We are supremely lucky to have a gifted and passionate team behind the Foundation. As our core operations and senior team are shared between the Association and Foundation, we enjoy a rich and talented mix of personalities making the Foundation a success.

We feel it’s also worth mentioning we’re supported by the association’s core staff and committee, including an extraordinary panel and board of volunteers from within our own instructor community. Our core team give us the resources, tools and skills needed to make the Foundation a success.

We’re proud to be a living wage employer, which means we’re committed to ensuring all of our staff receive a salary or wage necessary to live. We are proud to pay more than the Living Wage Foundation’s minimum living amount for every member of our team – from administrative staff and management through to cleaners. Every deserves this.

Giovanni Soffietto

Founder & CEO

Giovanni is the award winning social entrepreneur behind both the British Martial Arts & Boxing Association (BMABA) and the Fighting Chance Charitable Foundation. Born into a life of poverty and starting the association with just £20 of capital, he is a living example of how martial arts can offer the opportunity to break free of poverty. Giovanni has more than two decades of experience in martial arts as a participant, instructor and fighter.

Sarah Shelton-Agar

Strategy & Fundraising Lead

Sarah is one of the main faces behind the Fighting Chance Foundation. Her experience of working with high net-worth individuals combined with a superb acumen for building relationships and commercial activities make a superb fit for overseeing the day to day and longer term strategic development of the Foundation’s key charitable aims.

Sarah acts as our Chairwomen and so co-ordinates Trustee affairs, as well as playing a pivotal role in ensuring our Charity remains complaint, functional and ‘fit for purpose’.

Niki Badenoch-Smith

Operations Lead

Behind the scenes of the Foundation’s work and managing the cross over of huge amounts of data, instructors, clubs and participants is the association’s core Operations Team. Niki is our key Operations Lead and is an intricate part of ensuring the Charitable Programmes we deliver are accessible and workable to the instructors who manage them through our key regulatory framework. Without Niki and the wider operations team, we wouldn’t be able to keep the Foundation such an accessible organisation for instructors and clubs and would thus hinder participation greatly.

Mark Stevens


Mark is our ambassador for the #MartialArtsDoneRight charitable scheme; a program that aims to improve standards of professionalism throughout the martial arts industry.

Mark’s a renowned Karatka and Sensei from Cumbria, and heads up a successful school there. He was picked for the ambassador role to showcase what best practice looks like when deployed by a genuinely talented instructor at a grass roots level.

In addition to the core team and ambassadors, we’re supported by a committee of more than 12 talented experts from across the industry, as well as our core trustees.