Our conference speakers 2019

Day 1- Quest NBS

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Caroline Constantine, Quest Director and Company Director, Right Directions. Quest NBS & Right Directions Ltd

In 2004 Caroline, along with a colleague set up Right Directions and left the security of a full-time job.  This was a stressful but exciting time for Caroline, as she was juggling setting up a new company whilst being a Mum to a 3 and 6 year old. Now Caroline is loving managing Right Directions, building a fantastic team and supporting a great bunch of clients.


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Andy Read OBE, Director, SajelImpact the Sports Think Tank and Loughborough University Institute for Sport Business

Andy Reed is the Director of SajelImpact the Sports Think Tank and Loughborough University Institute for Sports Business.

Formerly the MP for Loughborough, Andy has a strong association with Sport Policy having served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Sports Ministers and adviser to various Ministers and Sports bodies during his time in Westminster. He Chaired the Parliamentary Sports Caucus and was secretary of various All-Party Sports Groups. Andy has also worked as Chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance from 2010 to 2016, in 2011 he established with other colleagues, the independent Sports Think Tank and was interim Chair of the Board of CIMSPA for 18 months until 2018.

In 2012 Andy was awarded the OBE for services to Sport and the Community in Leicestershire, after Chairing the 2012 Olympic Leicestershire Legacy Group and chairing Leicestershire and Rutland Sport. He also sits on the Boards of Special Olympics GB, British Basketball League Foundation and was with Sports Chaplaincy UK until 2019.


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Chris Perks, Sport England

Chris trained as a Physical Education Teacher before studying for a Master’s Degree in Sports Science at Loughborough. Alongside teaching he led a project to develop school based sports development initiatives and the full community access to the facilities.

Since joining Sport England, Chris has led work around improving sporting opportunities for young people and the use of sport in achieving social outcomes. For four years Chris was the Strategic Lead for all of Sport England’s work in the East region.

Recently Chris became the Executive Director for Local Delivery at Sport England leading the work of all the local outreach teams.


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Gill Twell, Quest Operations Manager and Head of Development, Right Directions

Gill joined the Leisure Industry in 2985, starting her career as a part-time Lifeguard. She has held a diverse range of roles, with the majority working in local government.

Gill was Group Health and Fitness Manager for a local authority leisure contact for five years before accepting a senior management position as Area Leisure Manager.

She now works full time for Right Directions and heads up the Development arm of the business for both Right Directions and Quest, including the strategic development and implementation of Right Directions and the Quest scheme business plans. Gill also manages the product development, business generation, training and sustainably improving delivery and operational standards across both arms of the business.


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Hilary Farmiloe, Manager of InstructAbility programme, Aspire

Hilary joined the spinal injury charity in 2011, after working as a development manager for the government’s School Sport Partnership scheme.

InstructAbility, funded by Sport England, has been delivered across many regions working in partnership with hundreds of leisure operators. To date over 300 disabled people have become qualified fitness professionals through the multi award winning programme.  As well as working with training providers YMCAfit and the Institute of Swimming, Hilary also collaborates with many other stakeholders such as ukactive, EFDS, Clubbercise, SOSA and England Athletics. Hilary is a Chartered Member of CIMSPA and works to influence inclusive policy and practices within the leisure sector and has been active in promoting inclusion across organisations and at industry events. She has recently been awarded fellowship of the RSA for her contribution in this area. Currently, Hilary is working with Birmingham University on a commissioned research project to provide industry guidelines on training and employing disabled people in the fitness industry.


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Jeremy Hughes CBE, Alzheimer’s Society

Jeremy Hughes joined Alzheimer’s Society in November 2010. He is leading the charity in its five year transformational strategy ‘New Deal on Dementia’ 2017-22. Jeremy co-chairs the Dementia Friendly Communities Champions Group with top broadcaster Angela Rippon for the UK Prime Minister.

