UKDS Trustees


Craig Crowley MBE

Honorary President

Appointed as Honorary President in April 2014, Craig is Chief Executive of Action Deafness, a national voluntary organisation based in Leicester, East Midlands. He is first Deaflympic medalist to have served as President of the International Committee of Sport for the Deaf (Deaflympics) 2009-2013. A qualified sports coach and key strategist, Craig was also instrumental in co-founding UK Deaf Sport in 2003 and served as its Chair until 2009. A keen advocate of visibility and recognition of Deaf athletes, Craig is also heading a team of international Associates at Efficere Sports International. He was awarded an MBE for services to sport at The Queen’s 80th Birthday Honours in 2006.


Piers A. R. Martin MTPL MBA MIOD

Executive Chair

Piers Martin is a performance specialist working across sport and business. He is currently The Managing Director of the Podium Group, which includes Podium Performance, Podium Events and Podium Digital. He is also an Associate Lecturer in Sport Strategy and Performance and is studying for a PhD in Psychology. Piers has worked with a range of Olympic and Paralympic Federations, such as British Swimming, Fencing, Bobsleigh, Takewondo, Wheelchair Fencing, Wheelchair Rugby as well as UK Sport, the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee and a range of businesses. He is currently a Board Director of British Disability Fencing and UK Deaf Sport, is a member of the Performance Advisory Group for British Wheelchair Basketball and Chairs the Performance Pathway Management Group for British Para-Swimming. Previously, Piers was the CEO of British Fencing for the Beijing and London Olympic Games and a National Olympic Committee member. He was responsible for transforming Fencing into a successful business which significantly increased income from partners and sponsors, grew the sport and performed internationally. Prior to this, Piers worked for Manchester Business School’s World Academy of Sport and for British Swimming, following on from a career as an international swimmer and water polo player. He has a Masters degree and MBA from Manchester University.


Philip Gerrard


Philip is Chief Executive within the third sector, with over 20 years experience. He currently heads up Deaf Direct, overseeing all strategic and operational work of this charitable company with a turnover of £800k. As one of the founding members of UKDS, he has served as a trustee since its inception in 2003, being Vice Chair and Chair of UKDS. Philip has represented Great Britain Deaf Sport on the global platform, attending every international deaf sport congress since 2005, he has lead GB Deaflympics teams competing at Deaflympics, and has been a member of European Deaf Sport Organisation Legal Commission Group since it was set up in 2011. He has served on various local and national committees including the national complaints panel for BSL/English Interpreters. Philip joined Midland Deaf Sport Association Committee as Secretary in 1990 and remains so. He is an active member of his local community, playing football regularly with a Deaf team and supporting his deaf sons’ sporting endeavours. He is passionate about access to opportunities in sport, and particularly keen to see that the elite deaf athletes receives the recognition they deserves, on a par with the Olympics and Paralympics.

Graem- Knight-2_310

Graeme Knight


Graeme has spent over 15 years practising law as a barrister in the UK. He is an accomplished negotiator and advocate representing individuals in the civil and criminal courts for a broad range of proceedings. During the early part of his career he was instructed to challenge human rights violations under the European Convention. Nowadays his work includes disciplinary hearings before sports and other professional tribunals, advising on regulatory law and appearances in the criminal courts and Court of Appeal. Graeme is also a CEDR accredited commercial mediator and an advocacy trainer at the Middle Temple Inn of Court. As the son of a professional cricketer, Graeme has been actively involved in sport his whole life. He played rugby for Wasps RFC and Rosslyn Park FC in his twenties and regular cricket for a number of Kent clubs since leaving school. These days he enjoys playing a competitive standard of tennis and golf.


Paul Huggin


Paul is a solicitor by profession, specialising in property matters. He is currently a Partner at Shakespeares based in Stratford upon Avon, having previously worked in London. Paul is also a governor at Stratford upon Avon College. Paul was born with a genetic condition which resulted in partial hearing loss since birth. Paul developed a passion for sport having been a County Hockey player as a junior. This passion have ensured that Paul remains involved in sport today, having supported many hockey clubs in the past and even become a level 1 Coach himself. As well as hockey Paul has also been the Junior Organiser for his local golf club where both his sons play. Paul is keen to bring his personal experience and commitment to the role to ensure that more deaf people experience the benefits that sport can offer and ensuring that the increased confidence he found through sport can help other lead a happy life.


