Meet the Team

David Watson

Chief Executive

Formerly an employee of Harrogate Borough Council with over 26 years of experience in the Sport and Physical Activity industry and a qualified Youth Worker, David became Executive Director of North Yorkshire Sport on July 1st 2006.

Prior to that he had worked with North Yorkshire Sport on a secondment from Harrogate Borough Council where he had gained valuable experience of both Facility Management, working and managing both wet and dry sites, and Sports Development. He also worked for eleven years as a part time Physical Education teacher at a local primary school giving him an insight in to the particular needs of education.

David became Chief Executive of North Yorkshire Sport Ltd on April 1st 2014 when the organisation launched as a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

David's role is to provide strategic leadership, to manage the financial, human and physical resources assigned to the Partnership and to ensure the sustainability and efficiency of the company.

David represents the Yorkshire and Humber County Sport Partnerships as a member the National CSP Improvement Group, is a member of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise North Yorkshire Chief Executives group, one of two Voluntary Sector Representatives on the North Yorkshire County Council Children and Young People Scrutiny Board as well as being a member of a number of strategic groups within the county representing sport and physical activity.

He is Chairman of the Swim North East Board, is a Trustee of Community First Yorkshire and Vice Chair of Governors and Trustee at Harrogate High School.

David is a keen sportsman in his spare time, focusing mostly on the gym, recreational cycling and challenge races such as the Yorkshire Warrior

Damien Smith

Damien Smith

Head of Development

Damien's role at North Yorkshire Sport is Head of Development which he has held since April 2012. His role includes overseeing the work of the development team, delivery against the organisations Primary Role work with Sport England and as the strategic lead for the Satellite Clubs programme, the Schools Facilities Programme across North Yorkshire & County Durham (in collaboration with County Durham Sport) and supports the Safeguarding Officer at North Yorkshire Sport in driving the safeguarding work of the Active Partnership.

Damien's previous roles have included the Partnership Development Manager for the Harrogate School Sports Partnership which he held for 3 years, Delivery Manager for North Yorkshire Sport from 2007-2009, Senior Sports Development Officer for Harrogate Borough Council and Regional Development Officer for British Triathlon for a number of years. Damien graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2001 with an Honours Degree in Physical Education.

He performs a number of voluntary roles outside of his work including a position as Time to Listen Tutor for NYS/CPSU, Safeguarding & Protecting Children Tutor for UK Coaching and a Nominated Clubmark Officer for the English Cricket Board.

Damien is also a Vice Chair and Co-opted Governor at Willow Tree Community Primary School in Harrogate and Vice Chair of Trustees for Harrogate Town FC Community Foundation.

He is a qualified Athletics, Football and Triathlon coach and is a keen novice runner and enjoys skiing whenever he can get chance!

Telephone
Tel: 01423 637652 Mob: 07858919295
George Cull

George Cull

Head of Development

George joined the North Yorkshire Sport team as Delivery Manager in May 2009, having previously spent over two years working with Lancashire County Sports Partnership in the capacity of Partnership Development Officer. Prior to that role he had worked for Hyndburn Borough Council and Leisure in Hyndburn Trust as a Sports Development Officer. This post followed Georges graduation from York St Johns in 2002 with a degree in Leisure and Tourism Management, which he had completed after doing a BTEC in Sports Science at Yorkshire Coast College.

Georges role at North Yorkshire Sport involves overseeing the work of the team, leading on work around children and young people, impact management and learning culture. He is also driving North Yorkshire Sports fundraising work around supporting mental health through sport.

Outside of work George has recently completed his first (and only) Ironman Triathlon in July 2021. He has a strong interest in running and cycling (swimming less so) and still plays the occasional game of football.

Telephone
01423637653
Linkedin
GeorgeCull
Simon Pierce

Simon Pierce

Health & Wellbeing Manager

Simon graduated from Swansea Institute of Higher Education with a BA degree in Sport and Recreation Management. After initially working for the Leeds Mental Health Trust as a Health Support Worker and a Fitness Instructor in the cities psychiatric hospitals, he was employed by the Federation of Disability Sports Organisations (FDSO) to develop a Healthy Living Project. That role changed to focus on Disability Sport Development within North Yorkshire.

Simon was employed by North Yorkshire Sport to continue the disability developed work within the county. His role has evolved to include leading on a variety of age and condition specific physical activity interventions, as well as building relationships with Public Health colleagues.

In his spare time Simon plays golf and keeps fit running, cycling and swimming.

