Officials - Meet The Team

Andy Heffer Sports & Development Director

Andy is the strategic lead for the sports and programme development functions, reporting to the CEO.

Andy has overall responsibility for the Sports & Development Department including programme growth and support, programme development, as well as coaching and competition support. This includes supporting the home country executives, the National Executive Council, as well as maintaining and updating policies.

Emily Onley Competition Development Manager

Emily is responsible for the development of the Special Olympics GB competition pathway from local to international level.

This includes developing the single sport national competition calendar, as well as the management and organisational support for the GB Teams attending international competitions, such as European and World Games.

Sheffield 2017 Competition Managers


Dave Harman Competition Manager

Dave Harman has been involved with Special Olympics Aquatics since being appointed as the Swimming Referee for National Summer Games in Portsmouth in 1997.

Dave has been Competition Manager for the National Summer Games in Leicester (2009) and Bath (2013), as well as leading the annual national partnership competitions alongside Mencap each year since 2006.

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Anne Sargent Deputy Competition Manager

Anne Sargent has been working within a sports environment since 2009, however the 2017 National Summer Games will be her first involvement with Special Olympics GB.

Anne’s fulltime role within the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has provided invaluable experience of working with athletes with impairment and being involved with the organisation of various major events.

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Ellen Bladwin Competition Manager

Ellen has been coaching athletics since 2004 and became involved in Special Olympics St Albans (Eastern Region) in 2007.

Ellen was the Head Coach for the Eastern Region Athletics squad in Leicester (2009) and was the Deputy Competition Manager at the National Summer Games in Bath (2013). In 2015 Ellen was also the Head Coach for the Great Britain Athletics squad for the Los Angeles World Summer Games.

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Rob McCarthy Deputy Competition Manager

Rob has been involved with athletes with intellectual disabilities, in one way or another, for as long as he can remember.

Rob is a qualified Coach with UK Athletics and USA Track & Field. He is currently working with the Special Olympics Derbyshire network, part of Special Olympics East Midlands - seeking to provide Athletics coaches and athletes in the County support and opportunities within Special Olympics

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David Gillespie Competition Manager

David has played Badminton since the late 1960s and started coaching in 2002 as an assistant coach with the South Lanarkshire Council.

David took on the role as the Badminton Competition Manager for the National Summer Games in Bath (2013). David has been the Head of Delegation of the GB Team at the World Summer Games in Shanghai (2007), Athens (2011) and Los Angeles (2015).

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Dorothy Gillespie Deputy Competition Manager

Dorothy has played badminton since the early 1970’s, first through school and later at college. Dorothy was the secretary for the Langside and District churches League for over 25 years which involved all the administration pertaining to the League within the central Scotland area.

Although Dorothy has not been directly involved in Special Olympics she has supported her husband David in all his various posts since 2005.

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Jon Stonebridge Competition Manager

Jon has been involved in developing disability sport since 1999 in various positions from special schools sports coordinator to community charity manager. Since 2010 Jon has been working for Basketball England as the Disability Participation Officer.

Jon shares the Special Olympics GB Basketball Coaching & Competition Advisor post with Jazz Owen where they focus on developing Special Olympics GB Basketball at all levels.

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Jacob Meaton Deputy Competition Manager

Jacob has been involved with Special Olympics GB since 2001 when he originally started coaching basketball and supporting at Special Olympics sessions in Bangor, North Wales.

Jacob has been appointed as the Basketball lead for Special Olympics Derbyshire and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside many fantastic people to organise the basketball competition for the National Games.

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Rachel Miller Competition Manager

Rachel Miller has worked within disability sports development since 2002 and in 2013 Rachel founded a new disability sports company, SMILE Through Sport, with her husband Stephen Miller. The organisation works with people throughout the North East of England with a range of disabilities across all sports.

In 2012, Rachel was a National Technical Official for Boccia at the London Paralympic Games.

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Jenni Wade-Rudin Deputy Competition Manager

Jenni has been involved within Sports Development since before 2009 and specifically disability sport since 2011. Jenni also works for SMILE Through Sport.

