geoff is the founder and executive chairman of the Youth Charter, a charity and United Nations non-governmental organisation (NGO) which gives young people around the world opportunities through sport, arts and cultural activities. He has spent 15 years developing policies and innovative approaches looking at the role of sport, art and cultural activities and their social impact in addressing anti-social youth behaviour, child obesity, weapon and gang culture.

The Sports Writers Association, the Commonwealth Sports Awards, the Variety Club of Great Britain, and the prestigious Arthur Bell Trophy for outstanding contributions to sport have all recognised Geoff for his work, and he has been inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame. In 1995, Geoff was awarded an MBE for his services to sport, followed by an honorary doctorate from the University of Roehampton in 2008.

As one of the world's leading motivational speakers, Geoff's unique journey from social disaffection to global success describes how sport helped him to overcome social and cultural adversity. He is ideally placed to demonstrate how government, businesses and other organisations can maximise their effectiveness and performance in realising the potential of young people and the wider community.

Geoff travels the globe engaging, motivating and inspiring leading executives, middle management and corporate work forces on how corporate social responsibility polices and strategies can successfully improve behaviour and performance in the corporate workplace. He has worked with organisations including BP, Shell Oil Company, Marks and Spencer, Guardian Media Group, British Telecom, Ford Motor Company, Royal Bank of Scotland, Financial Dynamics, Warburg Dillon, Manchester United Football Club, Lawn Tennis Association, Rugby Football Union, British Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Bruntwood and Land Securities Trillium.

He has undertaken a number of public and private sector appointments developing and contributing to equality, diversity and inclusion at all levels of national and international society. He was chairman of the Sport England's Advisory Group on Racial Equality in Sport, as well as being a member of its grant assessment panel. He has been a director of the Sports Council Trust Company, a board member of the New Opportunities fund, an honorary fellow of the former Institute of Leisure, Amenities and Management and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Geoff currently serves as an independent assessor for the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Government organisations and departments Geoff has served as an independent assessor for include the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Animal Health and Welfare Strategy Group; the Office of the Prime Minister’s Beacon Council Advisory Group; the Home Office and Treasury Police Service Assessment Centres; the Prison Pay Service Review Body; the Department of Skills and Employment; the Pensions Regulator; the Office of the Schools Adjudicator; the General Medical Council’s case examiners for their fitness to practise procedures; the Law Society; the Ministry of Justice; the Cabinet Office; and the Department of Constitutional Affairs.