Who we are


Pride House Birmingham is delivered by Pride Sports, a UK based sports development and inclusion organisation. Pride Sports was established in 2006 and has worked across the UK to make sport and physical activity more inclusive of LGBTIQ+ people.

Executive Board

Pride Sports has appointed an Executive Board for the delivery of Pride House, which makes the most of local expertise. The Board consists of:

Piero Zizzi (he/him)

Sports Marketing Director and founder of award-winning LGBTQ+ Football Supporter Group, Proud Baggies. Based in Birmingham with many years’ experience in the global sports industry.

Neil Basterfield (he/him)

HR Director and organiser for Proud Baggies. Over 30 years’ experience in diversity and inclusion and delivery of large-scale programmes.

Lou Englefield (she/they)

Director Pride Sports, Campaign Lead Football v Homophobia, Co-Chair Pride House International - Internationally recognised thought leader on LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport.

Jon Holmes (he/him)

Journalist and writer specialising in ED&I in sport. Has worked with LGBTQ+ people from grassroots to elite to assist them in sharing inspirational stories of authenticity. Founder and lead of Sports Media LGBT+, an industry network, advocacy and consultancy group that helps to amplify under-represented voices, providing a valuable digital platform and community space.

Workstream Leads

Annette Nelson (she/her)

Annette is former teacher, and local authority EDI advisor, with many years’ experience of senior leadership in education. Since retiring, Annette is a regular contributor to Pride Sports education and policy work. She also leads on education for the Football v Homophobia campaign. Annette also volunteers as a director of NASSEA, a voluntary sector organisation working to improve teaching and learning for EAL, Black and minority ethnic pupils.

Advisory Group

In addition, the Board has recruited an Advisory Group of local stakeholders representing Birmingham’s diverse LGBTIQ+ communities who will assist the board in ensuring that the Pride House programme provides content for all.

Khakan Qureshi (He/Him)

Khakan was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours List 2021. He received the Midlands Zone 'Birmingham LGBTQ+ Community: Outstanding Achievement Award' last Summer for his lead on the advocacy of lgbt education in schools, and in February 2020, was one of the recipients of the Points of Light Award presented by Downing Street.

Khakan is the Founder of Finding A Voice, a voluntary led organisation for South Asians  LGBT+ aged 18+ of any faith, culture, religion or disability.

Despite threats, Khakan joined No Outsiders creator Andrew Moffat to lead the Birmingham Pride parade - the very first time the parade was led by members of the LGBTQ+ Muslim community - to support 'No Outsiders' in schools.

Khakan has written articles about his personal experiences of being a gay Muslim  for Attitude, The Gay UK, Gay Times and appeared on TV, radio and newspapers talking about representation within the gay community and mental health.

Nontu Maraire (She/Her)

Nontu is a Zimbabwean lesbian and refugee residing in the UK. She is an LGBTQIA+ and human rights activist with more than 8 years’ experience working with LGBTQIA+ grassroots community groups. Nontu passionately supports LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers and refugees with a focus on creating new, practical and life changing opportunities for LGBTQIA+ refugees. She currently works as the Moving On and Regional Co-ordinator for Micro Rainbow, an organisation that addresses LGBTQIA+ poverty worldwide. At MR, she focuses on the West Midlands region safe housing project that provides safe accommodation to homeless LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers. Before Covid, Nontu volunteered doing readings with Ice & Fire, an organisation that explores human rights through performance.

Andy Paul (He/Him)

Andy is a sports Coach and Teacher with a passion for sport and its power to build better lives for all. Having worked in and around sport for over 30year, he currently coaches Sprinters and Hurdlers to international level in the West Midlands. He is Co-founder of the Athletics Pride Network, the official support group for LGBTQ+ athletes and allies. When he has time Andy uses insta to promote dog walks with his beagles!

Lucy Keeling (She/Her)

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer – Aston Villa/Aston Villa Foundation

EDI lead across the Club and Foundation.  Passionate about inclusion in football and the power of working with supporters to drive meaningful change across the game.  Leads on the Premier League Equality Standard and supports equality work within the Foundation through the framework of the Premier League Charitable Fund’s Capability Code of Practice.  I’ve had many proud moments at Villa but singing ‘Super John McGinn’ through the streets of Birmingham during Pride 2019 (promotion year!) with Villa & Proud and AVFC Staff is one that will stick with me forever.

Vixx Thompson (he/him)

With 20 years experience in health and fitmess, Vixx has been working to help trans and non-binary people to become their true selves since 2014. His organisation, Trans-Fitness C.I.C. a nationwide organisation providing seminars, workshops, fitness days and training sessions (both in person and online) to help people to become physically fitter (if they wish or are preparing for surgery), mentally stronger and emotionally peaceful as they become the people that they were always meant to be. He also runs an online directory to help Trans/NB people find sports and activities that are Trans/NB-exclusive or Trans/NB-friendly. The directory also includes social and support groups, and has since expanded to include hairdressers, Personal Trainers, LGBT Football Supporters Groups, Guidance for LGBT+ Asylum Seekers and Refugees and more.