Special Olympics GB 2017 National Summer Games will be Jenni's first involvement within Special Olympics and she is looking forward to her role.

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Andy WebsterCompetition Manager

Andy was inspired to make New Earswick IBC a truly inclusive club after visiting Leicester for the 2009 National Summer Games. The club now caters for four Special Olympics sports with Short Mat Carpet Bowls and New Age Kurling completing the programme.

Andy was Head Coach for the Special Olympics Yorkshire & Humberside Short Mat Bowls team at the National summer Games in Bath in 2013.

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Janice GowerDeputy Competition Manager

Janice has been involved with Bowls since a very young age and her parents were both top players. Janice has dedicated her life to the game and promoting the sport to all ages and abilities.

Janice is currently one of the leading ladies on the World Bowls Tour Indoor Bowls Circuit, working in the international press as well as playing at the top level.

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Rebecca Hearn Competition Manager

Rebecca has been involved with Special Olympics since the build up to the National summer Games in Bath in 2013, providing support and guidance to the South East Bowls Athletes.

Rebecca comes to Special Olympics GB with a wealth of knowledge and experience of Carpet Bowls and also the support and backing of the English Carpet Bowls Association.

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Paul Daniels Deputy Competition Manager

Paul began playing Carpet Bowls in 1994 and has played at county level since 2001.

Paul is currently the Tournament Secretary of the English Carpet Bowls Association for whom he has been running its various events, including the National Championships since 2012.

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Tom A'Hara Competition Manager

Tom has been the Cycling Head Coach to the GB Teams at the World Summer Games in Dublin (2003), Shanghai (2007), Athens (2011) and LA (2015), as well as at the European Summer Games in Antwerp (2014).

Outside of Special Olympics Tom is committed to supporting main stream clubs with coaching support and Commissairing duties throughout the year at Regional and National Road, Track and Cycle-cross events.

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Melanie Flude Deputy Competition Manager

Melanie Flude has been a Level 2 Cycling Coach for since 2014 and a Bikeability Instructor since 2015. More recently, Mel has affiliated a cycling club for females and will be looking to run some inclusive sessions working alongside partners in 2017.

Mel said “I am really excited to be working with everyone on the National Summer Games in Sheffield in 2017 and meeting all the amazing participants as well”.

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Sarah MorelandCompetition Manager

Sarah was part of the Eastern Region Equestrian squad attending the National Summer Games in Leicester (2009), Assistant Coach (Equestrian) for the GB Team at the World Summer Games in Athens (2011) and Head Coach (Equestrian) for the GB Team at World Summer Games in LA (2015).

Sarah was awarded an MBE Honour for her services to further education and disability sport.

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Cath AmesDeputy Competition Manager

Cath has been involved with Special Olympics since 2007. She is the secretary for the Special Olympics North West Equestrian Team.

At the National Equestrian Competition in Hartpury (2013), Cath assisted the Competition Manager in her role and Cath says she will do all she can to assist in the preparation and running of a great equestrian event at the 2017 National Summer Games in Sheffield!

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Danny HayterCompetition Manager

Danny has been coaching Football since 2004. For most of this time he has been involved with Milton Keynes Sports & Education Trust (MK Dons SET) in the provision and delivery of Football to disability and community groups. Danny also oversees the youth disability teams.

Danny was selected as a Football Coach for the GB Team taking part in the 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles.

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Tom ColtmanDeputy Competition Manager

As a parent of a daughter with a learning disability Tom has been involved in various voluntary groups trying to help improve the lives of people with a disability since 1998.

In 2007 Tom was one of the volunteers who helped to set up a pan disability football club. Since then they have seen this club grow into the largest pan disability football club in the north east of England.

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Cae Menai-Davis Competition Manager

Cae is a professional golfer who in 2012 co-founded the charity The Golf Trust. It was through this connection that Cae was introduced to Special Olympics.

Cae created the UK Disabled Open in 2013 which bought together people with all disabilities to unite through one sport and in 2015 Cae hosted the Special Olympic GB National Golf event at The Shire London.