Jeremy was previously Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer where he was instrumental in providing visionary leadership, galvanising the charity’s research platform and its authority on campaigning and policy. Before that Jeremy was Head of External Affairs at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. His career in health and social care charities includes leadership posts at the British Red Cross, Leonard Cheshire, Muscular Dystrophy and NCH Action for Children.

Jeremy was chair of National Voices 2009-14. He is currently the Co-chair of the UK Dementia Action Alliance, chair of the Global Alzheimers and Dementias Action Alliance and Vice-Chair of the World Dementia Council.



Jess Cook, Activity Alliance



Katheryn Mudge, Development Manager, Yorkshire Sport Foundation

Katheryn joined Yorkshire Sport Foundation in March 2013 having worked within Sport and Community Development for 6 years in a range of different roles. Most recently Kathryn spent 4 years working Zest, a voluntary organisation working to improve life chances for deprived communities in Sheffield. During this period Kathryn developed a passion for community development, using sport as a tool to overcome social issues. Kathryn is the Communities Lead within Yorkshire Sport Foundation team, providing support to community development projects across South and West Yorkshire.


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Lee Booth, Workforce Manager, Sport Across Staffordshire

Lee has worked in the sports development industry for over 20 years in a number of local authority, school sport partnership and county sport partnership roles, developing a specialism in workforce over this time. Lee is currently the Workforce Manager for the County Sport Partnership for Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent and also is a tutor for UK Coaching and the FA.


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Mark England OBE, Director of Sport Services, British Olympics Association

Mark England has extensive Olympic experience having been at the British Olympic Association since 2011 in his role of Director of Sport Services.

In April 2014, Mark was appointed Team GB’s Chef de Mission for both the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the inaugural 2015 European Games, having amassed a wealth of experience as Deputy Chef de Mission for Team GB at six Olympic Games, including London 2012. At the Rio Games Mark steered Team GB to their most successful performance for over a century, where they became the first nation to win more medals after hosting a home Olympic Games.



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Lisa Forsyth, Director, Max Associates

Lisa is a director at Max Associates and has worked in local authority leisure for 20 years, including working for the last decade as a consultant.

Lisa’s work in the sector started at operational level managing local authority leisure centres before heading up a business development department of a leading leisure management contractors, where she was successful in winning and mobilising a number of high profile leisure contracts. As a consultant, her experience has involved a wide range of leisure and cultural projects. Her work has included options appraisals, new facility provision and procurement.

As well as being involved in sport and physical activity at a national and strategic level, Lisa is still heavily involved in her local hockey club and is well aware of the local issues, opportunities and barriers that local clubs have to successfully manage to organise and develop sport on a week to week basis.


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Mike Hill, NBS Director and Joint Director, Leisure-net, Quest NBS and Leisure-Net Solutions

Mike Hill has more than 30 years senior management experience in the active leisure industry.  He worked in both the private and public sector, before setting up Leisure-net in 1999, having recognised the sector’s need to improve both its knowledge base and its understanding of its customers.

Leisure-net is now the leading provider of Customer Insight, Business Intelligence and Consultation services to the active leisure, fitness and cultural services industries, helping organisations to understand their customers’ and clients’ needs and aspirations, and to deliver innovative customer experience improvement initiatives.


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Paul Cluett, Managing Director, Alliance Leisure

Since graduating in Sports Science, Paul has spent the last thirty years working in the leisure industry across public and private sectors. Prior to joining Alliance, Paul was employed by Parkwood Leisure as Managing Director and was a principal consultant with Capita before joining Quality Leisure Management in 2004 and a Director. He joined Alliance Leisure Services in 2009 where he is Managing Director. Paul was heavily involved in the formation CIMSPA and since stepping away from the Board has remained a member of the Audit and Probity Committee.



Phillip Lown, Public Health Suffolk


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Robin McGloughlin, Director and Co-Founder, Poolview Limited

Robin McGloughlin is the Director and Co-Founder of drowning prevention company Poolview limited.