Daniel Lee


Danny’s skills and experience lie in education, strategic planning, management, working with elite performers and marketing/recruitment. Daniel currently works in the further education sector as a sports science lecturer and programme leader at Loughborough College. He has a degree from University of Derby in Sport Studies and PGCE FE and now is working towards his MA in Education. Coming from a sporty family, he has been involved in sport at various levels from grassroots up to elite performance throughout his life, working and volunteering in numerous roles in sport. Through working with UKDS he hope to be able to successfully work and collaborate on pushing UKDS on to the world stage and allow the deaf and hard if hearing community equality in sporting opportunities from grassroots to elite level.


Vincent Dickson


Vincent was born Hearing until an illness of meningitis at the age of 5 years caused his profound deafness. He has been involved in Deaf Sport for over 60 years. Starting as the Football Secretary of Manchester Deaf Club in the 1950/60’s moving to become the Indoor Games Convenor for Southern Deaf Sports Association in1983 where he served for approximately 10 years. During this time the association remained unbeaten in the Regional Indoor Games Championships for 5 years, Vincent was part of the British Deaf Sports Council’s Financial & General Purpose committee and later became a Trustee. He undertook further positions with hearing swimming Club before take over the role of


Gordon Hay


Gordon is currently the Community Manager at Deaf Direct, a voluntary sector organisation that specialises in deafness, working in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Oxfordshire. Gordon was responsible for organising the DeaflympicsGB team attending the 2009 and 2013 Summer Deaflympics. He is also Director of British Deaf History Society since 2003; and he has sat on the Bureau for Deaf History International since 2006, working on the bids for the UK to host a DHI Conference. He is one of three Executive Committee members for the DHI Conference in Edinburgh, mainly to overlook the executive decisions and finances. Gordon is also involved with football at both the local and national level. He is a member of the steering group of the UK Deaf Football Federation and is the chair for the Black Country Deaf F.C. where he is currently Team Captain.


Lara Lill


Lara Lill is a leading expert in health, wellbeing and physical activity. She is a respected senior manager with extensive experience in building effective partnerships. Lara trained as a secondary school PE teacher at Liverpool University, she taught for a while in the North East before being appointed to the Amateur Swimming Association. Lara is Head of Health and Wellbeing, responsible for developing strategy and building influential partnerships to improve the quality of life for people with health conditions and contribute to the public health of the population. Lara is also a member of the European Women and Sport Board responsible for promoting leadership and gender equality for women in sport. Lara is  delighted to be appointed as a trustee to UK Deaf Sport.


Christof Niklaus


Christof Niklaus is a freelance consultant involved in sports from strategy planning to event management.  He is also the Honorary President of Fulham Deaf Football Club after being involved with the club since its set up in 2003. Christof has worked with various NGBs, Sport Development teams and clubs in increasing participation at grassroots levels with London Sports Forum/Interactive.  He also was the Football Technical Director for ICSD for ten years, responsible for the World Deaf Football/Futsal Championships and Deaflympics Football. Christof was formerly involved in the Deaf Sports Promotions website and the sports editor of the British Deaf News.   In 2013, Christof was ICSD Sport Manager responsible in supporting the Technical Directors for the Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria. Recently Christof worked with the Tennis Foundation as a consultant for the 2015 World Deaf Tennis Championships held at Nottingham.  Christof previously also was a board member of Deafax, The FA Disability Equality Advisory Group and now currently with UKDS.


Gareth Hunt


Gareth Hunt is Head of Corporate Broking at KBW, the specialist investment bank focused on financial services providers. Prior to joining KBW. Gareth was an equity research analyst covering UK banking shares. Prior to working in the City. Gareth studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University. He is married with two children and is a keen marathon runner.

Reaching Potential

UK Deaf Sport aims to enable Deaf people to reach their full potential in sport. We work to increase opportunities by working in partnerships with key organisations to create a sporting future that is DEAFinitely Inclusive from grassroots through to Elite level Sport.