Meet the Staff

UK Deaf Sport has a growing team of staffs focused on developing greater opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing people to reach their full potential in sport and develop a world leading system for deaf sport in the UK to grow.

Valerie Copenhagen – Executive Director

I have been at UK Deaf Sport since November 2016 in a number of different roles. My current role is Executive Director which means I am responsible for leading the organisation and supporting the team in delivering UKDS’s strategy towards achieving ‘Every Deaf Person Active and Inspired by Sport and Physical Activity’. This is a really exciting time to be part of UK Deaf Sport as we expand our team, increase participation and support our partners, deaf sports and Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in sport and physical activity.

My background is mainly in programme management and working with partners and organisations. I am Deaf and wear hearing aids. In my spare time, I am completing a part time Executive MBA, train and compete as part of GB Deaf Tennis team and lead my local Brownies and Guide group.

I am also a Director on the boards of UK Council on Deafness, Youth Sports Trust and Bath University Student Union.

Tyron Woolfe – Project Manager

At UKDS I am managing a two-year project funded by Comic Relief which aims to achieve both mental well-being and social integration in deaf people in London through Sports and Physical Activity participation.  I am giving this role a lot of initiative and diligence especially given the challenges of COVID-19 since March 2020.  The project finishes in January ‘22.

My background is mainly in research, working with deaf people and making the best connections across the sector.  I am Deaf and use British Sign Language. I have many years’ experience in working and volunteering with deaf young people.

In my spare time you will find me volunteering for numerous things in relation to people’s mental well-being, e.g. I am a volunteer for a national text service called SHOUT.  You will also find me jumping up and down in the seats of any musical theatrical performance!

Hannah Evans – Engagement  Officer

Having recently joined the team, I’m very excited for my role as the Engagement Officer at UKDS. This means I am responsible for overseeing and fulfilling functions around communications and marketing at UKDS. I will also be working directly with the individual sports to support their communications and working with athletes to elevate their profiles. All of this involves finding new ways to bring attention to all the great things that is done in Deaf Sport.

About myself, I am Welsh, my first language is Welsh too. Currently living in London away from the homeland. I’m also Deaf and volunteer my time to other deaf causes online with a focus on deafness and intersectionality.

Lydia Ingman – Intern

I’m Lydia Ingman from Chesterfield! I’m a new intern at UK Deaf Sport and am really excited to be working in an area that I feel so passionately about! My role will be diverse across different areas, helping me to understand the behind the scenes of the organisation. The role will also support my studies of Sport and Exercise Science at Manchester Metropolitan University.

A little about me: I was born deaf to a hearing family. From a young age, I learnt to sign and lip read which became my main form of communication until having a cochlear implant at aged 3. My main sport is Golf and is a big part of my life. My greatest achievement is winning the World Deaf Golf Championships 2016 in Copenhagen and winning European Deaf Golf Championships 2017 in England.

Beate Grinspone – Diversity Officer

My name is Beate, I am profoundly Deaf and am from Latvia. I am a very independent and motivated person. I have been working as a Well-Being Coordinator for some years now. My role has been to remove those barriers that stand in the way of people with sensory disabilities who are wanting to access community activities and events. My passion was to encourage them to be confident and independent and strong individuals. I promoted good mental health and good physical health. I did this by arranging and coordinating activities such as yoga, football, badminton, arts and crafts sessions and many more. I also arrange many workshops where relevant and helpful information linked to health and mental well-being are delivered. My activities are good for the body and good for the mind, but also good fun. 

I myself love sports, and have done all my life, as I am a very active person in the sports world. I am also very competitive and really don’t like to lose if I’m honest so look out! I am currently on a university course studying psychology and counselling as I am very interested in how the mental health of a person can very much link into their physical health and how a good healthy balance in both can be achieved. I very much encourage people to come together and be one, as the happiness and joy one  can be infectious to those around them, which is good for everybody. 

Lizzy – admin

Lizzy, manages our emails and polices, ensuring the information that you send us gets sent to the relevant people at UK Deaf Sport.