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Rob Burton Deputy Competition Manager

Rob has been working with disabled athletes since before 2006 and is currently the Deputy Chief Officer at the charity Disablement Association Hillingdon (DASH).

Rob is a patron of the golf charity, The Golf Trust and he co-launched the organisations first golf session in partnership with DASH in 2013. DASH and The Golf Trust still provide disability golf sessions to people with learning and physical disabilities each week.

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TBC Competition Manager

To be assigned

Bio tbc.

Carina Brown Deputy Competition Manager

Carina started off as a gymnast herself at an early age and is now a volunteer coach but also works at British Gymnastics as a Business Support Officer in Facilities.

Carina also volunteers her time to officiate at many events and in 2016 Carina Officiated at the World Championships held in Glasgow and has also been a floor manager at the 2015 and 2016 British Championships for Teamgym.

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Kay Salter Competition Manager

Kay Salter has been involved with coaching disability gymnastics since 1991, not just for those individuals with an intellectual disability but also those with physical, visual and hearing impairments.

Kay first attended the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games in Cardiff in 2001 with several athletes and volunteers from the Special Olympics Greater London Region.

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Laura Ytre-Eide Deputy Competition Manager

Laura Ytre-Eide was involved in competitive rhythmic gymnastics from a young age, retiring after the Commonwealth Games Auckland 1990

Having taken early retirement, Laura now has the time to return to her passion - rhythmic gymnastics, and is once again coaching, and competing in the veterans classification.

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Paul Everest Competition Manager

Paul has been running the Westerleigh Judokwai Club since 1996 and has attended a number of Special Olympics Games as a Judo Coach (Ireland in 2003, Los Angeles in 2015) and a Judo Head Coach (Shanghai in 2007, Athens in 2011 and Antwerp in 2014).

Paul has also been involved in providing advice and support concerning Judo to other Special Olympics clubs through his role as National Judo Coaching & Competition Advisor.

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Pev McChlery Deputy Competition Manager

Pev has been involved with Special Olympics since 2003 organising the National Summer Games Judo event in Glasgow in 2005. She also organised the Judo at the National Summer Games in Leicester in 2009 and was selected to coach at the World Summer Games in Shanghai in 2007.

Pev is absolutely delighted to see Special Olympics GB athletes getting involved in sporting activities.

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Val Kindred Competition Manager

Val's experience in netball spans 50 years starting with getting a taste of the game at junior school, playing for her county and club moving into coaching (level 3) and officiating (‘B award)

Val’s involvement with Special Olympics came in Glasgow (2005) when she went as a coach for Southfield Netball club who won gold at the National Summer Games. The event captured her heart watching the athletes achieving their goals and enjoying the event

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Donna Swann Deputy Competition Manager

Donna is currently the Head Coach for the Leicestershire County and Satellite Performance Academies and has been since 2006.

In 2009, at the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games Donna was the Netball Assistant Manager in Leicester.

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Fred MacKenzie Competition Manager

Fred is a senior coach for the British Weight Lifting association as well as a Great Britain Powerlifting Federation Category 2 Referee International Powerlifting Federation and Category 1 International Paralympic Committee.

Fred competed in both the 1984 and 1988 Paralympic Games, winning a bronze medal at both events.

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Jim McGill Deputy Competition Manager

Though unable to take part fully in "powerlifting", Jim became very interested in the sport, and began assisting with admin, refereeing and promotion, alongside his colleague Fred MacKenzie, and since about 2004, Jim has been involved with powerlifting at the highest level; Commonwealth, European, and World, as co-promotor, as well as numerous divisional and national competitions.

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TBC Competition Manager

Profile Coming Soon

Simon Trevithick Deputy Competition Manager

Simon has been working with the development of young people of all abilities since 2006 and has been involved with various aspects of sports provision and event planning since 2010.

Simon has National Governing body coaching qualifications in football, rugby and fencing and is actively involved in the running of the junior and community programmes at Harrogate Fencing Club.

