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Our Ambassadors

lord-mcnally-yjb0202707-343x343The Rt.Hon Lord McNally

Rt. Hon. Lord (Tom) McNally was appointed Chair of the Youth Justice Board in December 2013 and took up post in March, 2014.

Previously he served as Minister of State for Justice and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 2010 to 2013. He was Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords 2004 to 2013. Tom was educated at University College London where he obtained a B.Sc. (econ) in economics and social history. He was made a Fellow of UCL in 1995 and received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Hertfordshire in 2010.

He was member of Parliament for Stockport South 1979 to 1983 and served on the Select Committee on Industry and trade. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the Parliament/ Industry Trust and the Royal Society of Arts.

Click on the recording below to hear an interview with Rt. Hon Lord McNally about why he became our Ambassador.


John McAvoy, Nike Sponsored Triathlete

John McAvoy’s story of rehabilitation from crime through the power of sport is an immensely powerful example of everything the Alliance is striving to achieve.

A sport-based intervention was the trigger for John to change from a prolific armed robber into an Ironman athlete. He knows, as we do, how different society could be if everyone was given the same opportunity to achieve positive change through sport. We’re delighted to have his support in achieving that vision.

After receiving two life sentences in 2007, John was deemed such a threat to the public that he was sent to Belmarsh high security unit, locked up for 23 hours a day just a few cells along John McAvoy-largefrom Islamic fundamentalist Abu Hamza and the London bombers.

After transferring to a conventional jail, he discovered a love of the gym, in particular the rowing machine. At HMP Lowdham Grange, he received a sporting intervention that was to change the course of his life.

Darren Davis, the prison’s award-winning sports and leisure tutor, noticed John was “pulling some serious numbers” on the rowing machine. He supported and mentored him, even coming in on his days off to help him train. Soon, John broke the British record for rowing the marathon and the world record for distance rowed in 24 hours. He and Darren remain friends to this day.

Whilst on day release, John worked in a high-street gym, and once he was freed permanently in 2012 he joined London Rowing Club, before starting to train seriously as a triathlete. As a boy, he had been led into a life of crime by his stepfather, but now, for the first time in his life, he was surrounded by entirely different male role models.

“Sport puts you in a positive environment,” he says. “Physical activity breeds a positive mindset, far removed from that of criminals and drug addicts. My friendship group changed overnight. The guidance, discipline and support was incredible.”

He is now sponsored by Nike, trains up to 35 hours a week and competes across Europe, as well as appearing at schools, secure establishments and events, inspiring others with his story of redemption through sport.


Read more about John McAvoy on his website:

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