Joy Johnston

Joy Johnston

Joy Johnston (formerly Joy Tottman) became a Governance Manager at Sport England and has also been an Olympic Ice Hockey referee.

Joy achieved straight A grades in Maths, English Language, History and Media A Levels. She then went on to study for a Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree at Oxford University.

After graduating from Oxford, which she describes as a life-changing experience, Joy, a former Albany (now Hornchurch High) School pupil, took on a job as a researcher for a headhunting firm.

Six years later she moved into the sports sector which is an industry she cares passionately about. She is now working as a Governance Manager at Sport England where her role is to ensure that the national governing bodies of sport who are funded by Sport England, are well governed and fit to receive public funds.

She said: “Beyond this I help to drive improvement in the way sports organisations are run, which means more people can benefit in a positive way from sport just as I have. My experience of building organisational structures and getting strong leaders as a headhunter has allowed me to influence the way sports organisations appoint leaders and helped to make them more effective.”

Joy’s love of ice hockey began at an early age. She started reffing when she was 14 after playing the sport for a few years. She soon gained her international licence and progressed to international tournaments and then the Winter Olympics. She stood down from her competitive referee role after her third Olympics – the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, where she was the referee in the gold medal women’s ice hockey final.

Through her involvement with international ice hockey, Joy met her husband Scott Johnston, a player for the Canadian national team. She is still involved in the sport, being the Chief Referee and Director of Officiating for the Ice Hockey UK Referee Section.

Joy has also volunteered as a governor for Havering Sixth Form, saying it was important to her because it provided a chance for her to give back to an organisation that set her on a good path as a young person.

She also recorded a congratulatory video for the New City College Student Achievement Awards presentation in January 2021.