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Dave Cochrane Competition Manager

Dave currently works extensively with British Para Table Tennis as competitions lead which is part of their membership services committee. Dave is an international table tennis umpire, national referee and national championships tournament organiser.

Dave has officiated at various European, World and international table tennis events and the highlight for him was umpiring at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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Steve McFadyen Deputy Competition Manager

Steve has been involved in disability sport since 2009. He started out supporting sessions as a volunteer during University holidays at a local football group for young people with a range of disabilities and impairments.

Steve is now the Clubs & Disability Manager at Table Tennis England and leads on all the partnership work with Special Olympics Great Britain as well as other National Disability Sport Organisations.

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Lee Hart Competition Manager

Lee Hart is an experienced tournament manager having worked with the British Tenpin Bowling Association as the Junior Inter Counties Secretary since 2012.

Lee is the National Coaching Manager at the British Tenpin Bowling Association and is experienced in delivering coaching to new coaches and ensuring that the fundamental activities are met and understood. Lee is also experienced in Health, Safety and Environmental Management.

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Mel Whitehead Competition Manager

Mel has played tennis since she was 4 years old and has been a qualified and licensed coach since 2006, teaching players of all ages and abilities. She coaches Learning Disability groups in Nottingham, and is also a coach for the Tennis Foundation Learning Disability Camps.

As well as coaching, Mel is also a qualified and licensed national level tennis referee and was Tennis Coach for the GB Team at the World Summer Games in Los Angeles (2015).

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Lesley Whitehead Deputy Competition Manager

As a Lawn Tennis Association Level 4 Senior qualified coach, Lesley started a Disability Programme at West Bridgford Tennis Club in 2002 and was the Tennis Manager there until 2012.

Since 2010, Lesley has been involved in providing advice and support concerning Tennis to other Special Olympics clubs through her role as the Special Olympics GB National Tennis Coaching & Competition Advisor.

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Laura Davies Programme Manager

As Partnership Manager, Laura is responsible for developing partnerships and relationships specifically with County Sports Partnerships and National Governing Bodies of Sport as well as driving forward the new Special Olympics Delivery Network model.

Laura has a passion for sport and its development, particularly for people with an intellectual disability, studying Sport and Exercise Science at London South Bank University and having a sibling with a profound intellectual disability she sees her role as Partnership Manager a great way to express that passion.

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Niamh Reilly Programme Manager

Niamh is very proud to boast a Special Olympic World Games Gold medal winner in her immediate family.

In 2003, Niamh was involved as a volunteer for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland, working in Maynooth town, who were the host town for the Brazil team.

She was selected as a Global Student Research Delegate for the 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Athens where she presented her PhD research findings and was part of a larger group of scholars who participated in additional sessions focusing on new areas of intellectual disability research and shaping the Special Olympics future research agenda.

She has been involved in the Motor Activities Training Programme (MATP) within Special Olympics GB since 2012, and currently works four days a month on the development, structure and promotion of MATP across Great Britain, which helps promote inclusive sport specific motor skill learning for individuals with profound and complex needs.

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Sophie Connors Programme Manager

Sophie Connors is on a year placement with Special Olympics GB whilst studying Sport and Social Science at the University of Bath. Prior to university Sophie completed her diploma in Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough College.

From a very young age Sophie has been involved in badminton, competing and achieving medals at many Badminton England junior tournaments. At senior level Sophie continues to enjoy representing her club, County and more recently her university. She has been equally active as a volunteer official, contributing to many sporting events including the All England Badminton Championships, the Centre Parcs Schools National Badminton Championships and both the 2009 and 2013 Special Olympics GB National Summer Games.

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Tom Adams Programme Manager

Tom Adams joined the team at Special Olympics GB to fulfil the role of Young Athletes and Families Manager in August 2015. This is a new post and Tom will have two main areas of responsibility: the introduction of the Young Athlete Programme (YAP) for athletes aged three to six years old and the growth of the Families Programme, to include a new and exciting development to focus on how we can better engage with the Siblings of our athletes and involve them in the organisation.

Tom has a second class BSc with Honours in Exercise, Nutrition and Health from Kingston University.

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