Robin has the authority and passion to inform and raise awareness of Drowning Prevention Technology with over 30 years’ experience within the UK leisure sector. He regularly speaks at industry and company events, engaging and provoking audiences to support his personal and company mission of “making a difference, save a life” and using technologies to support lifeguards and improve swimmer safety with his concept of “Blended Lifeguarding”.



Safiya Saeed, Yorkshire Sport Foundation

Safiya joined the Yorkshire Sport Foundation team in June 2016 as a Community Development Worker for the Active Burngreave Project. Before joining YSF, Safiya was a ‘Community Activist’ and volunteered her time to run youth projects and support her local community. Safiya is a mother of 5 and a Parent Governor at a Primary School, Secondary School and local College. Safiya was also crowned Ultimate Woman’s Woman by Cosmopolitan magazine 2007 and won Business Woman of the Year Award for opening a social enterprise Saf Saf Hair and Health, which provided a safe place for women of her community to access beauty and health services.



Sharna Allen, Public Health Suffolk


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Professor Simon Shibli ACMA. Professor of Sport Management and Head of the Sport Industry Research, Sheffield Hallam University

Simon is a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualified accountant whose specialist areas of interest are the finance and economics of the sport and leisure industries.  On behalf of Sport England, Simon oversees the analysis and reporting of the National Benchmarking Service (NBS) for sports and leisure facilities.  The NBS looks at performance from four perspectives: access, finance, utilisation and customer satisfaction.  It provides managers with a wide range of indicators that they can use selectively to improve their own performance at facility level.  Taken as a whole, the NBS dataset plays a role in driving up standards across the sport and leisure industry by showing what is possible by the better performers.  Beyond the numbers, the NBS enables process benchmarking to enable managers to learn the techniques that give the better performers their competitive edge.


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Sian Williams, Employment and Engagement Officer on ‘Make it Work’, Inclusion London

Sian Williams currently works for Inclusion London, an organisation which promotes Deaf and Disabled people’s equality and inclusion by supporting the development of Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs) working across every borough in London. Currently she is the Employment Engagement Officer on ‘Making it Work’, a project which aims to increase employment opportunities for young Disabled people.

She previously managed ‘Into Sport’, a four-year partnership project funded by Sport England which involved London Sport and five London DDPOs.

She has an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School and wrote a resource called ‘Confident Commissioning: Building relationship between local authorities and Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations’ on behalf of SENDPO (the South East Network of Disabled People’s Organisations). Previously she worked for Arts Council England as a diversity officer in local government.



Day 2 - CIMSPA

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Catherine Hillhouse, Co-Trainer for Sport, Pearson

Catherine is an experienced educationalist with 20 years’ experience working within higher and further education; and the lifelong learning and training sectors. This background has given her a deep understanding of how improvements in teaching, learning and assessment practices can enhance the learner experience.

Catherine is passionate about equipping learners with the exemplary skills and knowledge that will enable them to process into and succeed within further education opportunities or employment - helping them to be the best that they can be within their chosen field.


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Chris Fennel, Leisure and Environmental Services Section Head, Watford Borough Council

Chris, a CIMSPA Chartered Member, is an experienced local government officer with over 25 years’ experience of the leisure community and environmental services sector. At Watford Council he is responsible for managing a number of major frontline service contracts, alongside the implementation of the Voluntary Sector Commissioning Framework. A central part of Chris’s role is effective contact and relation management, working with a wide range of private and third sector partners to deliver quality, high profile leisure and community services on behalf of the council.


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Colin Huffen, Head of Education, CIMSPA

Colin has a wealth of experience in the sport, leisure and physical activity sector having spent the last ten years in leadership roles in organisations such as; AoC Sport, Sports Coach UK, Skills Active and British Swimming. Previous to this he was a senior manager within some of the country’s largest further education colleges.


