The Atlas Foundation | Supporting people's lives across the globe
The Atlas Foundation is a charity founded by Jason Leonard and other rugby and corporate heavyweights to raise people out of disadvantage around the world.
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The ATLAS Foundation was founded by Jason Leonard and other rugby and corporate heavyweights to bring support to people around the world through the power of the game.


“After seeing the outstanding charity work done by rugby players and the rugby family here and overseas, we knew that we wanted to find a way to add our weight to their efforts, to improve the lives of disadvantage people across the world.”

ATLAS Trustees

Jason Leonard OBE

Former England prop, appeared for England 114 times plus 5 times for the British and Irish Lions, and won the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He was President of the RFU in 2015 and hosted the Rugby World Cup in England. As well as having a busy and successful corporate career, he is a prolific supporter of charities and has raised over £2M through his annual dinners for a number of rugby, youth and health charities. Jason founded Atlas and remains Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Jeff Probyn

Jeff played prop for England and scored three tries in his 37 appearances. After retiring from international rugby he moved into coaching and management, managing the England U21 team and sitting on the RFU council and various committees. He is now a successful rugby writer, presenter and commentator.

Paul Rendall

Paul joined the ATLAS Board in September 2016. He is a retired Wasps and England prop, who was capped 38 times and played in two Rugby World Cups. He went on to found the Front Row Union Club (FRUC) with Jeff Probyn and Brian Moore.

Lord Addington

Dominic Hubbard, 6th Baron Addington, is a British Peer who speaks in the House of Lords on Sport and Disability. He was a founder member and remains Captain of the Commons and Lords Rugby Football Union Club, playing as prop for the Parliamentary team.

Neil Blair

Neil joined the ATLAS Board in January 2018 and is Chairing the Atlas All Schools group. He is J.K. Rowling’s agent, Founding Partner of The Blair Partnership and Chairman of Pottermore. He is a keen rugby fan and Saracen’s supporter. Neil is involved in a number of charitable causes including Lumos and The Abraham Fund Initiatives.

Michael Whitfield

Michael joined the Atlas Board in January 2018 and Chairs Atlas’s Front Row Club. Michael founded Thomsons Online Benefits and adds value to a diverse portfolio of early stage technology businesses. He sits on the Board of a number of charities, all help young people get on in life. He is also Chairman of Barnes RFC, father of five children, and also had a new grandson to keep him busy.

ATLAS Ambassadors

Neil Blewitt

Neil Blewitt is a corporate exchange specialist who works in the City and in his spare time generously organises ATLAS’s annual Golf Day, coordinates the ATLAS Trek team, and manages our increasing peloton of cyclists in the annual Grand Fondo, Tour of Cambridgeshire.

Tom Caldwell

Tom is founder and CEO of two companies, Vericool in the software sector and Golazo UK in the Sports Sector. He is truly passionate about all forms of sport and organises large and iconic mass participation sports events. The Tour of Cambridgeshire is the main event in the UK which proudly raises many tens of thousands of pounds for charity including The ATLAS Foundation. With a business, IT and Sports background Tom looks forward to helping ATLAS fulfil its ambitions.

Bob Harris

Bob Harris is a former Welsh rugby international and stalwart of the grassroots game. Alongside his commercial interests Bob is a Governor of a special school and volunteer for a number of charities. Having seen Atlas’s work with children in Africa, Bob is the driving force behind establishing Atlas in Wales, supported by our Rugby Champions.

Jérôme Riondet

Jérôme is a former Oxford Rugby Blue and Eurosport commentator. He also runs a Sports MBA for ISEEC with bases in Lyon and Chambery. He is working with French businesses and Rugby Champions to establish Atlas France.

Mark Phillips

Mark is a Director of Colliers International, working in the Hotels and Resorts Consulting team.. He has over 30 years’ experience of working in the sector which has involved extensive worldwide travel.  He specialises in development, financial and operational consulting and has worked in many of the locations where Atlas have projects.  He brings a well developed network of contacts that will facilitate logistic support to our work.

Steve James

Steve has worked as a pilot for 25 years, currently as a Captain on BA’s Boeing 777 Fleet. He is an enthusiastic golfer and motorcyclist and a keen sportsman in his younger years. He understands how sport engenders not just physical attributes, but social skills, the desire to succeed in life and builds relationships and networks. Life as a pilot is all about teamwork, being able to work easily with new colleagues and socialise with anyone, anywhere. It’s also about being a diplomat and a representative of the organisation. He brings these skills to Atlas, in the hope that he can assist in supporting their long term world wide project aspirations.

The ATLAS Team

Sally Pettipher

Chief Executive

Sally Pettipher, specialist in sports philanthropy, was originator of the All School’s legacy programme for RWC 2015 and has worked with Jason Leonard on a number of charitable initiatives. She holds several Trusteeships, executive and non-executive positions in sports organisations and educational establishments.

Oli Woodcock

Marketing Officer

Oli joined Atlas in June 2018 for a one year placement from Bath University. His sporting background, understanding of social media and general efficiency have made him a great asset to Atlas. He follows our first ever placement student Wil Andrews who was brilliant and we miss a lot. We are pleased that he remains involved with Atlas through the Front Row Club and our project in Malawi.

Randall & Payne


Randall & Payne are a leading independent firm of chartered accountants, business advisers and tax specialists working with clients throughout the UK and internationally.

Sally Hoddell

Finance Officer

Sally Hoddell has a background in design and production companies. She is an keen sportswoman competing in taekwondo and also as a rower and cox for her local club.

Nelson Mandela perfectly captured our feelings about sport. For us, rugby in particular.

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people, in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”