Telephone
Mobile 07414 911218
Ryan Ellis

Ryan Ellis

Education Manager

Ryan graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a Sports Development & Physical Education degree in 2009 before undertaking and completing a PGCE in Primary Ed in 2011/12 at The University of Leeds.For the past 9 years, Ryan has worked as a primary classroom teacher, PE lead, consultant and advisor. During this time, Ryan founded The PE Umbrella, a podcast dedicated to sharing best practices on all things Primary PE through reflections and interviews with practitioners from around the world. In addition to this, Ryan has delivered training for Universities and SCITT's across the country to upskill their students in the delivery of outstanding primary PE.During his spare time, Ryan enjoys days out with his family, playing a round of very average golf and supporting his beloved Leeds United.

Telephone
01423 637664

Jody Ivel

Youth Engagement Manager

Jody joined North Yorkshire Sport in May 2018 as a Sport Development Manager and currently takes a lead on Youth Engagement particularly the Achieve programme and Get on Track using activity to tackle inequalities and supporting young people experiencing disadvantage.

Jody graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology after completing a degree at Northumbria University in Psychology with Sport and Exercise Science. Starting a career in Sport Development she went on to work for England Netball as a Netball Development officer covering the North Yorkshire County.

Jody is a keen netball player and Coach and holds her A award Netball Umpiring Qualification.

Telephone
01423637665
Dani Penney

Dani Penney

Children and Families Manager

North Yorkshire Sport

Dani graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Physical Education with Outdoor Education. In 2016, she worked as a Women and Girls Activator with Yorkshire Sport Foundation and Leeds City Council, developing "Leeds Girls Can" physical activity programmes and an ambassador's scheme. She also worked with British Cycling as the West Yorkshire Area Coordinator for the Breeze Bike Rides for Women programme. In 2018 Dani started as Wellbeing Manager at Inspiring healthy lifestyles, a Sports and Leisure Trust operating on behalf of Selby District Council. Here Dani led a team delivering commissioned programmes in health, education, community engagement and grassroots sports participation, she was also one of the organisations mental health champions. Dani developed her expertise in Behavioural Science whilst working for North Yorkshire County Council's Public Health team and has manged a range of behaviour change projects.

Dani started with North Yorkshire Sport in 2022 and is passionate about supporting families to be active and healthy. She enjoys trying new activities and has formerly played in the Yorkshire Women's Rugby League Team and has danced in the Leeds West Indian Carnival parade.

Telephone
01423 637663
Lucy Psarias

Lucy Psarias

Active Communities Manager

Having graduated with a BA (Hons.) degree in Sports Science and Management, Lucy began her career in sport working for Leeds City Council on community sports development followed by the role of Community Leisure Officer for City of York Council, predominantly working alongside the voluntary sports club sector assisting with community development.

Lucy joined the North Yorkshire Sport team in January 2008 and currently takes a lead on the School Games programme organising and coordinating the County Level events in addition to managing the Active Lives survey across the region.

In her spare time, Lucy loves being active and enjoying the great outdoors. She regularly attends the gym and enjoys spending time with her family.

Lucy's working days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Telephone
01423 637660
Amy Snook

Amy Snook

Active Communities Manager - maternity cover

Amy joined North Yorkshire Sport in May 2015 and has taken part in a variety of projects over the years. She currently takes a lead on the Holiday Activities Fund project which coordinates a holiday programme offer combining provision of healthy food and enriching activities to children in receipt of Free School Meals.

After graduating from Northumbria University in 2013 with a degree in Business and Marketing, Amy started her career in sport development by coaching a wide variety of sports in Primary Schools in the North East, alongside delivering children's camps at Northumbria University. She completed a 'Masters in Sport International Management' whilst working as a development officer at Northumbria University.

In her spare time, Amy loves being active and enjoying the great outdoors. She enjoys discovering new walks, playing golf spending time with her family.

Amy's working days are Tuesday and Wednesday.

Telephone
01423 637658
Jane Ratcliffe

Jane Ratcliffe

People Development Manager

After graduating from Durham University in 2004 with a degree in Sport in the Community and then from University of Central Lancashire in 2006 with a Masters in Business Management Jane has gained experience in development roles at South Lakeland District Council, Tees Valley Sport and the Amateur Swimming Association.

Jane started at North Yorkshire Sport in October 2013 and work areas have included driving initial work on the Dame Kelly Holmes Get on Track Programmes across the county, supporting a number of National Governing Bodies and leading on the Satellite Club programme. Jane's current role is supporting the development of 'People' (anyone who can help or inspire others to move more and be more active). An example of her work is creating and managing an online learning platform; Yorkshire & Humber Learning Community.