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Dan Thorp, Director, Sporting People

Dan was a Tennis Coach for thirty years; working with players at every level of the game. He also has experience as a Coach Editor and course creator, has worked as LTA Head of Coach Development for six years, worked across sport on coaching frameworks, apprenticeships and mentoring, as Head of a Chinese Academy and has launched several successful business projects in sport.

Dan’s expertise is in coaching, coach education, coach and workforce development strategy, coach course and pathway design, coach support initiatives, and safe deployment issues.


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Dave Wright, CEO, Myzone

Dave Wright is the CEO and Creator of MYZONE, the CEO and owner of Creative Fitness Marketing, owner of the Feelgood Fitness & Voyage Fitness Club Chains, a former board director of UKActive and current Board Member of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. With offices in Nottingham, Melbourne and Chicago, Dave’s companies have worked directly with over 10,000 health clubs across 60+ different countries which has given him the unique ability to view the global industry from a supplier, buyer and health club member’s perspective. An Antipodean, Husband, Father and Entrepreneur with a BA in Recreation Leadership and Marketing, Dave has spent the majority of his life encouraging people to be more and stay more physically active.

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Elaine Briggs MCIMSPA, Head of Education and Innovation, Future Fit Training

Elaine is a proud product of the vocational education pathway and as such is very passionate about the value of this career route. She has over 20 years’ experience in education, having worked across several sectors, training providers and awarding organisations and offers a wealth of experience in training design, research and delivery. 

Elaine is passionate about driving up standards of learning through identifying innovative methods of training which are tailor-made to meet both employer and learner needs.  Elaine is best known for her long history of working with award-winning training provider Future Fit Training, this year celebrating its 25th birthday.


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Jeremy Campbell, former Chief Commercial Officer, SD Worx

Jeremy began his career in Business Development/Account Management, held his first Board Directorship 19 years ago and has held subsequent high profile corporate board roles such as Chief People Officer, Chief Commercial Officer and latterly as interim CEO.

His experiences include; guiding organisation’s and their people through several stages of ownership, from private equity, private ownership through to publicly listed.

He is currently studying at Henley Business School for an MSc in Business Coaching and Behavioural Change.


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Justine Williams, Global Business Development Manager, BORN TO MOVE, Les Mills

As the Global Business Development Manager for BORN TO MOVE™ with Les Mills, Justine is passionate about empowering their markets and partners to forget legacy and make changes in their businesses to meet the needs of children and young people. BORN TO MOVE™ is designed to adapt to the needs of the children and compliment, not compete, with current youth programming. Leading a group of highly skilled and motivated instructors, she commits to do all she can to enable them to create what they call ‘Sparkle’ with each and every interaction with young people; the overall goal of these interactions being to get more children active.


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Hannah Crane, Director of Sport and Workforce, StreetGames

Hannah has worked in community sport for eight years. Starting at SkillsActive and now as Director of Sport and Workforce at StreetGames. Working to support development of National Governing Bodies of Sport she has specialised in capacity building organisations for delivery of sport in disadvantaged communities. Building on a background in training and skills Hannah is now heading up the exploration of commercial opportunities for StreetGames training.

Having volunteered with Girlguiding for 20 years Hannah is passionate about development of young people and in particular supporting women and girls to reach their potential in and outside of sport.


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Hilary Farmiloe, Manager of InstructAbility programme, Aspire

She joined the spinal injury charity in 2011, after working as a development manager for the government’s School Sport Partnership scheme.

InstructAbility, funded by Sport England, has been delivered across many regions working in partnership with hundreds of leisure operators. To date over 300 disabled people have become qualified fitness professionals through the multi award winning programme.  As well as working with training providers YMCAfit and the Institute of Swimming, Hilary also collaborates with many other stakeholders such as ukactive, EFDS, Clubbercise, SOSA and England Athletics. Hilary is a Chartered Member of CIMSPA and works to influence inclusive policy and practices within the leisure sector and has been active in promoting inclusion across organisations and at industry events. She has recently been awarded fellowship of the RSA for her contribution in this area. Currently, Hilary is working with Birmingham University on a commissioned research project to provide industry guidelines on training and employing disabled people in the fitness industry.


