UK Deaf Sport Board
The people behind UK Deaf Sport.

UKDS Board and Sub Committees

Our Board meets quarterly throughout the year and sub committees regularly between meetings.

We have six sub committees supporting our work and reporting to the Board –

  • International Relations Advisory Group
  • Nominations Committee
  • Performance Advisory Group
  • Athlete Leadership Group
  • Finance, Audit and Risk Group
  • Participation Group

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 Martin

Piers has over 20 years’ experience of leading and advising a range of sports and businesses, with a focus on improving performance through strategy, culture and people development. He has held a number of leadership roles in Olympic and Paralympic sport, from CEO and Performance Director to Chair and Board Director. He has an MBA, is undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Sport and Exercise and is a guest lecturer in a range of institutions.

Lara Lill

Interim Executive Director
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.

Jacqui Traynor

Director and UK Deaf Sport General Secretary
Jacqui has spent more than 10 years working in the sports industry. Working for British Rowing she is the Anti-Doping and Integrity Officer with a key role in shaping governance and welfare policies and best practice and has received training by IOC/Interpol as a sport investigator. In 2020 Jacqui will complete a Masters in Sports Law which has had a significant focus on sport governance, ethics and integrity. Jacqui has been profoundly deaf since birth and is passionate about inclusivity diversity and access for deaf people in sport believing there should be no barriers to participation. Ex-rower herself she hung up her oars since the birth of her twin girls but remains a keen runner and volunteer at her local running club.

Graeme Knight

Non-Executive Director
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.

Tom Seabrook

Non-Executive Director
Tom is a dual qualified chartered surveyor and solicitor, practising as the latter and specialising in property advisory and disputes work. Tom was a keen a reasonably able sportsman in his youth particularly enjoying rowing, athletics and rugby. He is late deafened, having first noticed his hearing loss in his early 20’s. This progressive loss meant that Tom had to give up most competitive sport before his time (he assures us he would have been an Olympian given a few more years). Tom received a cochlear implant in 2014 which he describes as life changing. He has a passion for sport particularly at grass roots and junior level and is a qualified rugby union coach and referee.

Andy Mawdsley

Non-Executive Director
Andy’s involvement in UK Deaf sport arises from his eldest son Daniel; he was born deaf, has bilateral cochlear implants thoroughly enjoys taking part in a wide range of sports. Andy himself has a background in sports performance, teaching and coaching. He has a degree and master’s degree in Physical Education and Sports Science from Loughborough University. He has been involved in education for over 25 years and is currently a Primary School Headteacher in North West Leicestershire. In his spare time, he coaches junior rugby and is passionate about ensuring all deaf young people and adults can access and enjoy all the benefits of participation in sport and physical activity.

Peter Fitton

Non-Executive Director
A senior media and entertainment executive with experience commercialising content in global, regional and local roles, Peter was most recently General Manager Benelux for The Walt Disney Company overseeing content distribution, consumer marketing, product licensing and television channels. He founded and led Disney Media+ EMEA, the company’s integrated marketing promotions division, and has driven business launches in the UK, NL, USA, France, Spain, Australia, Russia and India. Peter is now consulting for a range of content and entertainment businesses.

Vincent Dickson

Honorary Vice President
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.

Philip Gerrard

Honorary Vice President
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.

Anneli MacDonald

Non-Executive Director
Anneli has worked across the sporting landscape for over 15 years; running national and international events including World Championships, national championships, and mass participation events. Passionate about inclusive sport, Anneli is currently leading the British Paralympic Association’s pre-Games Preparation Camp for the Tokyo Paralympics. Anneli lives in Cardiff but on weekends she can usually be found recharging her batteries at the beach or in the countryside. A keen runner and open water swimmer. Anneli moved to the UK from Tasmania in 2004.

Grant Downie OBE

Non-Executive Director
Grant is a physiotherapist by profession and now a consultant in medical and performance solutions. He has worked in various leadership roles with elite professional football for clubs and governing bodies. He currently acts as a critical friend to 6 organisations, and mentors a number of people working in high performance sport. In 2013, Grant was awarded an OBE for services to physiotherapy and work with young people. He is very keen to help aspiring young athletes achieve their potential as individuals and support their athletic potential.

Adam Breeze

Non-Executive Director