Jane's normal working days are Tuesday to Thursday. In her free time, Jane spends time with her young family, often exploring and having adventures in their campervan, playing in parks and walking with their 7 year old collie/springer cross dog. She has been a Peer Mentor for Adoption UK and now supports her local school as a committee member for their 'Friends of' team.

Telephone
01423 637668
Linkedin
www.linkedin.com/in/janeratcliffe
Garth de Roux

Garth de Roux

People Development Manager

After graduating from the University of Leeds in 2006 Garth worked for Leeds City Council where, while producing a newsletter, he discovered an interest in publishing. Garth then worked as an editor in the publishing industry for 14 years. Always a keen sportsman he developed himself as a coach, first in running then in strength and conditioning. Garth is one of two club coaches at his local running club, Horsforth Harriers in Leeds. He is dedicated to progressing his coaching further and is currently studying a Masters in Sports Coaching with Staffordshire University.

Garth works across two Active Partnerships: North Yorkshire Sport and Active Humber. His role is supporting the development of the workforce (coaches, volunteers and the professional workforce) as well as targeting inactive groups across the community and developing ways to introduce activity to their lives.

In his spare time Garth likes to be off running in the hills. The longer the day out, the better. He competes in ultra-marathons. The longest to date being 112 miles on the Cleveland Way.

Telephone
01423 637662
Maha El Nasser

Maha El Nasser

Community Fit Activator

Maha joined North Yorkshire Sport in 2022 as the Community Fit Activator for the Community Fit partnership with Harrogate and District Community Action (HADCA). Community Fit is an exciting new project building a community of folks who "do good" while being active and meeting people.

Maha has a long coaching history – including years of coaching capoeira, rowing, and roller derby. She has dedicated the last 6 years to building spaces that support women and girls to take part in sport and to supporting clubs to create learning environments that keep them moving.

Maha works on Wednesdays and will be found running Community Fit sessions during the week. She also works as a change manager for the NHS and volunteers as a Training Director for Rainy City Roller Derby.

Danny Thomas

Children & Young People Support Officer

Danny joined North Yorkshire sport in July 2021 as a Children and Young People Support Officer, and works on the Active Forest, School Games and Active Lives Projects

Danny is an experienced Early Help and Family worker, previously working for NYCC Children and Family service, alongside Youth Justice, the Safeguarding Team, Prevent and Health Child Team. Earlier on Danny held the position as Sports Development Coach at Crystal Palace FC, a Targeted Youth Worker and Children's Young Peoples Officer in London.

Danny has a passion for mentoring and championing young peoples' voices and has an unapologetic desire to keep driving positive change in equality and diversity. He continues to coach football at the Harrogate Army foundation College, as Head football Coach for junior soldiers.

Danny dedicates allot of time to fundraise for charities.

Telephone
01423637659
Laura Tiemens

Laura Tiemens

Impact & Improvement Manager

After graduating from University in Nottingham, Laura went on to complete an MBA in Urban Regeneration at the University of Liverpool in 2004. She spent three years working for a global logistics company, in the performance and planning function of the business, before joining the North Yorkshire Sport team in 2008.

Laura's role ensures we are using 'insight' to improve our understanding of participation in sport & physical activity; what motivates people to take part and equally what barriers exist to prevent different groups from getting involved. This insight helps us to create the right opportunities for more people to take part in sport and physical activity across North Yorkshire.

Laura also ensures that we are consistently evaluating our work, in order to continuously improve our programmes and to demonstrate the impact of our work. She is responsible for our Impact measurement framework and the publication of our annual Impact report, which can be found here.

In her spare time Laura loves being active and getting outdoors; whether on foot, on horseback, by pedal or paddle! She's a keen yogi and an avid Everton fan.

Laura's working days are Monday & Wednesday

Telephone
Mobile 07738109524
Jane Mosley

Jane Mosley

Action Towards Inclusion Officer

After working for many years in the Pharmaceutical Industry Jane changed careers moving into Health and Social Care and the Voluntary Sector. Latterly working for the British Red Cross on a project preventing loneliness and isolation in the elderly. She has an interest in Mental Health and has completed Levels 2&3 in Counselling and Theory.

Jane joined North Yorkshire Sport in May 2017 as Development Officer for the Action towards Inclusion project. This involves providing mentoring and supporting people who are economically inactive or unemployed, helping them overcome barriers and to move closer to employment, whilst addressing a range of social issues.

In her spare time Jane enjoys organising local fundraising events in her Community and is Chairman of her village Parish Council.

In 2015 Jane began the Couch25k running programme and has stuck with it and runs regularly.

Telephone
07858 919293

Hayley O'Brien

Employment Support Officer

Hayley joined North Yorkshire Sport in August 2021 as mentor on our Action Toward Inclusion and Thriving at Work programmes. Following a change in her own personal circumstances and priorities Hayley sought a career change: from brand and product development to personal development.