Courtesy of Amaechi Performance Systems

Dr Juliette Stebbings, Senior Lecturer Exercise and Psychology, University of Portsmouth

Dr Juliette Stebbings is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Portsmouth. Juliette’s research interests focus on the role of sport and physical activity as vehicles for physical, psychological, and social development in the community. One key strand of this work relates to the accessibility and inclusivity of the fitness and leisure sector for disabled people. In collaboration with the spinal cord charity Aspire and their InstructAbility programme which aims to create a series of Best Practice Guidelines for the training and employment of disabled people within the industry.


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Marc Woods, CIMSPA Chair, Paralympic Gold Medallist & Physical Activity and Sport Sector Specialist

Marc was diagnosed with cancer at 17 and consequently had his left leg amputated below the knee. Not knowing whether he had six months or 60 years left to live, he was determined to make the most of whatever time he did have. Moreover, Marc has done just that - becoming a member of Great Britain’s Paralympic Swimming Team, a multiple Gold Medallist, BBC commentator and author. Woods’ distinctive, open style demonstrates his passion for life, translating into a moving and motivating experience for audiences.


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Marina Bowler Postlethwaite, Lead Trainer for Sport, Pearson

Marina’s academic and working career has involved developing and implementing pedagogical approaches to teaching and training roles within the lifelong learning, education and training sectors.

Marina has a key interest in enhancing the learner and customer experience via innovations in teaching, learning and assessment practices. She’s passionate about measuring and celebrating achievement - in all its guises and at all levels of an organisation.


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Martin Radmore, Company Director, VisionED

Martin has been a PE teacher, head of department, senior leader, adviser and strategic education manager for over 28 years and has a specialism and dynamic passion for primary physical education (PE), physical activity and learning. As a strong advocate for the role that high quality PE, physical literacy and activity can play in the life of young people, Martin has focused on established a strategic emphasis on teacher education and has written two national qualifications to ensure a professional standard within PE teaching. This is evidenced by his receipt of the national award for ‘Leadership and Influence’ from afPE.

As the company director for VisionED, Martin has built upon his passion for PE and learning to create a training provider that offers nationally accredited primary PE qualifications, Gold assured CPD/training, professional development and bespoke consultancy.


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Matt Rhodes, Policy Manager, AoC Sport

Matt is Policy Manager at AoC Sport, having worked in Further Education and Sport for the last 17 years. Matt leads on AoC Sport’s  curriculum and employment strands through providing support and advice to colleges and partners on matters relating to sports policy and programmes, national and regional funding streams, new developments in the sector, and strategic planning.


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Rob Young, Director, Sporting People

Rob has a passion for the positive role that sport can have to help change lives. He has credible experience spanning national and local strategy and policy, performance sport, national governing bodies, the education sector, inclusion, people development and major sporting events. Rob previously worked on the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games for 6 years for which he was awarded an MBE in 2013.

Rob has established two successful businesses including Switch The Play CiC, a social enterprise focused on athlete career transition. Rob is also a trustee of Greater Sport, the County Sports Partnership for Greater Manchester.


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Sarah Edmonds, Director of Quality and Standards, Active IQ

Sarah Edmonds is currently Director of Quality and Standards at Active IQ. A constant advocate for lifelong learning, she has been involved in education and training for over 20 years, with an interest in the validity of technical qualifications, and holds a Master’s degree in Educational Assessment from UCL‘s Institute of Education. She is currently on the board of directors of the Federation of Awarding Bodies which represents over 120 awarding organisations and exam boards across the UK, playing a key advisory role on behalf of this sector at policy level via frequent strategic conversations with regulators, funding agencies and the Department for Education.



