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UK Deaf Sport Board

Craig Crowley MBE

Honourary 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

Chair
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

Senior Independent 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

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

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

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

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.

Brendan Foley

Director
Brendan Foley has an international background working in corporate world and in public sectors, across many cross borders. In the Arab world, UK, Europe, work with Royal Families, and with several members of the House of Lords, plus the Vatican as well. In Ireland Brendan had a close relationship with the former head at the Department of the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) head of the civil services. In the corporate world he has work with a number of billionaires around the world on many ventures, the founder of the Élan Corporation and Le Mans World Car Series in USA, as one example. He funded a seven million pound entry in the Whitbread Round the world race, he has found funding for public and private ventures in the market place, and he is the CEO of the Aeolus platform.

Tim Chapman

Director
Tim is programme lead for physical activity, healthy weight and the built environment at Public Health England SE. He has a specialist interest in reducing inequalities in health outcomes caused by deliberate and accidental prejudice and other barriers to accessing sport and active recreation. As a person with hearing loss, tinnitus and balance problems he has personal understanding of the challenges faced by deaf and hard of hearing people, from difficulty using ‘shared space’ for bicycles and pedestrians to the embarrassment of not being able to hear a sports coach or umpire. He works with national and local government, the NHS and major third sector organisations to ensure their policies and practice are fair and inclusive. Communication is a two-way street and Tim is keen to share his insight to maximise the influence and impact of UKDS messages on policy makers and providers.

Vincent Dickson

Honourary 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

Honourary 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.