Hayley's passion for kindness and improvement are central to her role; she helps people to thrive, by working to understand their physical and psychological challenges, and supporting change.

Hayley collaborates with our participants who are unemployed, economically inactive or experiencing difficulties in their workplace and takes a holistic view to explore ways to raise their levels of health and fulfilment.

In her spare time, when not chasing her children around Valley Gardens, Hayley enjoys walking socials, learning about nutrition, home workouts with the help of You Tube, and hopes to take up gardening again soon.

Telephone
07510 316338
Alice Etherington

Alice Etherington

Action Towards Inclusion Officer

North Yorkshire Sport

Alice joined North Yorkshire Sport in April 2022 and is a friendly, empathetic and ebullient woman. She believes in health at every size, and enjoys empowering people to discover what works for them to feel happy, healthy, and the best version of their authentic selves.

Alice supports people who are long-term unemployed in an individualised way, to overcome barriers and move closer to employment. She is interested in the all-round (holistic) picture of participants, building up people's self-belief and acceptance of their authentic selves, and enabling them to explore different ways to reframe and enhance their health and fulfilment in life

Previously, Alice worked in management teams of children's nurseries, and adult education. More recently, she worked on Families Get Active, a Sport England project providing activities and individual support to people. She helped them to reframe and discover what health feels like, and what an active life could look like – intentional and enjoyable- in a way that worked for them.

Having struggled with her own health and fitness for several decades, Alice started her own journey to turn her life around in in 2018. Fed up with pain and being hindered by a lack of mobility, she started learning more about nutrition, mental health, and figuring out how to build up strength and stamina. In 2019 Alice had a gastric bypass to assist her with weight loss.

From being unable to walk ½ a mile or get out of chairs easily, Alice has found a multitude of ways to move her body- from daily tasks, to getting active and exercise; she has lost 130lb and is no longer limited. She enjoys exploring nature with her family, biking, scooting, running and weights at the gym.

Kelly Swale

Kelly Swale

Finance Assistant

Kelly joined the North Yorkshire Sport team in February 2012. Prior to this she worked at the Harrogate Convention Centre and took on various roles including Marketing Assistant, Box Office Assistant and Team Administrator.

Kelly's part-time role involves various financial duties including invoicing, purchase orders, PayPal, QuickBooks reporting and supporting the Finance Manager.

Kelly also supports the Action Towards Inclusion team.

Telephone
01423 226303
Jake Haylett

Jake Haylett

Digital Content Officer

Jake joined North Yorkshire Sport in March 2021 and works across two Active Partnerships, North Yorkshire Sport and Active Humber, and he is responsible for a broad range of marketing support. His role includes a wide range of content production, from graphic design for print and online use, to video editing as well as working on website and social content. Jake studied Music Technology at The University Of Huddersfield and has been working in the charity sector since 2017 doing social media and content creation as well as teaching digital skills.

Jake enjoys bouldering in his spare time and although he doesn't do this as frequently as he would like, has completed several hikes around Yorkshire.

Mobile
07398147558

Laura Young

Active Communities Manager (currently on maternity leave)

Having graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University's with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science in 2007, Laura went on to work for Leeds City Council as a Gymnastics Coordinator before moving to British Gymnastics, as a Club Development Coordinator for 3 years.

In 2013 Laura started a role for West Yorkshire Sport as a Development Officer coordinating children & young people projects within multiple districts. Laura was initially seconded to North Yorkshire Sport in 2015 to cover a maternity position. Her current role includes management of the Satellite Clubs Programme for North Yorkshire and is the lead officer for Club Development.

Telephone
01423 637658
Sarah Stephenson

Sarah Stephenson

Active Communities Manager (currently on maternity leave)

Sarah Graduated from Wolverhampton University in 2001 with a combined degree in Sport and Outdoor Education. Following this she was employed by Middlesbrough Council as a sport Development Officer for 3 years before moving to Tees Valley Sport to work as the lead coordinator for the National charity StreetGames for a further 3 years.

In 2010 Sarah began a role with Northumbria University as their Student Development Manager where she worked for 4 years on their volunteering and internship programme before taking up the role of Sport Development Manager here at North Yorkshire Sport.

Sarah's role at North Yorkshire Sport involves delivering the support that NYS provides to Primary Schools across the County in relation to PE, Sport and Healthy Lifestyles alongside work to support the Swim North East Region

In her spare time Sarah enjoys playing for her local hockey club and when she can she also likes to spend time mountain biking, climbing and camping.

Telephone
Mobile 07858 930050