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Simon Alford, Senior Lecturer in Preventative Medicine, University of Central Lancashire

Simon has worked in academia for 14 years in the areas of Public Health and Health and Social Care where he has taught to both postgraduate and undergraduate levels. Prior to working in academia, Simon completed a BSc (Hons) in Physical Education and Sports Science and an MDc in Exercise and Nutrition Science, having previously worked in leisure management and sports coaching roles.

He is currently working at the University of Central Lancashire with multiple agencies to develop health check training to be delivered in a non-clinical environment by leisure industry and third sector staff to promote early intervention aimed at improving health and wellbeing.



Spencer Moore, Director of Strategy, CIMSPA

Spencer Moore, an MBA graduate and qualified lecturer has over 20 years' experience in senior management across the business and education sectors. He brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles as co-founder of PDR Business Solutions, head of business planning and innovation for the Amateur Swimming Association, head of workforce development for British Swimming and head of curriculum at West Nottinghamshire College. He is also a non-executive director of both the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and the Institute of Swimming (IoS).



Steve Mitchell, Director, Sporting People

Steve has worked extensively with employers across the sport and physical activity landscape around all things people, skills, and leaning and development. Ten years in the public sector and now four years into three successful new ventures where his clients include CEOs, Boards, NGBs, Commercial Businesses, Leisure Operators, CSPs and Educational Institutions. Steve gives back through a series of complementary yet diverse NED and voluntary roles including a CSP Board, an NGB chairmanship, advisory roles with Coach Core and Transcend Awarding.

Mitch has fantastic experience and knowledge across the sport and physical activity landscape. He is ideally placed to share best practice, identify new opportunities and help organisations get ahead of the game when it comes to developing their people.


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Steven Ward, CEO, ukactive

Steven joined ukactive initially in the Public Affairs and Policy Team and rose through the ranks of that team, becoming first manager and then Director of the department, before taking up the position of Development Director in 2012. In April 2015 he was appointed as Executive Director, as successor to outgoing CEO David Stalker. In his time with ukactive, Steven has helped shape the rebrand from the FIA to ukactive, strengthened ukactive’s ties to key partners such as the Department of Health and Sport England, and has been key in driving ukactive’s partnership’s with major brands.



Tara Dillon, CEO, CIMSPA

As CEO of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, Tara Dillon leads the institute's headline work in professionalising UK sport and leisure and transforming the workforce development opportunities of those who work in the sector. Tara was appointed as CEO in January 2015, before which she was interim chief operating officer whilst on secondment from IQL UK. Previously, Tara has held a variety of senior management roles within the leisure sector, combining 12 years working in local authorities and 9 years in the private sector, culminating in a customer-focused commercial role as executive director of IQL UK.


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Tanya Kesterton, Head of Learning Solutions, Institute of Swimming (IoS)

Tanya is an experienced educationalist with over 20 years’ experience working with technology. As Head of Learning Solutions at the Institute of Swimming she leads the digital strategy and development of their extensive online and blended learning programme for aquatics teachers and coaches.

Prior to working in adult education, Tanya spent seven years working as an IT consultant where she built up expertise in bespoke system analysis and development. She recently completed an MA Education programme with a research focus on 21st century teaching and learning and a particular emphasis on blended coach learning.



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Tim Barry, Head of Department of Medical Sciences and Sport Sciences, University of Cumbria

Tim has been working at the University of Cumbria (formerly St. Martin’s College) since 1997 and as Head of Department of Medical and Sport Sciences since 2013; with key research interests in physiology and biometrics of cricket, the use of technology in teaching and learning and physical activity in public health policy. His responsibilities as Head of Department involve the strategic development of Sport and Medical Imaging course provision, research and enterprise activity. He manages and leads quality assurance processes and student experience across Sport and NHS provision.

Tim is the establisher and project lead of UoC Active (the new University Sport and Health Development Unit) and holds memberships for numerous university committees and external bodies including: BASES, Active Cumbria Advisory Board and the National Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine (NCRRM) Stakeholder Board.


More speakers to come