Mark Buckton - President
Mark Buckton is involved in sumo at various levels. As Editor-in-Chief of
Sumo Fan Magazine he runs the only multi-lingual site on sumo on the net
today. Also sumo columnist for The Japan Times Online, much of his time is
now taken up by sumo in one way or another. Another sumo column in Eye-Ai
(Japanese culture magazine available in Hawaii and Japan) and work as a
contributor on sumo to various publications in Japan keep him at the sharp
end of the sport so living in Tokyo is by far the best place to be to
achieve all of the above.
Originally from South Manchester, Mark is ex-RAF and very well travelled
because of it. At his final 'post' now, Mark has been in Tokyo since 1997.
Olivia Nagioff - Vice President
Olivia Nagioff was born and brought up in London. Following a Ph.D. in
Computer Science at Cambridge University, she has worked extensively in High
Technology, including running a company making Computer Networking
equipment, jointly with her husband, for 7 years.
Her interest in Sumo having started slowly in her early childhood when the
BBC covered a single Basho, it has now become a passion. In addition to
watching live Sumo on the Internet, she helps translate "Le Monde du Sumo"
into English and maintains a Sumo database with data from 1757 to the present.
Other hobbies include studying the Japanese language
and culture and watching a variety of sports, including cricket, equestrian
events and tennis.
Paul Sharp - General Secretary
Paul Sharp was born and raised in Grimsby a small town on the East coast of
England where he still lives and works full time as a window cleaner.
He first started his love of sumo in the early 1990s when it was shown on
Channel 4 TV in England and found himself in awe of the agility of these
Japanese (mostly) behemoths and subsequently wanting to learn more of the
traditions of this great sport with all its splendor but when it disappeared
from English TV the love died for a time to be rekindled later with greater
access through Eurosport and on the Internet through the Sumo forum and the
many sumo games.
Jezz Sterling - Overseas Development Officer
I grew up in the North of England. At the age of sixteen, I left home to
attend high school in Swaziland, Southern Africa for a couple of years. I
then spent half a year hitchhiking around Europe, before going to University
in East Anglia (UK), taking a BSc in Development Studies. I took a year out
from my degree to take up a job as a Special Metal trader (which I was given
when hitchhiking in France.) I finished my degree, and then returned to the
world of Metal trading, which included business trips to South America, and
parts of the former Soviet Union. On one occasion I drove to Almaty in
Kazakhstan from England. The trip took two weeks to complete, and a few
near-fatal incidents along the way.
I was finding it difficult to trade directly with Japanese companies (one of
the main end-users of Special Metals), and so when the opportunity arose, I
took a year out to become a teacher on the JET scheme. I was based in a
small fishing village on the island of Noumi-jima in Hiroshima Prefecture.
I immediately became a fan of Sumo, and of Japan. I ended up spending three
years in Japan. During this time I invented and set up the very popular
fantasy sumo game, known as "Bench Sumo."
For the next year, I returned to metal trading. However, I was missing my
Japanese girlfriend, and so returned to Japan, again working as a teacher
(this time for the Ford Motor company.) However, after our break-up, I
returned to England for a while, before deciding to teach again, but in a
new location. I now live and work in Hong Kong.
In addition to sumo, my interests include mahjong (Japanese, Hong Kong and
Shanghai versions), cards and travel. To date, through work, school and
pleasure, I have been fortunate enough to travel to over sixty countries in
Carolyn Todd - West Japan Liaison
Carolyn Todd was born and raised in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north-east England.
After graduating in English and Linguistics she taught English in Italy for
3 years, returning to the UK to study winemaking. After working for wineries
in California and Australia, she returned to her roots, teaching English in
Osaka, Japan. She now lives in Kyoto and works as a medical editor.
With no previous interest in sumo, her first basho was merely a 'must-see
Japanese experience', which, in the space of an afternoon, became an
obsession. She is now a staff writer for Sumo Fan Magazine, which allows her
to explain away all those sumo hours as 'work'.